SQUADBUILDER, the Wakefield Trinity fund-raising group, surpassed all expectations with a glittery array of star quality from past and present at the 130 Years of Sporting Life in Wakefield dinner at Painthorpe Country Club last Friday evening.
It was a huge undertaking by the organisation that last year raised 17,000 for Wakefield Trinity's player recruitment and development coffers. And which this year hopes to exceed that total.
Chairman Philip Hulme, a key player in this and last year's well-supported dinner functions, was delighted with the response from local people and especially the business community.
He is determined to see Squadbuilder, and in turn Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, succeed on and off the field and replicate the glory years encapsulated by the many guests on view, which included Dennis Baddeley who played in the 1940s, numerous players from the 1960s heyday, 1979 Challenge Cup representatives and current Super League stars.
It was a happy and sometimes emotional evening as guests recounted high-point memories, the occasional low point and a gamut of amusing tales about team-mates.
But one thing that was obvious no matter from which era the players came from was the camaraderie, friendships and team spirits that were built and continue to exist between the players.
Few clubs in any sport could boast that kind of 'family' feeling.
Also in attendance was a possible star of the future. Normanton-based James Fox signed up for the club recently – a deal totally funded by the Squadbuilder organisation. He made his Junior Academy debut against Huddersfield last week.
"We hope to help club with more signings of this type in the future," said Squadbuilder's Sue Parker. "As we can see by example of Wigan, the future lies with youth development."
Guests of honour
David March 1997-2003 signed 1997; Martyn Holland 1996-2003 signed 1996; Brad Davis 1995-2003 signed 1995; Andy Wilson 1988-96 signed 1988; Nigel Bell 1983-96 signed 1983; Phil Eden 1982-94 1982; Johnny Thompson 1978-97 player and coach signed 1978; Brian Juliff 1978-82 1978; Bill Ashurst 1977-84 1977; Paul McDermott 1976-84 signed 1976; Graham Idle 1976-80 signed 1976.
Andy Fletcher 1976-90 signed 1976; Mike Lampkowski 1976-83 signed 1976; Trevor Skerrett 1974-80 signed 1974; Roy Bratt 1973-84 signed 1973; David Topliss 1968-80 player and coach signed 1968; Terry Crook 1967-82 player and Academy coach signed 1967; Mick Morgan 1966-1977 signed 1966; David Garthwaite 1965-70 signed 1965; Geoff Wraith 1963-70 signed 1963.
Ted Cambell 1962-69 signed 1962; Ian Brooke 1961-71 signed 1961; Malcolm Sampson 1959-67 signed 1959; John Etty 1958-61 signed 1958; Geoff Oakes 1957-68 signed 1957; Don Metcalfe 1956-69 1956; Neil Fox 1955-69 signed 1955; Kenny Rollin 1955-64 signed 1955; Ken Hirst 1955-69 signed 1955.
Keith Holliday 1952-66 signed 1952; Frank Mortimer 1951-59 signed 1951; Joby Shaw 1950-59 signed 1950; Don Robinson 1949-56 signed 1949; Don Froggett 1948-59 signed 1948; Jack Perry 1943-49 signed 1943; Dennis Baddeley 1942-52 signed 1942.