My Dad and brother supported Featherstone Rovers and were thrilled when I first met Jim Thompson at the age of 17 years, they were even happier when I married him at the age of 22 years. I was able to put faces to names that I had heard in their conversations.
Kath became firm friends with Margaret Newlove who’s husband John played with Jim. Sarah, Kath and Jim’s daughter married Margaret and John Newlove’s son Richard, so they are connected as friends as well as by family.
“We were paired together in 1967 when our husbands started playing for Featherstone and we have been friends ever since “they were a good gang of women”. When our son and daughter started going out together, we made a pact that it wouldn’t break the friendship if it went wrong, we were not going to fall out. But we needn’t have worried because we knew within a couple of weeks they were a good pairing.”
At his first match for Featherstone Jim had to pay to play because the staff on the gate didn’t recognise him. At one of his first training sessions he hung his kit on the 1st teams pegs and when he returned after training he found all his clothes in the bath.
In those days the committee ruled the roost, they chose the team and often had no coaching skills!
Jim used to work a shift at the pit and then go and play a match, it could be a nightmare at work because his colleagues were all supporters so if there had been a bad match, he’d get it in the neck but it was always good after a win. Jim was a shift charge hand at the pit at the same time Kath worked in the office at the pit 1968, “We used to go a match with our rollers in and a headscarf if they were playing on a Saturday night, arrange our fringes so you couldn’t tell and then we’d be ready to go out, especially if they won. Jim wouldn’t go out if they lost, he hated losing. Back then there was no competition between the wives, there was no wags, you just all mucked in together.” “Players wives weren’t important, all we had to do was wash the players training gear”
“The memories are long here at Featherstone when you come to a ‘do’ they make you welcome and are pleased to see you”