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Trying times for the rugby lads
‘On September 1, Germany invaded Poland and, because of the treaty that Britain had signed with Poland, war was now inevitable. Some of the senior clubs such as Bradford, Headingley and Hull and East Riding had practice matches planned for Saturday, September 2. I think it is quite possible that those practice matches did take place.
‘Baildon had also organised a sevens but as there were only three teams taking part, Baildon, Baildon ‘A’ and Bingley, it was decided to play 11-a-side games. Baildon won the event. It appears from contemporary newspaper reports to be one of the few games Bingley played in the 1939/40 season.’ This extract is taken from a fascinating account of Yorkshire rugby union in the Second World War, contained in a new book Let Them Play By All Means. Written by Yorkshire-based Stuart Sheard, it is the story of the sport during one of the most difficult times in the lives of many people in Britain and throughout a largely unrecorded period in the history of rugby union in the county.
It includes details of county and local fixtures and the difficulties faced in fulfiling them.
The paperback costs £7.99 and is available from dropkickbooks.co.uk.