Hunslet Trust celebrating 40th anniversary

Andrew Beadnall
Andrew Beadnall
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A TRUST set up to ensure talented South Leeds youngsters don’t miss out on achieving their sporting ambitions due to lack of cash is celebrating its 40th anniversary.

The Hunslet Trust was established in November 1978 in the wake of the demise of Hunslet RLFC.

Hunslet RLFC narrowly lost to Wigan in the 1965 Challenge Cup Final in a thrilling game, but the club fell on hard times soon after.

The club – which was part of Hunslet Cricket, Football and Athletic Club – was closed down by its directors in the mid 1970s and the Parkside ground in Hunslet was sold to developers.

The directors wanted to ensure rugby league continued in Hunslet and were keen to establish a sporting legacy for future generations.

They set up Hunslet Trust with an initial £35,000 and in the 1980s financed the launch of new amateur rugby league club Hunslet Parkside Amateurs at a ground on Belle Isle Road.

Some of rugby’s biggest names started their careers at Hunslet Parkside, including Garry Schofield and Jason Robinson.

Five years ago the Hunslet Club – the largest youth club in Leeds with 2,700 members – amalgamated their rugby section with Hunslet Parkside to create Hunslet Club Parkside, which

now has string of youth and open age teams.

Since its launch, Hunslet Trust has distributed grants of around £200,000, with the main beneficiary being Hunslet Parkside.

The trust, which still has investments totalling around £180,000, is also a major supporter of Hunslet Club and Hunslet Nelson Cricket Club.

It has also given funds to Hunslet Warriors Junior RL Club, around 20 South Leeds schools and Middleton Park Riding for the Disabled.

Talented young sports stars from the Hunslet Club supported by Hunslet Trust include boxer Hope Price, who in October became the country’s first ever Youth Olympics boxing gold

medallist at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aries, Argentina.

The club has also backed golfer Jennifer Conlon and athlete Richard Strachan.

Hunslet Club Parkside became the most successful amateur rugby league club in the country when they finished as champions in the Premier Division of the National Conference League

this year.

And the club – which won all 24 of its games this year – triumphed in the grand final when they beat West Hull, prompting the Hunslet born-and bred chairman of Hunslet Trust to get a

permanent reminder of the day.

Hunslet Trust chairman Andrew Beadnall, who is also a trustee of Hunslet Club, got a tattoo on his right arm of the club’s rampant lion logo with the words ‘Hunslet Club Parkside

undefeated champions’.

Mr Beadnall, who owns estate agency firm Beadnall Copley, said: “In the 40th year of the trust, this club has became the most successful in the history of the amateur game.

“I find it incredibly emotional that 40 years on, the game in Hunslet has never been stronger.”

Mr Beadnall said he is proud of the work the trust has done to support youngsters in achieving their sporting goals.

He said: “Everybody in life deserves a chance. When the only thing that holds kids back is money, then we are there to help those kids.”

Mr Beadnall’s late father Geoff was one of the Hunslet RLFC directors who set up the Hunslet Trust and was a trustee.

Geoff Beadnall died aged 73 in 2002 and the following year Andrew Beadnall became chairman of Hunslet Trust.

Geoff Beadnall and his wife Florence, who did aged 73 in 1997, ran an off-licence on Pepper Road at Hunslet known locally as ‘Geoff’s’ from the mid 1950s to the mid 1970s.

Mr Beadnall, who now lives in Wetherby, said: “As a family all of us owe everything to Hunslet.”