Jean grew up in a Rugby League family and has lovely memories of three generations being involved in the sport Julia Lee catches up with her in Hull.
The family grew up here. My brother and sister-in-law. Mum and Dad and my daughter and Alan’s two children. I can’t particularly remember which my first game was, but I remember going from being very young. How old would I be then? Probably, maybe about 6. My brother, who was five years older than me, he went before me, him being that bit older. And we always stood, as people do, in the same area, opposite the tote at the end. And it was all the family, the extended family, you know. Uncles, my dad’s brothers, cousins and brother-in-law. Must have been about 10 or a dozen, all always used to gather there, always together. It was a big family thing.
Generally, matches where on a Saturday. In those days, cos I’m going back obviously to the… fifties.
Well, I was born in ’45, so it’d be early fifties. And… it’s funny how things stick in your head. There was a man who was a friend of one of my uncles: they always used to bring sweets. I can’t remember his name, but I remember him as the goody man. Little things like that do stick in your mind, don’t they?
I remember – no, I’m going on a bit now in time. Once, it must have been a really big crowd and I can’t remember when it was, but I was bit scared because it was, coming out, really tightly packed, and almost my feet came off the ground, I was carried along. It was a bit scary, that.
I think my going maybe it drops off a little bit when my children, were younger, but mostly I’ve gone. I did feel a sadness when we left the old Craven Park. Memories, in’t it? I go to the Rovers Heritage nights and it’s really good, some of the old footage of the films. At Craven Park and that brings back the memories.
Another thing to mention is… I was widowed young, but I did meet… You know, I had my children and they were young when he died. But I did meet my husband at Rovers Supporters Club. I was probably about twenty… I think. Something like that.
He was a Rovers fan. And his dad was. But I suppose Dad had a big influence with us all, because of him.
My children didn’t because they were too young.
My youngest child goes to games. The others not interested. But Emma, my younger daughter, was with me at the game last night. It’s still a family thing, isn’t it? For us, anyway. Well, and I’m sure for a lot of other people.
We used to go to supporters Club on a Saturday night, really. Occasionally maybe after games as well. But I remember Saturday nights as well. It got busy. I do remember when I met my husband there, he spilt a drink over me, so that was quite memorable. Probably because it was quite busy. I think they sometimes had an artist on, but it was mainly… And then after my dad died, I’d still got my brother who was very supportive and encouraging and takes me to matches if he’s going, which he usually does.
I remember the last game at Craven Park, I can’t remember who it was, but I do remember, because, obviously, it was quite emotional. Sad to leave, the old Craven Park, but we move on, don’t we?
Wembley was the highlight, wasn’t it? If I was given reminders, yeah, but I can’t really recall. I can remember certain players. Obviously, we all have our… when you’re young, as well, you have your idols, don’t you? It was more like in the sixties….. Alan Burwell – I always say he was, to me, one of the greatest players, Alan Burwell, Arthur Bunting and Cyril Kellet and Graham Paul and Bob Harris, I can remember … Flash Flanagan I can remember things like that, can’t I? Cyril Kellet and of course Harry Poole, but Cyril Kellet was my favourite, I think. Of course, he was a goal kicker as well, wasn’t he?
I have been looking at my photos haven’t looked at them for years. I’m getting quite excited looking at them. Bringing back memories for me. First of all, we went down to Wembley with family on the train and I’ve got photographs of us on the train.
So, we’ve got all our gear on and on this one there’s me and my mum and dad and elder daughter. And it’s my sister-in-law, Christine, with her two children, Andrew and Joanne. And on here we’ve got the bag, Wembley 1980, Hull KR.
We had some spare time there as well. It wasn’t just there and back. Went in within the day, though. I can’t remember which park it was – Regents Park or Hyde Park? But anyway, one of the parks in London and…
There’s a couple of the kids in the park. There’s a squirrel there. And there’s my daughter with my dad, with his blazer on, with his Hull KR badge and I think Sarah’s picked a few little flowers, look. And, which I’ve just noticed this time, we’ve got the flags Hull KR and Hull KR Wembley, and also stood in front of red and white tulips.
Haven’t got any at the actual game, but these three are the triumphant return on Holderness Road. Because look, that’s our church, St Columba Church, and we were stood near the bank, straight opposite there on Holderness Road. They were going into the town that way. Must have started off, or possibly started off at Craven Park. The old Craven Park, probably. And it’s being led by the police car and you can see them waving on the top of the open top bus.
Lots of people came to watch Ooh, a lot. Yeah, yeah. And there’s just a couple of us stood outside the bank. Me and my daughter. Now that’s my younger daughter, cos, bless her, I don’t know why we didn’t take her, and she’s the one who’s more interested now, who goes. So, somebody must have looked after her, well she wasn’t, but maybe we thought she was too young. But any way she got to see them coming back.
Lovely memories. I’m pleased I’ve got those memories.