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

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Horace Lyman, Ray Lyman and Paul Lyman

Paul Lyman was one of the most talented players that Featherstone Rovers produced in the 1980s. Signed in 1982, his career got off to a flying start when, at just seventeen years of age, he starred in Rovers’ Wembley triumph. Playing most of the game at centre, he had replaced John Gilbert, the victim of a first half hatchet job by Hull. Paul’s career developed as an outstanding loose forward. A strong runner onto Deryck Fox’s passes, he could break the line regularly, with sufficient pace to finish many breaks himself. He was also a copybook cover tackler. He won county honours as a sub. in 1985, and the following year he marked his full Yorkshire debut with a trademark try. A GB squadman in 1986, he was discarded without getting a chance to play the touring Kangaroos. From then on he was troubled by a persistent knee injury, and in the end it was good business for Featherstone that saw him go to Hull KR in exchange for a hefty fee and Chris Burton in 1989. Paul Lyman played a total of 159 games for Featherstone and scored 62 tries.

Paul’s father Ray Lyman played for Featherstone in 1968, like his son after him was a back row forward. His first team opportunities were limited by the presence of Jimmy Thompson, Arnie Morgan and Tommy Smales, some competition. He played just four first team games.

Ray’s father Horace Lyman was a utility forward who began his Rovers career at the beginning of the second World War. His first game in a Rovers shirt was at full-back in September 1939. It was a baptism of fire that resulted in a heavy defeat, and the following week war was declared and the league scrapped. During the war he gradually established himself as first choice blind-side prop forward next to open-side Frank Hemmingway and hooker Jim Bowden. The war ended and so did Horace’s career more or less. He finished in 1946, but returned for a single farewell match at Hunslet in October 1948. He played a total of 83 games for Featherstone and managed 2 tries

Before Rovers joined the league in 1921 Jim Lyman, Tom Lyman and Joe Lyman all played for Featherstone Rovers. Joe Lyman had a long and distinguished career at Dewsbury capped by an appearance in the first ever Wembley cup final. I don’t know if any of these players were related to Horace, Ray and Paul. If you do, please contact me.

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