You’ve not seen nothing like the mighty Cougars!

Oh fine, on the first day of the rugby league season over here for my team in the UK, lets confuse all my US readers totally! How best to describe the sport to most Americans, hmm? Best I can suggest is American Football, only a lot more kicking, and no body padding! Fine, I’m sure you can find something on You Tube, if you really want to know more.

Strictly, the top 2 divisions over here have already (just about) got under way, but the bottom division, in which my beloved Keighley Cougars play, today was the day. And yes, they started the season with a win too! Yes, Rugby League does exist below Super League, for the doubters.

I’m guessing my first visit to watch them play, was on a visit ‘up north’ when I was in my teens. Not that I had much clue what was going on back then, and in truth, probably didnt really care! But thanks to watching the sport on TV back then, with BBC providing coverage, and Eddie Waring doing the commentaries, I got hooked. So after that, whenever I was visiting the area, and they were at home, I tended to go to a game, for a giggle!

There have been a lot of bad days for the team, and some good days in the 90’s as well, and I’ve sort of followed them through thick and thin. Irony being, that since I moved up to Yorkshire, just over 12 years ago, I’ve been to 1 home game! Yes, getting there from Huddersfield, on a Sunday, by public transport, not good. But even now, there is still one rugby league result I look out for each Sunday all the same.

What, support Huddersfield? Oh please, no thanks! A lot has happened over 60 years, but one thing has never changed, the rugby league team I follow. And no, I dont expect that to change during my lifetime!

Will I ever go to a game again at Cougar Park? Who knows, would have to say its doubtful, given the travel, and given my state of health. But all the same, every Sunday, until the end, I’m sure there will be one result I look out for.

Video time. A pair of songs that actually probably predate my first visit to watch Keighley play. Certainly do those that I remember, but I might have been as a small child, and just not remember it? Yes, they’re called the Manfreds, mainly because the main ‘Mann’ has his own group nowadays. But there are more of the old group here, and as can be seen they can still sing the songs!

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They don’t know about us

Funnily enough, on Friday I was on a day shift at work, so therefore got home in time for the weekend local news and sports program. As is the way with the ‘wonderful’ coverage of sport on BBC Yorkshire, under normal circumstances, when it comes to Rugby League coverage, nothing exists below the Super League. You would never know there were 2 leagues below that, with plenty of local teams, if you didn’t, like me, support one of them.

Now this weekend, there were no Super League matches, as it was the last 16 round of the knock out, Challenge Cup. And yes, my team, the Keighley Cougars, proudly lurking in the Championship division below were still in the competition. So were Hunslet, a league below us, but you would never have known from the coverage! But fine, as I say, all this is nothing new.

Funny thing is, we won! Alright, only against Swinton, not one of the big names, but now we’re in the last 8! But seriously, unless we draw another Yorkshire side, do I expect them to mention us, probably not! I know, money talks nowadays, but it would be nice if we get a little acknowledgement from time to time. Mind, giving credit, where credit is due to the best county, nearly all the West Yorkshire sides got through. Hunslet had an impossible task at Wigan, and Featherstone lost narrowly to Leigh, but otherwise, Leeds, Castleford and Bradford all joined us in the last 8, Bradford slightly against the odds though.

Lets be honest, pretty much the only reason Bradford still has a rugby team is because the league management has backed them financially. Without that, they’ve spent so rashly over the years, they are in big financial trouble. Which amuses, and annoys us little Keighley fans, as we share the same district council! To say they get preferential treatment over us, would be to put it mildly! So yes, there is nothing more that we would love, than to draw them in the quarter finals at home…and beat them! Unlikely, but we minnows can dream…

Even the BBC might mention us then!

The video, well the singer is Kirsty McColl, the woman in the film definitely isnt, I have no idea who she is. But I cant find a live video of Kirsty, so…seems quite apt