Just as the Second World War started Rovers handed a debut to a young centre who went on to become one of the very best in the club’s history. Walt Tennant’s career started at home to Warrington in August 1939, and the first of his many tries came in a notable win over Leeds a month later in the newly formed War Emergency League. At the end of that season, Rovers won their first ever Yorkshire Cup and Walt’s try in the final against Wakefield was his 18th of the season, making him the club’s leading try scorer at just 18 years old. He repeated this feat four more times in his career, and still holds the record for most seasons as leading try scorer. In 1940/41 he scored 19 of Rovers’ 62 tries, which, when you think about it, is a hefty percentage of the club’s total. His pace and power brought him a career total of 104 tries in 234 games, an excellent rate for a centre in those times. His lies joint 12th on Rovers all-time try list alongside Richard Chapman. Towards the end of his career he had the briefest of spells at Wakefield, but soon came home and was awarded a richly deserved testimonial in 1950.
Walt’s brother Nelson was a half-back who made his debut in the same season as Walt, at Huddersfield in March 1940, where he grabbed a debut try. With the likes of Harold Moxon, Ray Hamer and later Jack Higgins as competition, opportunities were scarce for Nelson and he played a total of nine games spread over five seasons.
As Walt’s illustrious career was coming to an end, his younger brother arrived on the scene, and Alan made his debut against Dewsbury on Christmas Day 1948 (no time for turkey in those days!)as Walt’s wing partner. They played together many times before Walt retired in 1951. Alan, a stocky, robust centre came into his own, and was an integral part of our Wembley 1952 team. He was a fixture in the Rovers three-quarters throughout the early fifties, with his bustling running and solid defence. His testimonial season was 1958/59, and his final game was against Huddersfield in December 1959, his career totals being 214 games and 41 tries. This brought to an end 20 solid years of contribution to the Featherstone cause from the Tennant brothers.
Walt’s son Clive also played 5 games on the wing for Rovers in the 1977/78 season, after a number of seasons in the A team. He also played for all three local amateur sides in the 1970’s, the Miners’ Welfare, The Jubilee and Traveller’s Saints, and of course has been heavily involved with the Featherstone Lions for many years.