Tuesday, 28 August 2012

The Hull Handball League 1958-62 (part 2)

Sir Clive Woodward recently tweeted that handball is the ideal second sport for football and rugby teams. Well the truth is that for a few years around 50 years ago it was ... in Hull.

In an article published in the Hull Daily Mail on 31 March 2003 a former player, Syd Cowan reflected on the years that Hull had had its own handball league, made a point of the variety of sports represented. Syd himself was a Rugby League player but he also referred to rugby union players, the boxer Wally Mays and the netball player Pat Hamblyn. However, he explained that handball attracted "many local and professional footballers" because it was ideal for maintaining fitness over the summer months. Two names of footballers he mention are the Hull City players Frank Harrison and goalkeeper Billy Bly.

Handball in Hull lasted for just four years. It is clear that it was introduced in 1958 by Dr Seewald while Syd reports that the Division One Shield was last contested in 1962 after which "sadly the game petered out." There is no mention of any silverware in 1958 which is not surprising given the fact that it had only just been introduced however in 1959 a tournament was organised with a team by the name of Asbestos winning the trophy. In 1961 the full league was organised and the Shield winners were Crawfords Sports. The second and final year of the league saw Hull Boys Club win the Shield.


  1. To add a comment regards the Hull Handball tournament of 1961 which states Asbestos won they won it by default they where beaten in the semi final by Hessle Park which did not please the organisers as Hessle Park was a team of local boys and Asbestos where made up of proffesional football and rugby players and the organisers wanted them in the final which was to take place at Costello Stadium to bring people to watch and they did not expect anybody would come without Asbestos in the Final.So Hessle Park where taken out.
    With no offer of any compensation.

  2. To the above the year should have been 1959