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Rugby League Cup Semi-Final Hull vs. Huddersfield

When rugby league players looked no different from footballers, and the crowds were just as big, and not wearing a hat was an eccentricity.

Non-Fiction 1935 3 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Yorkshire Film Archive


A train crammed with Rugby League supporters pulls into Leeds station. Hull are playing Huddersfield in the Rugby League Cup Semi-Final of 1935. The teams, looking lighter and nimbler than their present day counterparts, run onto the pitch. Headingley is so packed that the game is stopped while some of the crowd spills over the terraces. Vast swathes of men in flat caps watch the action as one penalty kick from Hull goes straight between the posts, while another just misses.

This film is most probably of the Challenge Cup Semi-Final of 1935, when Huddersfield were beaten finalists. The penalty kicker is very possibly Hull legend Joe Oliver, seen running onto the pitch. He was the captain and club kicker, who kicked 629 goals for them between 1928 to 1945 and scored 162 tries – still the club record holder for scoring most points. Known as ‘Old Faithful’, Gene Autry’s song of that name became the club’s anthem. Oliver had also previously played for Huddersfield, and went on to play for local rivals Hull KR as well. Although failing to win the Challenge Cup, Hull did win the Championship Cup Final the following season.