It was around the 1964/65 season on a cold winters day at Mount Pleasant Batley. Whoever gave it that name I will never know, he certainly had a sense of humour.
There was the usual turnout for such an important game in the rugby league calendar, three men, the dog never even bothered going. I was playing in Rovers A team or Reserve Grade as they call it now.
It had been a hard fought tussle,in conditions, a water buffalo would have had trouble enjoying.
One of the Batley forwards was trying to live up to the club nickname at the time The Gallant Youths’ he was putting himself about at bit, the odd stiff arm here, gouge there nothing too out off the ordinary,as the game was far different to what it is today.
He decided to pick on one of the shall we say, more senior players in the Rovers team the bald headed front row forward with the number 8 on his back, going by the name of Robert, yes Robert the robin, or better known as Bob Coverdale, the ex Hull Fc player who had played for Great Britain in the 1954 World Cup final at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris France in front of 30,000 people, when GB lifted the title by beating France 16-12.
Thought I would just put that bit in to show how, either thick, if he knew who Bob was or ignorant and not known who his opponent that day was.
The game had stopped for some reason and a scrum had been formed.As usual in those far off days the odd head butt or fist from the second row was thrown.
This time the young Batley boys head accidentally hit the old bald headed chap.Now Robert was not too pleased by this and the pack broke up rather quickly,the referee did not take any action, only to quieten down the situation.
We packed down again and there was a sound similar to two pieces of wood hitting together, and a Ugh, when the scrimmage broke up the Gallant Youth was laid on his back asleep, their trainer ran on to the field with a magic sponge, but this time even the. Magic word abracadabra would have brought him round, the trainer lifted his eye lids up and his eyes resembled the old Lion, Clarence the cross eyed one. He must have followed the punch, as short as it must have been straight between the eyes.
I laughed all the other forwards laughed,even the referee laughed, only one not laughing was sleeping beauty laid in the mud,the boy who had picked on the old bald headed number 8.
That is one of the funniest things I ever saw, there are others but that one was one of the best.