Former players gather as Shaw Cross launch anniversary book

Mike Stephenson began his career at Shaw Cross before going on to captain his home town club, Dewsbury, to the Championship. He went on to have a successful career in Australia before spending 20 years commentating for Sky Sports.
Mike Stephenson began his career at Shaw Cross before going on to captain his home town club, Dewsbury, to the Championship. He went on to have a successful career in Australia before spending 20 years commentating for Sky Sports.

FORMER players joined current members and guests as Shaw Cross Sharks launched their 70th anniversary book last Sunday.

The book, 70 Years of Reaching Forward, has been written by Graham Williams and charters the club’s history from humble beginnings to their rise to the National Conference League.

Williams said it was a book that had given him great pleasure to write and will be enjoyed by many who have a love of rugby league especially the grassroots of which Shaw Cross is a great example.

Over 200 copies were sold at Sunday’s launch and the book is available from the club or can be purchased from Amazon, abebooks.co.uk or www.llpshop.co.uk priced £9.95.

An E-book version is available for Kindle readers on Amazon.

Publisher Peter Lush said: “It is a story about how a few local lads after the war founded a boys club to play rugby league .

“The subsequent years have seen the club produce many players for the professional game and still continue to do so but the real success story is the value the club provide for the young people in the community.”

In 1947, a few youngsters from Shaw Cross wanted to play rugby league and set up a team, which is now celebrating their 70th anniversary.

During this time Shaw Cross has focused mainly on young people playing the game and they run a highly successful junior set up, which has recently introduced girls teams, while the first team open age side compete in National Conference League Division One.

Many famous players started their careers with Shaw Cross, including the great Mick Sullivan and Dewsbury’s famous Championship winning captain and former Sky Sports commentator Mike Stephenson.

The Shaw Cross club has also done pioneering work through its international tours, including longstanding links and popular exchange trips with French rugby league. The book includes the club’s early years, moving to open age rugby league, international links and tours, playing in the Challenge Cup and the Sharks Hall of Fame.

Plans for the 2018 open age season were unveiled last night (Wednesday) when new Sharks head coach Zach Johnson held a pre-season players’ meeting when it was hoped old and new players would attend.