Cora Haley and Alan Bradford
Cora Haley first became involved in Amateur Rugby League when she married into the Haley family. Ronnie, her husband, was Chairman of Overthorpe Rangers and five other members of his family either played for the Club or were involved in some other way. In 1949 Cora took on the position of Club secretary, becoming the only woman secretary in the Dewsbury and District League. As with most organisations at this level, her workload as secretary went well beyond a solely administrative role. As well as marking out the pitch every week she also raised finances for the club to help provide insurance for its players and buy a team kit, which she then washed and repaired. Cora gave up the post as secretary when she became pregnant in 1953. But she still has great memories of her involvement with Overthorpe Rangers; especially the enthusiasm, commitment and friendship of the players, and the generous support she received from the members of the local mining community, who were prepared to give what little they had to spare, to help the club survive.
Alan Bradford began his involvement in rugby as a player for the short-lived Overthorpe under-13’s team in the 1950s. He then played for Thornhill Boys Club, Dewsbury Boys and Shaw Cross before returning to finish his career with Overthorpe. Whilst in his late teens Alan was signed as a professional by Halifax, but travelling difficulties and work commitments cut short his opportunities in the professional game. Nevertheless, he enjoyed a rewarding and successful career as an amateur, winning representative honours as captain of the Dewsbury District team. The sense of camaraderie and community spirit was particularly strong within the sport at this level, providing Alan with many great memories of his time as a player. He also stayed involved with amateur rugby league after his playing days had finished and coached at the Thornhill Lees club for a time.