The long and rich history of Featherstone Rovers Rugby League Football Club

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Jim Denton and Sid Denton

Two brothers who clocked up almost 800 games for Featherstone Rovers between them.

Jim Denton
Jim and Sid Denton were in the line-up for Featherstone Rovers’ first ever game, and more than a decade later they were still going strong. Jim Denton’s appearance record still stands today, and the brothers consistently held the Rovers back-line together in the early years of senior rugby at Post Office Road. All the famous early games for Featherstone including our first ever Yorkshire Cup final (1928) and first ever Championship final (1928) featured both Jim and Sid Denton. Jim signed for Rovers aged 18 as World War One was finishing, and before long he was starring in Rovers’ all-conquering first team in their final years of junior rugby. Jim was 21 when Rovers made their senior debut, appearing on the wing where he played most of his rugby. As well as his career total of 440 games, which may never be beaten now Stuart Dickens has retired, he was also Rovers’ first prodigious points scorer. Dangerous running, fierce tackling and accurate kicking were features of his play. By the time he had retired, he had set records for tries, goals and points that would take decades to beat. In thirteen seasons he was top points scorer twelve times, top goal scorer eleven times and top try scorer four times. His career tally of 129 tries still puts him in third position on our all time tries list, and he lies 12th on the goals list with  377 goals, and 8th on the points list with 1,141. What a colossal contribution.

Sid Denton
Jim’s brother Sid also played plenty of his early rugby on the wing, including our first senior match at Bradford in 1921, on the opposite flank to his brother. He later settled in at full-back, and played the majority of his 349 games there. A solid and dependable defender, he was a good kicker too. His relatively low try total of 28 reflects the nature of full-back play in those days. He may not have caught the headlines in the way that his brother’s scoring exploits did, but Sid Denton was an integral part of Featherstone Rovers for eleven full years. Both brothers were also very handy cricketers and turned out for Featherstone in the Yorkshire Council. Their uncle, David Denton was one of Yorkshire’s greatest ever run-scorers. The fine tradition of rugby league players doubling up in the summer sport effectively ended with Rugby League’s shift to summer. See here:

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