IT is only three weeks until the first inductees into the York Rugby League Hall of Fame are announced, and interest in it seems to be growing.

As this column revealed, a committee has been formed to organise the creation of the first-ever roster of greats from down the 145 years of the club in all its guises – and decide who should be the first former favourites on it.

A few names were mentioned purely as a taster and it’s been great to see a number of fans take up the invitation to put forward further suggestions for inclusion via twitter (tweet @PMartiniPress) or email (

The likes of Geoff Pryce, Johnny Crossley, Ian Wrigglesworth, Stuart Horton, Garry Atkins, St John Ellis, Graham Steadman and Charlie Taylor, an “outstanding player from the 1940s and ’50s”, proved popular.

There has also been some clamour for Graham Sullivan to be included. His try-saving cover tackle against Halifax on the day Huntington Stadium enjoyed its biggest-ever attendance (5,000-plus), is already in club folklore.

Eddie Riddlestone seemed sure to score until Sullivan, being treated for injury on the other side of the pitch, got up and flew out of the shadows to take him into touch. (NB. If only we could get that kind of crowd at Huntington Stadium for tomorrow’s visit of Fax.)

“I watched him play at many matches and we always said he ran his little socks off,” wrote Jennifer Stott of Sully.

“His goal-scoring was superb, he was a delight to watch and always gave 100 per cent. A match that sticks in my mind also was on TV’s Scrumdown. Graham played fantastically and scored umpteen goals, even the commentator started saying, ‘And it’s Sully again.’”

We also received a nice email from long-standing supporter Colin Baldwin, who no doubt has many a memory of rugby league in the Minster city.

He wrote: “As a York RL fan since the 1940s, I am pleased to see a Hall of Fame is to be established. Your article (The Press, February 9) includes many of my own favourites and I would like to propose three more for the list.

“The half-back pairing of Bill Riley and Johnny Robinson were outstanding in the 1950s.

“Bill had the ability to infuriate fans as well as delight them with his tricks and was known as ‘the little general’. He later went on to coach the team.

“Johnny came to York from rugby union in New Zealand and I remember his first game was in the ‘A’ team on Boxing Day in around 1953 or 1954; a crowd of almost 5,000 turned out to see him.

“He was a deadly tackler and had tremendous speed off the mark. He went on to gain international honours with ‘Other Nationalities’, the 1950s equivalent of ‘The Exiles’, alongside such stars as the great Brian Bevan.

“In the 1940s, the great player was Charlie Hall who was one of the best centres around at that time. He was a local lad who worked at Rowntrees in the company fire brigade.

“It should be remembered that there was only one division in rugby league in those days so York had regular fixtures against all the top teams so our boys were up against top class opposition every week.”

Colin added of the new Hall of Fame: “I don’t envy the selection panel their job but wish them luck anyway.”

There’ll be more on this in the coming weeks.

By the way, there aren’t many tickets remaining for the big sportsman’s dinner on Saturday, March 16, at Bar 13, Huntington Stadium, at which the first Hall of Fame inductees will be announced and indeed presented as invited guests.

Anyone wanting to book a table or a seat, phone Gary Hall of the supporters’ club on 07763 121732 or Ian Wilson at the Knights on 01904 767404.

NOW for more immediate awards. It’s Player of the Month time after Sunday’s game against Halifax.

The accolade, as in previous years, is voted for by The Press readers either via the website, or emailing or tweeting the nominated player to @PMartiniPress.

Monthly awards are presented before kick-off at Huntington Stadium games, and this year we’d like to give kids the chance to hand them over. Anyone interested can get their parent or guardian to email the address above, or phone 01904 567137.

A QUICK correction is needed for last week’s article about Hunslet Hawks inviting the 1973 York side that played in the last-ever game at Parkside to the corresponding fixture between the clubs this season.

One of the players in York’s line-up back in April 1973 was thought to be Derek Quinn but it was actually Steve Quinn, as pointed out by club historian Stuart Evans, who also supplied the first name of Clive Hill, who played on the wing that day.

Hunslet are marking the 40th anniversary of their departure from Parkside in the April 28 fixture against the Knights, with all players who featured that day invited to the John Charles Stadium.

The complete (correct) York team was: Keith Gullen, Clive Hill, Dave Rippon, Steve Quinn, Mick Major, Gary Smith, Tony Sullivan, Mal Dixon, Ian Payne, Colin Forsyth, Frank Dunham, Charlie Hillman, Danny Sheehan, Brian Meillam and Pete Cookland.

Those players, or anyone who can help to get in touch with them, are asked to phone Hunslet chief executive Darren Williams on 0113 271 2730, or email Peter Jarvis on if interested in going to the game.

NEXT Friday’s match against Sheffield Eagles is at Bramall Lane, just in case anyone was going to travel to the Don Valley Stadium.

The ground, home to Sheffield United, is pretty central, less than a mile from Sheffield station. For the best train times and fares (discounts are possible when booked in advance), visit

A supporters’ bus will run if there is sufficient interest. For details and bookings, phone 07763 121732 or see Gary Hall in Bar 13 at tomorrow’s game.