Trust Latest News 


HIST Committee New Structure

HIST would like to announce some personnel changes to the HIST committee. Over the past few weeks we have had to reshuffle the structure of the committee, this has been in the main due to the fact that HIST has now taken over the day to day running of Hunslet Hawks RLFC. 

Current HIST committee members Gareth Evans, Phil Robinson and Darren Williams been elected to the new look Hunslet board, their time will now be concentrated more on the clubs operational side although they will still continue to carry out their roles within the HIST committee. Also we are disappointed to announce the departure of Simon Hunt from the committee due to personal reasons. Simon has put a lot of work in to HIST over the past months, so we thank him for that and wish him all the best. On a more positive note we welcome Peter Todd and Darren Williams to the committee along with Fred, Jayne and Sarah Hopkins.

The committee felt that it was essential we moved quickly to keep a structure in place which would allow us to meet the challenges that lie ahead as we look to move HIST and Hunslet Hawks forward in 2012. On that basis we have reassigned roles and responsibilities within the committee to enable us to meet all our aims and objectives. All changes within the committee align with our constitution and meet the rules and regulations of Supporters Direct our governing body.

The new committee structure:

Interim Chairman: Fred Hopkins
Secretary: Jayne Hopkins
Treasurer: Jayne Hopkins
Membership Secretary: Sarah Hopkins
Merchandising: Jonathan Stephenson
PR: Gareth Evans
Fundraising: Geoff Creswick
Committee: Phil Robinson, Darren Williams, Peter Todd, Wayne Dawson

As we are now running Hunslet Hawks operationally on a day to day basis, we now need our members more than ever before to join us on our journey to make Hunslet Hawks a successful community based club which the whole of South Leeds and its surrounding areas can embrace.

We strongly urge anyone who wants to play their part in making this project a success to step forward now. We need our members to step up to the plate and come forward to help. Whatever you have to offer, whether it is a specific skill set, to simply time on your hands, everyone can play their part no matter how big or small. So please offer your support. 
Please email if you want to join this historic chapter in HIST’s short history. 

We, the committee and you, its members now control Hunslet Hawks RLFC. Together let’s make it a success.

“We’ve swept the seas before boys, so we shall again” 


HIST officially take over Hunslet Hawks RLFC in Historic Move
Hunslet Independent Supporters Trust are delighted to announce that from the 1st of February (Today) the trust has officially taken over full responsibility for the day to day running of Hunslet Hawks RLFC. As of today Grahame Liles and Sean Cluderay have now stepped down as Directors of the club.

HIST would like to place on record our thanks on behalf of the HIST members and Hunslet supporters in general to both Grahame and Sean for all they have done over the past 30 years to keep the great name of Hunslet alive in the world of rugby league. Without them both the club would not have survived against all the adversity it has faced. The fact that they leave the club on a solid foundation for HIST to takeover is testament to both their hard work and commitment to the club. The input, knowledge and experience of Grahame has been invaluable in steering us forward over the past few months to get to this position.

The HIST committee will initially have three representatives who will take up roles on the new look Hunslet board as directors. The three representatives who are Phil Robinson, Gareth Evans and Darren Williams have all been voted on to the Hunslet board by the HIST committee.

The HIST committee have also co-opted current director Ian Johnson to the new board. HIST are pleased to retain Ian’s services as he has been at the club for many years and has a great knowledge of the inside workings of the club and his experience will prove invaluable as we look to move forward.

HIST’s first official game in charge of the club will be our Northern Rail Cup match at home to Whitehaven on Sunday 12th February. We hope that all our supporters and HIST members will be at the South Leeds Stadium to get behind the club and the team, to mark what is, a truly historic day for the Hunslet Hawks club.

The club is now run by you, its supporters, we would urge anyone who hasn’t joined HIST to do so. It’s your chance to have your say on how your club is run, one share one vote. We need everyone working together and pulling in the right direction to make this a success. Together we can make Hunslet Hawks a successful community based club that generations to come will be proud of, remember, “We’ve swept the seas before boys, so we shall again”.

Hunslet Independent Supporters Trust hope to announce a major signing tomorrow which we hope will give everyone connected with the club a massive boost before we kick off our 2012 campaign.


HIST Takeover Update

We would like to apologise to our members and Hunslet supporters in general for the delay in making this announcement. The delay in this communication has been in the main due to unavoidable holidays and work commitments for several members of the Working Board of Directors.

As you know HIST and the current owners set an indicative date of 1st December for the formal handover of the club
ownership to Hunslet Independent Supporters Trust. The main reason for selecting that date was that it tied in nicely to the accounting year end. However, as you will all be aware this is a new venture for HIST and as we hope you can all appreciate there is a huge amount to learn. We want the takeover process to be as smooth as possible and have no
impact on the club as we move through this interim period. So, on this basis we have asked Grahame Liles to remain involved, as we have found the input, knowledge and experience of Grahame invaluable in steering us forward over the past few months. We have also invited current club director Sean Cluderay to join the working Board, an offer which we are pleased to say he has accepted.

So, in summary, whilst at the moment the club will remain under Grahame and Sean’s ownership, we (HIST) will continue to run the day to day activities on an operational level. We would like to reassure all our members and Hunslet supporters that the main aim of the working board is still to hand over the ownership of Hunslet Hawks RLFC to HIST. We envisage that this will happen within the coming months & we will continue to keep you informed as we move forward.

Once again thanks for your patience in this matter, and your continued support

“We’ve swept the seas before boys, so we shall again.”

HIST Committee



Hunslet Hawks in conjunction with HIST are hoping to attract volunteers to join our 'Working Groups' These working groups will focus on certain areas of the club where you said in the "Your Voice Survey" that you felt the club could improve and were the Working Board have identified we need to improve. These working groups will be essential to the clubs strategy as we look to drive the club forward in 2012 and beyond. The working groups:

Leeds City Council
Phoenix Bar 
Matchday Experience
Ground Development

Each of these working groups will be led by a member of the club or HIST, who will be in charge of driving recruitment of that specific group and running the group going forward in the interim.

If you want to get involved in what we are trying to do and you feel you have some expertise in an area mentioned above or that you just simply want to help when you can, then now is your chance.

Please email if you wish to get involved. The deadline for submission is 4th NOV
Once we have numbers, we will then pencil in a day where all the working groups will come together to Sshare ideas, thoughts and strategies to help the club move forward.




Barry Eaton appointed Head Coach at Hunslet
Hunslet Hawks RLFC are delighted to announce that former Crusaders assistant coach Barry Eaton  has signed an initial two year contract to become head coach of the Hawks.

This exciting deal will also see Barry take up a full time role at the club as a community development officer.
The capture of Barry is a massive coup for the club and will mean that Hunslet Hawks will now have
secured a second full time community development officer to work along side Steve Parnell.
The Hawks will shortly become a community trust owned club with no significant financial backer and it’s important the club creates a sustainable business operating model.

In support of that the club needs to drive greater community involvement both in the local amateur set up and local schools to develop strong player pathways to our first team.
The club also needs to actively pursue and develop long term sponsorship and business partnership opportunities to keep Hunslet Hawks competitive. We feel that approach is better served by having a full time coach / community  development officer.
The reputation Barry brings in these regards is first class. His achievements in a similar role at  Keighley Cougars prove that he will drive the club forward both on and off the pitch.
Barry is in no doubt about the difficult challenges ahead but is relishing the opportunity to get  back to head coach duties following his recent experience at Crusaders in  support to Iestyn Harris.
The club feels that this decision is the right move in helping to secure and build long term  relationships in the community to safeguard the future sustainability of Hunslet  Hawks RLFC.
Hunslet Director of Rugby Darren Williams said “I am delighted to be able to welcome Barry to the  South Leeds Stadium. For Hunslet to be able to attract such a highly respected  coach on a 2 year fulltime contract speaks volumes for the club. Now that the club's ownership will soon be in the hands of the supporters trust it was vital  that we had a full time coach working right at the heart of the community on a day to day basis"
Barry Eaton said “I am delighted to be joining Hunslet Hawks as head coach and I am grateful for
everyone involved in making it happen. I am looking forward to helping the club
build and putting structures in place that will enable Hunslet Hawks to continue
to prosper both on and off the field"


Hunslet Part Company with Paul March

Hunslet Hawks RLFC today announced that current player coach Paul March is to leave the club.
The decision not to renew Paul’s contract has not been taken lightly, but given the clubs current financial position and the new direction we want to move Hunslet Hawks forward in the local community the clubs board feel that it is in both our own and Paul’s best interests for us to part company at this time.

The club would like to take this opportunity to publicly recognise and offer our thanks for the success that Paul has achieved in his time at the club. In a 2 and a half year reign as player coach he reached the play-offs in 2009, won the Championship 1 title in 2010 and subsequently managed to retain Championship status in 2011 helping to safeguard the immediate future of the club.
Paul leaves with our best wishes and strong recommendation for future coaching opportunities. We sincerely hope that he succeeds in achieving his ultimate aim of coaching in Super League. 

Further announcements on the vacant coaching position will be made at a later date.


Danny Grimshaw voted HIST Player of the year

Danny Grimshaw was voted HIST player of the year for 2011, Danny received 98% of the votes from HIST members. HIST would like to congratulate Danny on an outstanding season.

Dannys Trophy:


HIST Supporter Survey

In advance of taking on formal ownership of Hunslet Hawks RL Club, Hunslet Independent Supporters Trust (HIST) has developed a fans survey. This comprehensive survey covers a range of issues from day to day Club operations, ideas for moving the Club forward & opinions on RFL policy. HIST believe that collecting data direct from supporters will ensure their decisions & policies are in line with what supporters want helping to build stronger engagement across the community. The Survey is not just for HIST members and can be completed by any Hunslet supporter or interested party. So please forward this to any other Hunslet fans you know. The more surveys that are completed the more assured HIST will be that they are heading in the right direction taking Hunslet supporters with them. Details of how to send the completed form to us are on the form its self. 

Hunslet Questionnaire

HIST would urge all Hunslet supporters to complete the survey and let us know their views.

The survey will remain open until Friday 7th October 2011


HIST Player of The Year Presentation

The HIST player of the year presentation will take place on the running track directly after the Halifax game this Sunday.

As the first person to respond to the player of the year vote, HIST Member, Pat Benatmane, will present the trophy to the player of the year. 

Historic Day in the History of Hunslet Hawks and HIST

Hunslet Independent Supporters Trust members gathered in the Phoenix Bar at South Leeds Stadium Last night. Over 50 members attended what would prove to be a historic meeting.
The HIST members were in attendance to consider the offer from Grahame Liles & Sean Cluderay to gift their shares in Hunslet Hawks to the Trust. In effect giving HIST and its member’s ownership of the club.

Speaking on behalf of the Trust, Secretary Simon Hunt and Chairman Neil Hampshire outlined that talks had been ongoing for around 3 months with a range of key stakeholders and a due diligence exercise had also been undertaken in conjunction with the RFL.
They also said that strong support had been provided by Supporters Direct and the RFL, both of whom were positive about the takeover.Following a Q&A session with the members, the meeting voted unanimously to accept the offer. The members expressed their sincere gratitude to this fabulous gesture from Sean & Grahame. A generosity rarely seen in sport.

HIST will now set up a small working group to work alongside Grahame until 1st December when the Trust will officially take over the club. A formal AGM & Board election are likely to be held in January.

If you would like any more information regarding the takeover please email we will be happy to provide as much information as possible.

Updates on how the takeover is progressing will be posted on our website  and on our social media sites  &


Plangey Backs HIST takeover

I was overjoyed today to learn of the fantastic and pioneering progress made by the Hunslet Independent Supporters Trust. It really is amazing to see what can be achieved when someone with ambition and drive gets a good idea and receives the backing and support to enable them to run with that idea. I really hope that this will help to bring success to a club that has had its fair share of knockdowns in the past but has shown its character, due in no small part to an absolute stalwart of a Man by the name of Graham Liles.

For such a person of distinction, to give his backing to the club that he has loved for decades, just shows that the club really must be passing into another collective set of safe hands so to speak. It may well be that some will take longer than others to accept the changes but I hope that everyone with the clubs best interest at heart will lend their backing and help to raise the phoenix to unsurpassed heights. Who is to say that there cannot be two super league teams in one city. Just look once again at the success that is being enjoyed on Humberside.

Remember, if you reach for the stars, you don’t always get their but you may just make it to the tree-tops.

Best regards to all concerned.


Grahame Liles is looking to step down as Chairman of Hunslet Hawks RLFC after 32 Years involvement with the club.

In an act of generosity rarely seen in Sport both Grahame & Sean Cluderay have offered to gift their shares to the Hunslet Independent Supporters Trust (HIST). That would give HIST a majority shareholding in the club & control of day to day operations.

Initial discussions between HIST, Grahame Liles & the RFL have gone well & HIST has agreed in principle to take up the offer.

In the interim Grahame will work in tandem with the HIST committee through to the end of the current Financial year on 30 November with the trust taking ownership from 01 December when Grahame & Sean will be offered honorary life roles within the club.

In the interim HIST will hold a members meeting on Thursday 25 August in the Phoenix Bar at South Leeds Stadium from 8.00pm to ratify its proposal to take over the club. HIST will also be working closely with the RFL to ensure they meet the “Fit & Proper Person” Test as a suitable option to run the club long term.

A Statement from HIST released today said:-

“Grahame Liles has been a magnificent ambassador for this club for over 32 years & both the club & its fans owe him a huge debt of gratitude. The amount of respect that HIST & other fans personally have for him is immeasurable. He has been ably supported by Sean & indeed his wife Margaret on a volunteer basis & together they have seen the Club through many highs & lows. To keep a Rugby League Club as a going concern for that amount of time has been no mean feat. For Grahame & Sean to offer to gift their shares in this manner is a gesture of significant magnitude & reflects much credit on their individual integrity in these times of heavy financial constraints. It’s also reassuring that they will still be around to offer a guiding hand should we need it.

HIST would like to take this opportunity to openly thank Tom Hall, James Mathie & especially Laura Harrison at Supporters Direct who have provided excellent advice in our considerations & discussions so far. Their support has been invaluable. HIST would also like to thank Chris Thair & Steve Williams at the RFL who have been very open, honest & supportive throughout deliberations.

We will be proposing to our members very strongly that we should grasp this exciting opportunity. It’s not often that fans get a chance to own their Club. In the current financial plight things will not be easy but we remain confident that we have the skill sets needed to succeed within our fan base & committed to putting the Club firmly at the heart of the local community protecting the long term future of Hunslet RL” 


Sponsored Walk to Dewsbury

HIST would like to thank the people who walked to Dewsbury. The 25 people who took part completed the walk in under 3 hours. We stopped at the Babes in the wood public house on Dewsbury road for refreshments, pictures from the walk can be found on our facebook page


We will make an announcement on the money raised soon!! 


Plangey on board as Trust Ambassador

Hunslet Independent Supporters Trust is delighted to announce that former Great Britain Star and player coach of Hunslet Hawks David Plange has agreed to become ambassador to the trust. 

“Plangey” was a barnstorming winger in his playing days, spanning a career of over 20 years which saw him play 193 times for Castleford, scoring 98 tries, including playing in the Castleford team which won the challenge cup in 1986. He also represented Great Britain in the peak of his playing days, making his debut against France in 1988.

He is better known to Hunslet fans as a hard hitting, free scoring winger in the famous colours of the club. He is also acknowledged as been the most successful coach the club has had in over 50 years. Plangey took over from Steve Ferres in 1996 as player coach and took Hunslet to the second division championship in 1997. The same year he led Hunslet to our first appearance in a Wembley final since 1965, where we lost to Hull KR in the inaugural Plate final. In 1999 Plangey led Hunslet to the Northern Ford Grand final at Headingley, were Hunslet beat Dewsbury in a nail bighting 12-11 win to give the supporters one of our greatest nights in the clubs history. Plangeys Hunslet team was known for playing attractive, attacking rugby and some of the performances and victories in the late 90s are still yet to be replicated.

David said “I think it is great that a group of forward thinking supporters have joined forces to ensure the continued future of one of the oldest rugby league clubs in the country. Hunslet RLFC has a distinguished history in the game and I was delighted to have been asked by the Trust to become the Trust ambassador and help assist in elevating the profile of HIST. After the mostly happy years spanning my personal association with the Hunslet club I jumped at the chance to be associated with this project. Supporters make clubs and good supporters also help the playing staff to give that little extra. Maybe not straight away, but over a period of time, they really can make a positive difference and I am sure the current playing staff and the playing staff of the future will benefit from these positive actions. Lets all get behind the HIST wheel and make the future of Hunslet Hawks that bit brighter”

HIST PR Officer Gareth Evans said “We are delighted that David Plange has agreed to become an ambassador of the trust, he is undoubtedly the most successful coach Hunslet has had in the last 50 years. With David associated with us we hope it will lift our profile as a trust, not only with our current members and Hunslet supporters, but supporters of rugby league across the world. We look forward to working with David to drive HIST forward, working towards safeguarding the future of Hunslet Hawks RLFC and in bedding the trust in the local community of South Leeds”