‘Bruce’ gains award for his service

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OLD Brodleians chairman Richard ‘Bruce’ Turner was presented with the 49th annual Harold Brooksby Memorial Award in the Mayor’s Parlour at Halifax Town Hall in the company of his family and friends.

The award recognises outstanding voluntary service.

It is named after Harold Brooksby who was killed in an accident work, but who had given years of service to Ovenden Youth club and was invoilved in youth work over a wide area.

Mr Turner received his award for his unstinting efforts for local rugby and in particular the Old Brodelians RUFC.

After a long playing career predominantly as a second and third team player and captain, he resurrected the Old Brodleians junior and mini sections in 1986.

The creation of a vibrant youth section to provide sporting opportunity for local boys and girls had become even more important to the Old Brodleians due to the new independent and co-educational status of Hipperholme Grammar School which was the traditional source of senior players to the Brods.

Under his stewardship, the junior section has gone from strength to strength and is among the best in English rugby with many players leaving the Hipperholme club to play at a higher level.

The fact that most return at some stage is testament to the the family club ethos prevailing at Woodhead Park.

There have been many representative honours for the Brods juniors.

The most celebrated is Charlie Hodgson, the former Brodleian junior and current England international with 38 caps and four British Lion appearances.

For the last seven years Mr Turner has been chairman of the all amateur Brodleians club which have seen much success at first team level culminating in their competing at the highest ever level this past winter.

The Mayor of Calderdale John Hardy was full of praise of the merits of Mr Turner being awarded the Brooksby Memorial Award by the trustees.

This is despite the fact that the Mayor is a keen follower of the Brodleians’ local rivals, Old Crossleyans.

In an emotional response, Mr Turner was keen to thank the many friends, parents and members who have contributed to make the Old Brodleians club the local institution it is today.

He dedicated the award to his “rock and best friend,” wife Susan, who has also given so much to help the Old Brodleians club.