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1887 - 1902 - The Clubs in the County Junior Cup

Images from the earliest days of the Durham County Junior Cup Competitions; which brought success to local clubs from the outset of the Competition in 1887/88 season.

W. L. Oakes, (1859-1920) was prominent is promoting the Cup, along with Arthur Hill who was County Secretary and is a reminder of some of the small clubs and colliery villages and churches that supported Football played in the Rugby Code at this time. By the early 90s there were approx. 40 County Junior Clubs with as many as 25 of them playing in the Competition.

Will Oakes was the older brother of Bob Oakes and moved with his parents to Hartlepool as a small child on his father’s appointment to the Heugh Battery. He played for Durham on 10 occasions, skippering the side for a season, and for five years between 1882 and 1888 he Captained the Rovers XV when he led them to their first Senior Cup win in 1884 and again in 1887.

On retiring as a player, he became a Vice President of the County Union until 1894 as well as being Rovers secretary and Treasurer from 1892-1895. He did not serve as County President, resigning his County post in 1894 but continued to support Rovers until his death in 1920.

 

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