The first time I visited Post Office Road (as it was then) was 1988. My eldest son had been playing rugby (union) at Pontefract RUFC and came home and asked if I would take him to Featherstone Rovers as some of the lads were going. I said ‘ok’ and I would take my younger son too. I had never seen a rugby league game – living in Selby it was very much a football area. All three of us thoroughly enjoyed the game and we were hooked. It’s something I’ve always done with my sons (their Dad wasn’t bothered and did his own thing when we went to matches) and I’m still doing it today 31 years later. Unfortunately my husband passed away very suddenly 8 years ago and supporting Featherstone Rovers (and other things of course) has been my salvation as going there was no different for me.
Another memory I have is when my youngest son had signed for Huddersfield Giants Academy and I had to take him twice a week for training. Being too far to come home and then go back, I had to wait in the car park. No mobile phones of course in those days, so no watching you tube but I did have one of those portable television 2 inch square screen and watched Emmerdale on that, it passed the time.
I think it was about 1995 when the super league began to be talked about and it was suggested some teams could merge – Featherstone, Castleford and Wakefield being one of the suggestions – AS IF!! Featherstone were playing Castleford and on that day a protest march against the merger took place FEV FOREVER – CALDER NEVER It began at Pontefract and headed towards Featherstone along the main road, Sir Geoffrey Lofthouse (who later became Deputy Speaker) and other officials leading the march. My son, his friend and myself joined the march too, along with a great many other people. Turning into Station Lane singing ‘Marching on together’ is something i’ll not forget, arriving at the ground we dispersed and went to our usual places, me in the main stand, son and friend in the bullock stand. We were told the chairman ( I think of Cas) would make an announcement before the game started. Nothing happened – game started – half time came and the players went off. Then from every part of the ground fans started making their way to the pitch (Fev and Cas) I was very nervous as my son and friend were also on the pitch- still no announcement was made. Then all the fans sat down. The teams came out for the second half and the fans just went back to their places. It was one of the most dignified protests I have ever seen and was proud to be part of it. It was also reported as such on TV news the next day. But parked outside were police, paramedics, ambulances all ready for the expected massacre.