Hunslet Hawks

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For the original club founded in 1883 and dissolved in 1973, see Hunslet F.C. (rugby league).
Hunslet Hawks
Hunslet hawks.png
Club information
Full name Hunslet Hawks Rugby League Football Club
Nickname(s) Parksiders
Colours Hunsletcolours.svg
Founded 1973
Current details
Coach(s) Matt Bramald
Competition League 1

Hunslet Hawks is a professional rugby league club based in Hunslet, West Yorkshire, England. The club, sometimes known as 'the Parksiders' after the former stadium of their predecessor club, play in the Championship One. Founded in 1973, the club was formed as New Hunslet as a replacement for the original Hunslet F.C., which had been dissolved that year, changing to Hunslet in 1979 and to the current name in 1995. The 1987–88 Rugby Football League season was their last at the top level. Since then they have played in lower leagues.


1973-1996: New club[edit]

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[edit]

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.[1] 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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

Main article: Mount Plesant

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[edit]

Main article: Elland Road

In 1983 after leaving Batley, Hunslet negotiated a deal with Leeds City Council to play at Leeds Uniteds 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[edit]

Main article: South Leeds Stadium
The grandstand at the 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.

Past coaches[edit]

2016 squad[edit]

* As of 22 December 2015:

2015 Squad Numbers

No Player Position Former club
1 Jimmy Watson Full Back, Wing Leeds Rhinos
2 Mo Agoro Wing Oldham Roughyeds
6 Simon Brown (VC) Stand Off Doncaster RLFC
7 Danny Ansell Half Back Wakefield Wildcats
8 Michael Haley Prop Featherstone Rovers
9 Jack Lee (C) Hooker York City Knights
14 Matthew Tebb Hooker Dewsbury Rams
15 Liam Mackay Loose Forward Featherstone Rovers
16 Lewis Reed Prop Keighley Cougars
18 Brooke Broughton Prop York City Knights
24 Ritchie Barnett Wing Keighley Cougars
26 Marcus Elliott Utility Back Dewsbury Rams
28 Mufaro Mvududu Centre, Second Row London Skolars
30 George Flanagan Hooker Featherstone Rovers
32 Nathan Darby Centre Featherstone Rovers
33 Aston Wilson Centre Unattached
34 James Duckworth Winger Leeds Rhinos
Austin Bell Prop, Utility York City Knights
Ayden Faal Centre Batley Bulldogs
Ben Crane Utility Forward Hull Dockers
Chris Buttery Utility Forward Unattached
Craig Robinson Prop Doncaster RLFC
Danny Thomas Half Back Oxford RLFC
Jack Pickles Prop, Back Row York City Knights
Jake Normington Centre East Leeds
Jay Leary Prop, Back Row York City Knights
Lee Waterman Utility Back Doncaster RLFC
Matt Carbutt Prop, Back Row Doncaster RLFC
21 Ryan Backhouse Second Row York City Knights
HC Matt Bramald Head Coach
AC Mark Cass Assistant Coach

2016 transfers[edit]


Player Club Contract length Date
England Austin Bell York City Knights 1 Year October 2015
England Ayden Faal Batley Bulldogs 1 Year October 2015
England Matt Carbutt Doncaster RLFC 2 Years October 2015
England Jack Pickles York City Knights 1 Year October 2015
England Jay Leary York City Knights 1 Year October 2015
England Jake Normington East Leeds 1 Year October 2015
England Danny Thomas Oxford RLFC 1 Year October 2015
England Lee Waterman Doncaster RLFC 1 Year October 2015
England James Duckworth Leeds Rhinos 1 Year October 2015
England Ben Crane Hull Dockers 1 Year October 2015
England Craig Robinson Doncaster RLFC 1 Year November 2015
England Chris Buttery Unattached 1 Year November 2015


Player Club Contract length Date
England Danny Grimshaw Oldham Roughyeds 1 Year September 2015
England Mark Castle Doncaster RLFC 1 Year September 2015
England Charlie Martin Keighley Cougars 1 Year October 2015
England Danny Maun Retirement N/A October 2015
England James Houston Retirement N/A October 2015
England Vinny Finigan Keighley Cougars 1 Year October 2015
England Aaron Lyons Gloucestershire All Golds 1 Year October 2015
England Andy Kain Dewsbury Rams 1 Year November 2015
England Matthew Cook Doncaster RLFC 1 Year December 2015
England Brad Brennan Released
England Callum Casey Released
England Ryan Backhouse Status Unknown

Players earning international caps while at Hunslet Hawks[edit]

  • 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[edit]

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.



External links[edit]