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Ken Dean on the 1954 Rugby League Challenge Cup Final replay

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The 'Up and Under' Rugby League Oral History Project

The ‘Up and Under’ oral history project has been funded by an £85,000 grant from the University of Huddersfield. Its aim is to preserve and celebrate the rich social and cultural past of Rugby League in West Yorkshire by recording the reminiscences of those who have been, and remain, part of the game’s community.

For generations, Rugby League has provided an important focal point for many people throughout the region. The memories of fans, players, coaches, administrators and officials of the game not only provide an irreplaceable record of Rugby League’s past, but also offer a window into a vital part of the social and cultural history of West Yorkshire.

Creating this unique record of Rugby League as it has been experienced by those who have played a direct role in the game’s past will not only enable their experiences to be preserved for posterity but will also make them available to anyone with an interest in the social and cultural history of Rugby League and the places in which it is played.

The oral history recordings are being made available to the public in a variety of ways. Extracts from the interviews can be heard on the project website (see below), whilst books and other publications will also be produced and the entire collection of recordings will eventually be available in the University archive. 

The University also recognises the important role Huddersfield has played in the history of the game and we are delighted that, along with the heritage centre at the George Hotel, such important work is being done to promote the history of Rugby League in the town where the sport was born.

If you would like to be involved in the project please contact Rob Light, Project Manager, Tel: 01484473032, Email:

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