- For the original club founded in 1883 and dissolved in 1973, see Hunslet F.C. (rugby league).
|Full name||Hunslet Hawks Rugby League Football Club|
Hunslet Hawks is a professional rugby league club in Hunslet, West Yorkshire, England, which plays in Championship One. Founded in 1973 as New Hunslet, a replacement for the original Hunslet F.C., they became Hunslet in 1979 before adopting their current name in 1995. The 1987–88 Rugby Football League season was their last at the top level.
- 1 History
- 2 Stadiums
- 3 Past coaches
- 4 2016 squad
- 5 2016 transfers
- 6 Players earning international caps while at Hunslet Hawks
- 7 Other notable players
- 8 Sources
- 9 References
- 10 External links
1973-1996: New club
In July 1973, the original Hunslet club was wound up because no suitable new location could be found that was financially viable. The £300,000 proceeds of the sale of Parkside were distributed to shareholders.
Due to the efforts of their former Great Britain forward Geoff Gunney (MBE), local businessmen and supporters the club managed to reform as New Hunslet for the 1973–74 season and moved to the Leeds Greyhound Stadium and erected iron American football posts. The resurrected club had a new badge depicting a phoenix. In 1974, New Hunslet adopted green and white as team colours because the traditional myrtle, white and flame colours were still registered to the former Parkside-based club, and they would not release them. The stay at the greyhound stadium was cut short when the owners closed the ground and arranged to demolish everything on the site.
In 1978, coach Bill Ramsey put a lot of pressure on the RFL and finally got permission to use the traditional colours. The club reverted to Hunslet for the 1979–80 season. With the closure of the Greyhound stadium, the next ground to host Hunslet was Mount Pleasant, Batley, for two seasons, before Hunslet moved to Leeds United's Elland Road football stadium then owned by Leeds City Council. After leaving Elland Road, Hunslet had a brief spell at Bramley.
On 19 November 1995, the club, now known as Hunslet Hawks, moved to the South Leeds Stadium, only about half a mile from Parkside. On that day, Leigh were the guests at Hunslet's first home game for twenty-two years. They then narrowly missed out on promotion from Division Two in 1996. Coach Steve Ferres left to join Huddersfield and David Plange took over as player-coach.
1996-2009: Summer era
In 1997 the Hawks appeared at Wembley Stadium for the first time since 1965 in the first (and last) Challenge Cup Plate Final but were beaten by Hull Kingston Rovers, 60–14. Also in that year, the Hawks were promoted to the First Division as champions.
In 1999 as a possible merger between Hunslet and Bramley was debated. In 1999 Hunslet won the Northern Ford Premiership Grand Final against Dewsbury, 12–11, at Headingley. After that game the Hawks were denied entry to Super League by the Rugby Football League who cited a document called Framing the Future as justification. This caused a number of players to leave the club and for the average attendance to fall by more than 1,200 to 800. A link-up with Leeds Rhinos saw Plange go to Headingley as Academy coach.
Paul March was the player/coach at Hunslet, joining midway through the 2009 season following the resignation of Graeme Hallas. March guided Hunslet to a 6th-place finish and a play-off spot in Championship 1. Hunslet travelled to Blackpool in the first week of the play-offs winning, 18–21, to set up an elimination semi-final against Oldham in which Hunslet were comfortably beaten, 54–30.
2010-present: Promotions and silverwear
In 2010 Paul March led Hunslet to their first silverware for over 11 years by securing the Co-operative Championship 1 title, and subsequent survival in 2011.
In 2012, Barry Eaton took over as coach. In 2014 Hunslet won the Grand Final after extra time against Oldham, thus gaining promotion to the Championship.
1973-1980: Leeds Greyhound Stadium
The new Hunslet clubs first ground was the Leeds Greyhound Stadium on Elland Road in Beeston after they were told they could not play at Parkside. American football posts were erected to be used as goal posts.
1980-1982: Mount Pleasant
In 1980, the greyhound stadium closed and Hunslet were left homeless. There only option was to move out of Leeds and ground share with Batley for two seasons while they searched for a permanent home in Leeds.
1983-1995: Elland Road
In 1983, after leaving Batley, Hunslet negotiated a deal with Leeds City Council to play at Leeds United's Elland Road, which the council owned at the time. This was their permanent home ground until they had the opportunity to return to play in Hunslet for the first time since the original Hunslet club had been dissolved.
1995-present: South Leeds Stadium
Hunslet moved into the South Leeds Stadium after it was built in 1995. The stadium is used too host athletics and also has a swimming pool and other facilities the club can use. The stadium has one main stand that accommodates the grounds 5,000 capacity.
- Paul Daley 1980-5
- Peter Jarvis 1986-7
- David Ward 1986-7
- Nigel Stephenson 1988
- Jack Austin 1988
- John Wolford 1988
- Paul Daley 1990-1
- Paul Daley 1993
- Stephen Ferres 1994-6
- David Plange 1996–?
- Roy Sampson 2006
- Mark Cass 2007
- Graeme Hallas 2008–9
- Paul March 2010-1
- Barry Eaton 2012-5
- Matt Bramald 2016-
* Announced on 18 February 2016:
|Austin Bell||York City Knights||1 Year||October 2015|
|Ayden Faal||Batley Bulldogs||1 Year||October 2015|
|Matt Carbutt||Doncaster RLFC||2 Years||October 2015|
|Jack Pickles||York City Knights||1 Year||October 2015|
|Jay Leary||York City Knights||1 Year||October 2015|
|Jake Normington||East Leeds||1 Year||October 2015|
|Danny Thomas||Oxford RLFC||1 Year||October 2015|
|Lee Waterman||Doncaster RLFC||1 Year||October 2015|
|James Duckworth||Leeds Rhinos||1 Year||October 2015|
|Ben Crane||Hull Dockers||1 Year||October 2015|
|Craig Robinson||Doncaster RLFC||1 Year||November 2015|
|Chris Buttery||Unattached||1 Year||November 2015|
|Daniel Williams||Stainland Stags||1 Year||February 2016|
|Jamie Milburn||Oxford RLFC||1 Year||February 2016|
|Danny Grimshaw||Oldham Roughyeds||1 Year||September 2015|
|Mark Castle||Doncaster RLFC||1 Year||September 2015|
|Charlie Martin||Keighley Cougars||1 Year||October 2015|
|Danny Maun||Retirement||N/A||October 2015|
|James Houston||Retirement||N/A||October 2015|
|Vinny Finigan||Keighley Cougars||1 Year||October 2015|
|Aaron Lyons||Gloucestershire All Golds||1 Year||October 2015|
|Andy Kain||Dewsbury Rams||1 Year||November 2015|
|Matthew Cook||Doncaster RLFC||1 Year||December 2015|
|Ryan Backhouse||Status Unknown|
Players earning international caps while at Hunslet Hawks
- Frank Davies won a cap for Wales while at Hunslet in 1978 against England
- Robert 'Iain' Higgins won caps for Scotland while at London Broncos, and Hunslet 1997…2001 1-cap + 1-cap (sub)
- Charlie Wabo won caps for Papua New Guinea while at Hunslet
- Michael Mark won caps for Papua New Guinea while at Hunslet
- Neil Lowe won caps for Scotland while at Hunslet
- Lee Hanlan won caps for Ireland while at Hunslet
Other notable players
These players have either; won Challenge Cup, Rugby Football League Championship, Yorkshire Cup, Yorkshire League, have received a Testimonial match, were international representatives before, or after, their time at Hunslet, or are notable outside of rugby league.