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

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Wilf Evans, Joe Evans, Ray Evans, Barry Evans and Danny Evans

It’s hard enough with some families keeping track of all the players who have graced the blue and white shirt, but in the case of the Evans family, it is particularly difficult. Back in the 1930s Wilf Evans was a talented back who played mainly at stand-off during a productive eight year career at Featherstone spanning a total of 199 senior games. His younger brother Joe was a scrum-half who made his debut in 1932 and went on to play 22 games for Rovers. Their younger brother Ray signed for Rovers in 1951 and with Jimmy Russell coming to the end of a brilliant career, Ray took over in his first season. And what a season it was, Rovers going all the way to Wembley for the first time ever, and despite defeat, Ray Evans notched a late length-of-the-field try. Ray went on to become a scrum-half in the finest traditions of Featherstone rugby, with tough tackling defence despite not being the biggest of men, and busy organising skills and nippy pace with the ball in his hands. After four seasons and 73 games, frustrated by a lack of first team opportunities following the emergence of Don Fox, Ray was sold to Rochdale.

Ray’s son Barry signed for Rovers in 1971, also a scrum-half, and therefore at the time, understudy to Steve Nash. He was limited to just ten senior games for Rovers, and served the club later as a successful Academy coach.

Barry’s son Danny signed for Rovers in 1991. After ten years’ dedicated service to the cause he was awarded a benefit for his service to the club during the 2002 season. Danny had spells at Dewsbury and Batley before coming home towards the end of career to his already respectable total of appearances. The kind of loyal club-man that is difficult to find in the modern era, Danny started out as a back-row forward, and finished as a prop. Once his playing days were over, Danny turned, like his father to coaching and has been involved with the reserves/under 23s for the past few seasons, and had brief spells as caretaker head coach following the departure of David Hobbs, then Daryl Powell (with Sean Long) and John Bastian.

As far as I know, Les Evans, a centre from the late fifties, and Steve Evans, Great Britain international from the late seventies and early eighties, are not related to this family.

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