From 1947 to 1953 the Huddersfield rugby league team – ‘Fartown’ as they were known to their supporters – enjoyed a golden age. The Championship was won in 1949, and the Challenge Cup in 1953, along with the Yorkshire Cup. The Yorkshire League title was also won three times in this great period. These were halcyon days for the Huddersfield club and their supporters.
After the end of the Second World War Huddersfield were a formidable combination under the guidance of Russ Pepperell, but the signing in 1947 of ‘Three Fartown Aussies’ – Johnny Hunter, Lionel Cooper and Pat Devery – added quality and excitement to the team.
Hunter was an unpredictable entertainer, a flamboyant, devil-may-care player who changed the whole style of full-back play.
Cooper was a winger who created a Huddersfield try scoring record which probably will never be equalled. His powerful frame and robust running style were an awesome sight to any would-be tacklers and he soon became a hero for the Fartown fans.
Devery was poetry in motion and had class in defence and attack and with a great kicking game. He became captain of the side, and moved from stand-off to left centre to form a superb partnership with fellow countryman Cooper.
The book also covers Cooper and Devery’s appearances for Australia in 1946 and the games they all played for the famous Other Nationalities team and international representative teams. ‘Legend’ is a word which is used too often these days, but the Three Fartown Aussies were the genuine article. The book includes:
• Coverage of all three players’ development in Australia;
• Reflections by Pat Devery, who now lives in America;
• The club’s history from the 1940s to 1957;
• Johnny Hunter’s cricket career;
• Great action photos.
All rugby league supporters will enjoy this fascinating book.