Favorite Moments - 001-025 Your fun memories from EOTB

fm24 -Some memories from a great Hull Kingston Rovers man - Steve Shackleton, living in NZ

Posted by... quigs eraofthebiff - on ... Monday, May 14, 2012
Steve Shackleton
New Zealand
Club Followed .. Hull Kingston Rovers

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Yes I am living in Nelson at the top of the south island of New Zealand. Not a great league area but there is a team here now that play in the minor divisions. I originally came here to NZ from Hull in 1971. I had 13 years in the Wellington area first but my wife is from Nelson and I took the opportunity to transfer here with my job.

Many players from out of Hull were surprised at the ferocity of the local derby games, Hull Kr v Hull FC. It was akin to civil war sometimes in the sixties when I was a lad there. One famous game I saw was the 1967/8 Yorkshire cup final where Hull KR just edged out Hull 8-7. Hull Kr had 10 local players in the side, Roger Millward scored a try in that game played on Headingly.

My favourite team of that era was Leeds who had talent to burn, their team was full of internationals. Syd Hynes who had a good series in 1970 and my favourite player Mick Shoebottom. He was so talented and could dish out the biff if required. He was kicked in the head in a game against Salford and never played again. He died recently aged only 57. He could play anywhere in the back line and as loose forward if required. I'm sure he would have ended up as loose forward for Leeds. Anothere tough nut of that era and a favourite of mine was Brian Edgar who toured three times 58,62 and was captain in the tests in 66 also died last year. A mighty man from Workington in the days when even the most rugged forwards didn't like going to games against the Workington Town pack who tackled like men pocessed.

I was at the 1970 world cup final game at Headingly as well, one of the games in the famous games on your site. The Australian forwards won that game, they engaged the Brit forwards in fighting throughout the game. It was a bit like that in the round robin game also at Headingly but the Brit forwards played football and won 11-5. I set off to Bradford to see the Australian game against France but the car broke down and I didn't get there. I saw the GB v France game at Castleford and France v NZ at the Boulevard where the frogs scored 3 tries to 2 but were out kicked by Don Ladner the Kiwi full back and the NZers won 18-17. Or GB would have played France in the final as they had beaten Oz in the round robin game. A few years ago I met Don Ladner who lives on the West Coast here. He once coached a kids union side as they couldn't get a coach but the Rugby union found out and banned him. So the kids had no coach but you couldn't have a league player contaminating them.

I would be interested in seeing what the teams were in that 1950 derby game. My father had a good friend called Alec Dockar who played in the Rovers team in that era. He was a GB international against the 47 Kiwi's but never got another cap. He was our insurance man and once brought his caps around to show me. I was just a kid and awestruck, a Yorkshire cap, England and GB ones. Hull had a mighty pack in the fifties and that was a golden era for them. They often were behind at halftime but battered the opposition down in the second. John Whitely who played in the 1958 series in Oz was the loose forward. He was coming to the end of his career when I was a kid, I remember him playing a few games in 62 or there abouts. He coached the GB team on the 1970 tour.

I have to put up with the Kiwi's ranting on about union for 33 years but they were silenced last year when England came out here and won then won the world cup. Since 1991 NZ insist that they have 'lost' the world cup. Every caller on the radio sports talk back goes on how the all blacks lost the world cup last November even though we haven't held it since 1991. They just can't except that any other team is better than them particularly a Northern hemisphere team. They get coverage before league which pisses us leaguies off. What I like to bring up is that an all black, Mark Carter, signed for the Warriors but couldn't make the Warriors first team. Then had a job making the reserves so went back to union and made the all blacks again.

Some other British players you might consider for the webb site are, Mick Sullivan a tough as teak winger who toured in 58 and 62, Billy Boston the human bulldozer of a winger who toured in 54 and 62 and was one of the four wingers sent off in the 62 GB v NSW game along with Sullivan. Alan Prescott who played 76 minutes with a broken arm on the 58 tour, John Mantle the welsh second row who toured in 66 and then with the Welsh teams in the world cup in the seventies.

I'll get my mate in Sydney to give you some stories as well. He's a very keen Rooster's supporter.

Steve in Nz


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