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

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Cyril Woolford and Neil Woolford

Cyril Woolford was approaching the veteran stage of his career when he signed for the Rovers in 1956, but he proved to be one of Rovers’ best evr buys and served the club tremendously over five years. His professional career had begun at Castleford, where he played for six years before he took the step up to Doncaster. Rovers paid the Dons £400 for Cyril and two tries on his debut against Leeds suggested it would be money well spent. Just how well nobody could have foreseen. He became a fixture on the Rovers wing, sometimes operating at centre, plating 185 games in five seasons and scoring 88 tries (17th on Rovers all-time list, just ahead of Joe Mullaney). He reached three Challenge Cup semi-finals without making that elusive step to Wembley. His name lived on after he retired in the Rovers record books for many years thanks to his exploits in 1958/59. His 31 tries that season were a record by some distance, beating Eric Batten’s old record. It took a full 34 years for Paul Newlove and Owen Simpson to pass that figure in 1992/93. Highlights from that record breaking year included scoring ten tries in six games around Christmas, including two against Castleford on Boxing Day and four against Dewsbury in January. He also touched down against St.Helens in that famous cup quarter-final in front of Rovers record crowd. His last game for Featherstone was against Batley in April 1961.

Cyril’s son Neil also signed for Rovers as a winger in October 1984 from the old Jubilee club. Just like his dad he made a try scoring debut for Rovers in a 20-10 win over Wigan that same month. Over the next four seasons he battled alongside the likes of Richard Marsh, Calvin Hopkins and Brian Waites for a place on the Rovers wing. He played a total of 45 matches (one off the bench) and scoring seven tries, without ever really establishing himself in the first team. His final game for Rovers was also against Batley in January 1988. He also gave good service to the A team before going back to amateur rugby in 1988.

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