Sid Rookes enjoyed a successful schoolboy Rugby League career during the 1930s, whilst a pupil at Hunslet National School. He gained representative honours with Hunslet and Yorkshire Schools and was also a regular spectator at Parkside, where he stood at the famous ‘Mother Benson’s End’. The 1930s was one of the most successful periods in the club’s history and Sid had the good fortune to witness one famous triumph at close quarters. He was selected to act as a ball boy at Wembley in the 1934 Challenge Cup final when Hunslet beat Widnes 11 points to 5. In October 1937 Sid signed as a professional for Hunslet when just 16 years of age and he played 7 first team matches before the club was forced to close down due to the War. By this time Sid had begun working at the AVRO factory in Yeadon and he was given the opportunity to continue his Rugby League career by appearing as a ‘guest’ player for Leeds. But his move across the city was short-lived. The Hunslet club was able to resume activities for the 1943/44 season, and Sid moved back to enjoy the remainder of his playing days at Parkside. He fell agonisingly short of appearing at the sports most prestigious level on more than one occasion, losing in the 1946 and 1948 Challenge cup semi finals and just missing out on selection for the 1946 Great Britain tour to Australia, after playing in the tour trial match and being tipped for inclusion by the media. Nevertheless, Sid spent 6 happy and eventful post war seasons with Hunslet before retiring the age of 28 to join the police force.
Hear Sid Rookes on:
- The 1946 cup run and the try that wasn’t given.
- Signing for Hunslet
- Rugby League in Hunslet during the 1930s and getting started