IT’S a publication that looks set to spark a giant sporting debate.
For the very first time, a book has been released listing Huddersfield Rugby League Football Club’s 100 greatest players.
Written and researched by Huddersfield RL Players Association secretary David Gronow, it spans players from all eras of the game from Harry Lodge, who made his Huddersfield debut in 1886, right up to current Giants captain Chris Thorman.
Lodge is one of the 20 Fartown legends in the club’s Hall of Fame whose playing career is chronicled in a two-page spread, while the other 80 greats have a page each devoted to their significant contributions to the famous claret and gold cause.
Besides 98 players, two of the club’s most famous administrators have been included in the 100 in current chairman Ken Davy and former chairman Hubert Lockwood, who died two years ago.
One of those in the club’s Top 20 is Ben Gronow, the grandfather of David, the book’s author, who is sure the list will provide a major talking point.
He said: “I’ve wanted to write this book for years, but it’s only in the last 12 months that I’ve had the time.”
David retired last year to care for his terminally ill wife, Madeleine, who suffers from the blood cancer disease myeloma.
“It’s been hard work, although it’s also been a real labour of love.
“Obviously, it’s not been easy settling on a final 100, and I’m sure – and hope – the list will be a major talking point.
“I know there will be many fans out there who won’t agree with my choice and believe others should have been included, but that’s the beauty of something like this.
“I’m sure the top 20 will speak for themselves, because they are the 20 in the Fartown Hall of Fame, based at the Galpharm Stadium.
“After that, the challenge really began!
“So what I decided to do then was try and span the eras and make sure players from every generation were represented.
“And that even included the lean years of the 1980s, when the club adopted the ‘Baracudas’ as part of their name. That’s why Jimmy Johnson and Peter Cramp are in the book, because they did so much at that time to keep the club alive and earned testimonials for the cause to reward their loyalty.
“Once I’d settled on my 100, it was then a case of setting about getting all the correct information on everyone.
“At times that proved very tough.
“Luckily, the backbone of the statistics were given to me by Pat Rhodes, the wife of the late Mick (who had been the club’s official historian for decades).
“I was also helped by the descendents of many of the players earlier in the century who are obviously no longer with us, while I also found the Examiner library invaluable.
“As I said, it’s been tough, but it’s been incredibly enjoyable. And, I know I’m biased, but I think it looks great!
“Nothing like this has been done by the club before, and I hope it becomes a valuable publication for fans of this famous club for many years to come.”
Published by The History Press, ‘Huddersfield Rugby League Football Club 100 Greats’ costs £12.99 and is now on sale at the Giants shop at the Galpharm Stadium, The Sporting Pride shop in the town centre and Waterstones Books in Huddersfield.