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1893 - 1911 - West Hartlepool - Rise -J.T.'s Era - Demise, Restart

The appointment of West member, William Humphreys as County Secretary and the sweeping policy changes in the County Union from 1894 marked the start of the rise of West and this gallery shows series of images especially from the “J.T.” (Jack Taylor) era at West Hartlepool, a period that saw the player and his Club achieve national prominence in the Game.  Jack Taylor (1876- 1951) came to the Club from Castleford in the summer of 1897, the year in which he made his debut for England, the first of 11 appearances for his country, he also captained the side and also held 10 North Caps. 

 His International career lasted until 1905 when he played in the game against Scotland that year, the Scotland XV also containing a West player in Leonard West.

He captained the Club from 1898-1908 and was a prominent member of the Durham County XVs during their great era, playing for Durham 44 times and for Yorkshire on 18 occasions, before he joined Winlaton Vulcan’s, and when not on the Rugby field was Landlord of the “Good Intent” in Stockton Street, which stood where the former M & S store Car Park is today.

These various images illustrate just some of the many successes of the period at every level of the Game at Club, County, Representative and International level, but against this background there was a decline in interest in Rugby in the towns allied to calls for a professional Association Club in town, West also had to scotch rumours in 1898 that they were about to join the Northern Union! 

By May 1908, the club was in financial difficulties and reformed to create Hartlepool’s United to see Soccer on the Victoria Ground. Many of the Rugby players went on to Greatham RFC who enjoyed their finest and final seasons before West Rugby restarted in September of 1911. A number of the star  players had by this time made the move to Winlaton Vulcans or Durham City which saw rise in the fortunes of those clubs, this move by town players to the clubs in the North West of Durham was experienced by Rovers as well.

 

 

Gallery images