Last week’s edition of the ’Express’ referred to the forthcoming Wakefield Trinity Hall of Fame dinner.
The dinner, and hopefully future events, will assist in the preservation of the history and traditions of the club.
It is long overdue. It is to be expected that most Trinitarians will be energised with the selection of their favourite players for induction into the Hall of Fame. Of course not all judicious choices will arise from spectating experiences.
The panel (who are they by the way?) will use their historical knowledge to select players they may not have seen play.
However I wish to make a claim for a colossus of the club who never kicked a goal or scored a try for the club (as far as I know). I refer to Stuart Hadfield who was responsible for putting many of the cup winning teams of the 1960s on the pitch.
It is 50 years this year since his untimely death (November 5). He was unique in the sense that he was one of the few committee men/directors (in today’s currency) who have served the club who commanded the respect of the vast majority of supporters and the wider Rugby League community.
John Bapty, the late Yorkshire Evening Post journalist, said Hadfield had an enthusiastic desire to continue to give his club the best that could be found. Hence his excursions to South Africa which resulted in Alan Skene and Gert Coetzer arriving at the club.
Some of the signings, such as Lotriet and Dorrington, were not as successful as the aforementioned. Most fans did not complain given his overall record.
He was instrumental in bringing Berwyn Jones to the club and was responsible for the formation of the joint committee which metamorphosised into the Supporters’ Club. Despite previous administrations’ attempts to undermine this institution it still exists thanks to a dedicated team of volunteers.
Probably Hadfield’s greatest achievement on a wider front was his successful management of the 1962 Great Britain team (which included five Trinity players) which toured Australasia.
The series in Australia was won 2-1 and respected journalists at the time said it should have been 3-0 but Great Britain fell foul of some idiosyncratic officiating in the last test.
On the day of his death he had been elected vice-chairman of the International Selection Committee. He brought to the game his experience as a city councillor and the role of a successful businessman.
Sadly Trinity supporters have not had the benefit of an administrator of such gravitas since 1964.
An induction into the Hall of Fame at some point would be well deserved. Other non-playing personnel worthy of consideration include JC Lindley and ‘Paddy’ Armour.
Whitehall Road East