Wakefield Trinity was delighted to celebrate 150 years as a Rugby League club with over 100 past and present players, fans, staff, directors and guests as those gathered together at Wakefield Cathedral on 21 September to mark the historic milestone.
The first players came from Holy Trinity Church Wakefield and started playing on Heath Common, before moving to the current site at Belle Vue. As well as a chance to reflect on a century and a half of rugby playing, the service also celebrated the friendships and companionship forged among the Trinity community.
It was also a time to honour Trinity’s current outreach and development work which ranges from lessons in primary schools to memory and memorabilia sessions for older fans with dementia.
Kath Lindley deputised for the Lord Lieutenant, His Majesty’s official representative in the county, and the Mayor of Wakefield (Councillor Josie Pritchard) was joined by the Leader of the Council (Councillor Denise Jeffrey) to represent the city and district. The Dean of Wakefield, The Very Reverend Simon Cowling, led the service and gave the blessing.
A Bible reading was read by David Hinchliffe, who was Wakefield’s MP from 1987 to 2005 and is a Trustee of the Rugby League Development Fund and Rugby League Cares. The Cathedral Choir led rousing renditions of rugby’s favourite hymns ‘Jerusalem’ and ‘Cwm Rhondda’, as well as singing as a reflective arrangement of ‘Abide with me.’
Sub-Dean, Dr Philip Hobday, said “Inevitably, in a century and a half, Wakefield Trinity has had its ups and downs – but it’s a great organisation and it was wonderful to see so many people gathering to mark this great milestone and to pray for the extraordinary work the club does not just on the pitch but off it. The cathedral is really glad to be celebrating Trinity’s work and our shared commitment to bringing people together and serving communities across our district.”
Wakefield Trinity Heritage Project Officer Jason Talbot said “It was great to see so many fans, players and staff, as well as local dignitaries, join us to celebrate and reflect on the club’s 150-year tenure in the city.
Many kind words were spoken and great memories were shared by those in attendance. Many thanks to Wakefield Cathedral and the citizens of Wakefield for their support. Long may it continue.”