Party time for rugby club with book to mark milestone

Committee members Lee Walls, Paul Whitworth, Shelley Whitworth and Jeff Gorse look through memorabilia

Committee members Lee Walls, Paul Whitworth, Shelley Whitworth and Jeff Gorse look through memorabilia

The history of a rugby league club will be recorded in a new book as it reaches its 50th anniversary.

A host of celebrations are being planned to mark the milestone for Leigh Miners Rangers.

“There is heritage and history that’s very important to the people of Leigh and the members of the club.”

Jeff Gorse

As part of that, public relations officer Jeff Gorse has spent the past five years working on a book looking back at the club’s history.

He said: “I think it’s always special for any club to celebrate a milestone like this.

“Especially at amateur sports level clubs can come and go so it’s important to celebrate longevity.

“A lot of the guys who founded the club are still around to celebrate the 50 years and that’s an important link as well.”

Jeff already had his own collection of memorabilia dating back to the mid-1990s.

And he added to that by speaking to members of the club, who shared their memories, artefacts, photographs and newspaper cuttings.

Volunteers also looked through archives to find out more about the club’s history.

Jeff, of Gadbury Fold, Atherton, said: “These things could be in someone’s mind and never see the light of day or even get thrown out because people think it has no value.

“There is heritage and history that’s very important to the people of Leigh and the members of the club.”

Jeff, 38, is still working on the book, but hopes to have it ready by August 6 for the anniversary celebrations.

On that day, Leigh Miners Rangers will play Castleford team Lock Lane, the club they played when they won the National Cup in 1983.

There will be a pre-match question and answer session with former players, including those from 1983. Tickets cost £5 and include a buffet and admission to the match.

Afterwards, there will be an evening event, which will be attended by past players and those who have gone on to play professionally.

This season the team’s kit has been changed from the familiar amber and black to red and white, replicating the club’s first kit.

The programmes for matches this season have looked back at the club’s past and special anniversary pin badges are for sale.

To share your memories of Leigh Miners, order a copy of the book or buy a pin badge, email jeffgorse@yahoo.com.