ROB VALENTINE joined a long line of Hawick rugby union players to turn professional at Huddersfield.
And even though the man who signed him was elder brother Dave, the club coach, few of the Fartown faithful could question the pedigree of the hard-working back row.
The 22-year-old had come through the junior ranks at the famous Borders club, from where Huddersfield signed his brother as well as the likes of Alex Fiddes, Jock Anderson and Bob Robson.
And on the Saturday before he agreed terms with Fartown, he had made his eighth appearance for South of Scotland against none other than New Zealand!
The All Blacks won the match 8-0, but Valentine won rave reviews, with one reporter terming him "the best emerging back row in Scotland".
Tackling was a particular talent, with Dave Valentine desperate to bolster a side struggling at the wrong end of the First Division after just five wins from the first 12 matches of the season.
While never recahing the heights of his brother, who played 15 times for Great Britain and led them to victory in the 1954 World Cup, Rob Valentine did play once for the Lions, against Australia in 1967.
And he proved a loyal servant to Huddersfield, spending seven years at the club before playing for Wakefield Trinity (three years) and Keighley (two).
Having cut his coaching teeth with Huddersfield's Pennine League side Britannia Works, he returned to Fartown in 1976 with the brief to form a Colts team.
"I feel sure there are players who would take to the game slipping through the net," he said at the time, recalling the tale of Hawick player Hugh McLeod.
"He was 17 and had never played the game," explained Valentine.
"He happened to be walking past the ground when the coach of one of the lower teams was told one of his players was ill.
"Hugh was hauled off the street and persuaded to join in. He turned out to be Scotland's most capped forward and played for the Lions three times!"
While Hawick were one of Britain's top rugby union clubs, Huddersfield had a side which, on their day, could match many in the North of England.
On the afternoon the South of Scotland were taking on the All Blacks, the men from Waterloo headed to Otley, and won 16-0.
In the days before a league system was introduced, it was a fifth successive victory for the side skippered by David Johnson, who hosted a reunion of the 1963-64 side at Lockwood Park last Saturday.
After wins at home to Old Birkonians (16-6) and Preston Grasshoppers (24-6) and away to Broughton Park (10-6) and Morley (15-12), Otley were undone by their visitors' superior fitness, stronger tackling and swift movement of the ball, by hand and foot!
Centre Peter Johnson, the skipper's cousin, showed good awareness to twice kick the ball ahead for winger John Ross to plunge over in the 10th minute.
Then shortly before half-time, centre Ian Fiddes took advantage of a stretched defence to romp through under the posts for Peter Johnson to convert.
After soaking up some Otley pressure early in the second period, Huddersfield again took the upper hand to score further tries through lock-forward James Hartley and Fiddes, the latter goaled by Johnson.
Among Huddersfield's most impressive performers was Brian Skerry, who was normally a fly half but stood in for the injured Derek Taylor at full-back and made the headline in the Examiner match report!
Youths are beaten in derby tie
THREE future first team stars were on duty, but that didn't prevent Town suffering a 2-1 home defeat by Halifax in the first round of the FA Youth Cup.
Steve Smith, Trevor Cherry and Derek Parkin were among the teenage hopefuls handed the chance to shine under the Leeds Road floodlights.
Famous ex-player Vic Metcalfe, Town's Youth coach, also picked Jeff Lee, who failed to win a Town contract, but later signed for Halifax and made more than 250 appearances at left-back before a transfer to Peterborough.
Lee, of course, later had a spell on Town's coaching staff and still carries out scouting duties for current boss Peter Jackson.
The young Shay side, who scored two first-half goals before Town responded through Smith after 58 minutes, had Bob Worthington, elder brother of Frank, in defence.
Huddersfield youngster Stephen Wilkinson was the Halifax goalkeeper.
HUDDERSFIELD'S wrestling fans enjoyed a colourful display by Japanese star The Great Togo at the Town Hall.
The martial arts expert went through his usual five-minute ceremony of disrobing and salt throwing before disposing of Reg Williams, of Birmingham, with a knockout in the fourth of five rounds.
Batley's Bill Rawlings was beaten by Manchester-based German Hans Streiger.
10 YEARS AGO
* Veteran cricket official Ted Rodgers was honoured by the Huddersfield Evening League after completing 45 years' service to the St Patrick's club.
* Simon Senior was the winner of the inaugural Huddersfield Individual Darts League. David Miller was second.
* Borough of Kirklees swimmer Tom McLean claimed a hat trick of titles (100m back and breaststroke and 200m medley) at the County Winter Championships.
20 YEARS AGO
* Former Meltham cricketer Alf Topp, one of a rare brand of bowlers to take more than 1,000 wickets for one Huddersfield League club, died aged 61. He played for the Mean Laners from 1952 until 1965.
* Talented badminton player Lynva Russell dominated the Colne Valley Championships to win three titles, the women's singles, doubles (with Brenda Littlewood) and mixed doubles (with Lance Dossor).