Playing field renamed in honour of rugby stalwarts

Parkside playing field in Belle Isle was officially renamed Coopers Field in honour of Colin and Una Cooper who were local rugby league stalwarts yesterday (6 July 2024).

Ex-players joined the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Cllr Abigail Marshall Katung, Cllr Mohammed Rafique, Executive Member for Climate, Energy, Environment and Green Spaces, Cllrs Wayne Dixon and Rob Chesterfield (SDP, Middleton Park) and Colin and Una Cooper’s children, Steve Cooper and Janet Beales to unveil a plaque outside the Parkside clubhouse.

The Lord Mayor said:

“Sport is so important to me, I’m an athlete myself, not rugby, but sprinting, so I do understand why we should make sure our children are into sport. Taking children from the streets and bringing them here. Making sure that today we recognise and we remember the Cooper family. I am delighted to rename this field on behalf of the council and the city.”

Steve Cooper said:

“This is a very proud moment for the Cooper family and I’d like to thank everybody for coming. I hope they continue to use the field and maybe get back to playing rugby.”

Inside, the clubhouse the display of shirts and team photos was augmented by many more photos, pennants, shirts and press cuttings. Many ex-players enjoyed looking through them and sharing memories.

Michael Nuttall who manages Hunslet Rugby Foundation said:

“I was involved in the club for years since I was about four years old. Colin was brilliant, he put his heart and soul into this place. Colin, Una, his dog Rusty, great memories. This is what got me started in rugby and now it’s a job for me. It was Parkside where I learned everything. He changed people’s lives, people who have gone on to have a career in rugby like Gary Schofield and many more.”


Photos: Jeremy Morton


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