Hunslet’s Parkside Stadium was one of the central hubs of English rugby league in its day, but sadly in 1973 it hosted its final ever match.
The visitors that day were York, and 40 years on as the two sides met again Love Rugby League caught up with Gordon Tindale, a Hunslet second-row forward in the 1950’s, at a special anniversary dinner.
“We have kept the traditions of Parkside going as well as we can,” said Tindale. “We have an event like this twice a year, for the first and last games of the season, to sponsor the club.
“We have also been meeting up on the first Sunday of June every year for the last 30 years.
“Hunslet is a unique club and if you look around, it speaks for itself as everyone has remained friends throughout the years.
“Most of the lads that played for Hunslet were from the streets around Parkside, and all they wanted to do was play for Hunslet.
“You used to have to go through what would now be known as the academy team, then through the second team and then the first team. That was how it was, and it was an honour to be part of he club.
“A lot of us went to school together and we’ve all stuck together since. There is a lot of camaraderie between us and I don’t think that there is another club anywhere that can say that everyone has been such friends for so long.”
Tindale is still a very active follower of the club, and he has mixed views of the current side and their dual-registration deal with Leeds Rhinos.
He said, “In some respects the dual-reg is good for the club, but not for the young players coming through.
“If you get a young lad who’s playing well, but then someone comes in from Leeds in the same position it raises questions.
“To keep the club surviving its a good thing, but for individual players it has to be managed well for it to work, otherwise Hunslet will lose their own talent.”
When asked about what he thinks the future holds for Hunslet, Tindale admits it is hard to say, but one thing is certain:
“The club will never die.
“There has always been a struggle for money and there have been a number of threats of extinction, but we fought the money problems ourselves.
“I remember years ago collecting jam jars to raise money, and then obviously events like today’s help keep the club going.
“Hunslet has been such a tight-knit club for so many years. Sons, daughters, grandchildren everybody comes down to the club.
“A lot of tradition was lost after leaving Parkside but there will always be a thirst for rugby league in Hunslet, and the club will never, ever die.”
To win tickets to Hunslet’s next home Kingstone Press Championship match, against Leigh on Sunday 28th July, click here.
Kingstone Press Cider has teamed up with LoveRugbyLeague to celebrate all things great about the rugby league Championships. For the rest of the season, ‘Championing the Championships’ campaign will put a weekly spotlight on each Championship and Championship 1 club to focus on their most memorable moments, look back at the clubs heroes and reward the loyal fans. Read more.