Back row: M. Wood, M. Aspinall, C.S. Pickard, unknown, T. Farrar, B. Wilson, H. Rushworth, R.N. Lister, unknown, Tindall? L. Enright, N.N. Morris, D. Stansfield, R.T. Smith, J.K. Enright. Third row: P.B. Webb, snr., W.A.F. Bonfield, L. Harker, Roland Bottomley, T.L. Asquith, B. Thompson, D.K. Heaton, R. Kaner, James Lawson, S. Whitehead, T. Barraclough. Second row: W. Mosey, C. Pentelow, J. Treen, R. Woodward, G.M.C. Thompson, John Lawson, Douglas Keighley, A. Horner,
Harker, snr. Front row: unknown, R. Harrison, D. Garside, P. Dearnaly, D. Mason, M.J. Simpson, Ralph Bottomley, J. Culpan.
In the summer of 1930 a group of young men who had been educated at Hipperholme Grammar School decided to form a rugby team. The names of Philip Beard, Joe Houfe, Philip Webb and Ray Woodward are all associated with this decision and on 21 September they played their first game, against Old Rishworthians at Southowram. The Brods’ team was augmented with boys still at the grammar school.
In the early years players changed in the school gym, post-match ablutions taking place in two cast iron baths of cold water in the fives court. Their pitch was at Woodhead. However, it was a struggle to raise a team each week and, in 1934, the club almost folded. Four people, including chairman J.W.Houseman, headmaster of the school, attended the A.G.M. where, on a motion that the club should be dissolved, two voted in favour and one against. Houseman then invoked his right as a club member to vote. He was against the motion, which made it two-all. He then used his chairman’s casting vote to defeat the motion, and the Old Brods continued its existence.
In fact, the club began to flourish. An old barn and stable behind the Hare and Hounds was converted into changing accommodation, with a hot-water bath, and the first team acquired a coach, Freddie Dyson, former Brighouse Rangers and Yorkshire fly-half. By the onset of war there were two successful teams. Tony Wilson and John Dews were prolific wingers, Tommy Asquith a skilful centre, whose energies, on and off the field, benefited the club for the rest of his life. George Harrison, captain in the final season before war, was a strong second-row forward.
The photograph shows a collection of players and committee in about 1950, when the playing strength had increased to the extent that three teams turned out every winter Saturday afternoon.