Featherstone Rovers pays tribute to former players Jackie Fennell and Gary Waterworth

Jackie Fennell.
Jackie Fennell.

Featherstone Rovers have paid tribute to two former players.

A minute’s silence was held at the club’s away fixture at Dewsbury Rams in memory of fullback Jackie Fennell, who died January 3, and winger Gary Waterworth, who died on December 31.

Gary Waterworth.

Gary Waterworth.

Mr Fennell, who was 85, played in Featherstone’s 1959 Yorkshire Cup final victory against Hull and made 323 appearances for the club.

During his time at Rovers, he scored exactly 1,000 points and was only the second player, after Jim Denton, to achieve that milestone.

He also held the club record goal tally, at 455, until it was broken by his former teammates Terry Clawson and Don Fox.

Former club secretary Ron Bailey said: “I have seen Fennell agitated on the football field, but never lose his temper.

“He has been one of an outclassed team, but never despaired. It always seemed that a Featherstone jersey compelled him to give of his best.

“His greatest attribute was a virtue common to all outstanding ball players – his timing.”

Mr Waterworth scored a hat-trick on his debut at home against Dewsbury on August 30, 1961, and scored 33 tries in 68 appearances for Rovers.

His career was cut short by injuries just three seasons into his time with Featherstone.

Harold Moxon, who coached Rovers to victories against Australia and in a Yorkshire Cup final, said he was the fastest finisher he had ever seen at Featherstone.

Express readers shared their memories on Facebook.

Kathryn Peter Easton Chapman said: “RIP. Two great players.”

Paul Kingsbury said: “Worked with Jack for a short while at Ackworth pit, smashing bloke with a wicked sense of humour, unfortunately not old enough to have seen him play.”

Maureen T-k said: “Jackie was a great rugby player and a great character off the pitch.”

Patricia Worrillow-Ager said: “Everyone young and old loved Jackie.”

Mr Fennell’s funeral will be held Monday, January 28, from 11.40am at Pontefract Crematorium, before moving on to the Legends Suite at the LD Nutrition Stadium.