By Richard Sykes

In the mid-1970s when the only money that changed hands in rugby union circles was that which went over the bar at the end of games, Huddersfield RUFC ran six men’s teams.

In those amateur days, long before the league system came into being, the fixture list of their two senior teams included the great and the good of the North and Midlands.

The Falcons are the club’s second team and in the 1973/74 season they won all 34 of the matches they played.

Some 50 years on former players are getting together at Lockwood Park to celebrate the ‘golden anniversary’ of their amazing feat.

The reunion is taking place on Saturday, March 16, when Huddersfield host Sheffield for a National 2 North league match.

Former Falcons will be meeting up at the pre-match lunch to renew old friendships, share memories and no doubt have a few beers.

Julian Slater played wing or fullback for the team and is one of those helping to arrange the get-together.

He said: “In those days there was a lot of competition for places in our top two teams. Regular first teamers coming back from injury had to work hard to get their place back because there was a lot of talent in the squad.

“Players never went straight back in the first team, they had to prove themselves in the Falcons. And, of course, there was pressure for team places from the third team.”

As a result 44 different players turned out for the team during the season with a core group of 13 playing 20 or more of the 34 matches.

By the start of October the Falcons had called upon 30 different players and had five wins under their belt but a settled team was starting to emerge.

The month began with a 72-0 win over Stafford but the biggest win of the campaign was an 87-0 demolition of Otley in early March.

During the season team progress had been tracked in Ken Shaw’s rugby column in the Huddersfield Examiner and expectation had been building in the run up to the final match against Orrell at Huddersfield’s Waterloo ground.

A gate was charged, a special programme produced and a large crowd saw the Falcons record a 57-0 win to complete a remarkable playing record of – Played 34; Won 34; Points for 1,031; Points against 181.

Flanker David Cotterill was the highly-respected and charismatic captain of the team. He recalls it was a busy time in his life.

With two children under three and a career change, he had just completed his recovery from a serious knee injury when the season began.

He said: “It was obvious after the first couple of matches that we had something going for us as a team.

“We played for each other rather than as individuals. We had no glory hunters and collectively we gathered momentum and it worked.

“I’m really looking forward to the reunion and hoping I can put names to very old faces after all this time.”