By Paul Abraham
Eddie Webb, one of Bramley’s most popular players of the time, was “discovered” by his famous uncle, Jim Bacon, the former Leeds and Great Britain star.
Playing at Cross Keys for the then well-known Risca Club, Eddie was persuaded to forsake the Union game and try his luck in the professional world. He signed and made his debut on 1 February 1936 in the 13-22 defeat at Streatham & Mitchem. By the end of the season Eddie had pulled on the first team jersey 13 times.
The following season resulted in 29 appearances and brought him five tries and his only career goal.
His first try for the club came in a 5-22 loss at Leeds. He scored two tries in the 15-0 home win versus Featherstone Rovers, while other tries came in a 12-21 defeat at St Helens Recs and against St Helens in a thrilling 10-7 home victory and it was in this match where he kicked his one and only goal for the club.
Another 16 games came in the 1937-38 season brought him a try in an easy 23-5 home victory versus Leigh in the RL Cup.
The following season was a busy one for Eddie as he played in 34 matches and scored four tries. Tries in the matches at the Barley Mow which resulted in a 9-9 draw versus Hull KR and a 5-21 reverse to Wakefield Trinity were matched by tries in victories at Featherstone Rovers 21-16 and at their neighbours Sharlston Red Rose 23-5 in the RL Cup.
Two more tries came in season 1939-40 during the matches at Hull Kingston Rovers (16-21) and Wakefield Trinity (6-42).
The following season and Eddie was much more prolific on the try-scoring front as he went over the line on seven occasions. He scored two tries in the matches at Batley (19-0) and York (8-6).
The York match was the third in a successive run of four matches in which Eddie scored tries, the others being in the home matches versus Featherstone Rovers (9-0), Hunslet (5-8) and finally in the Yorkshire Cup defeat by local visitors Bradford Northern 5-29.
The season of 1941-42 – and a depleted season of fixtures due to the spread of the war – still enabled Eddie to play another 13 matches and touch down four times.
All were in home defeats and were when he scored two tries in the epic 13-19 encounter versus Wigan, 10-14 v Keighley and a 8-17 loss to Hull in the RL Cup. During the war Eddie landed in Normandy when serving with the artillery on D-Day.
A single appearance in the 45-46 season was followed by seven tries in 28 appearances during the 1946-47 campaign.
Tries in the away defeats at Dewsbury in the Yorkshire Cup (8-9), Batley (13-28) and Hull (7-24) and in the 3-14 loss at home to Dewsbury were followed at the end of the season with tries in the last three matches. Defeats at Hunslet (5-23) and Wakefield Trinity (6-37) were seperated by a 27-17 home victory against York.
The Barley Mow ground was a happy hunting ground for Eddie during the campaign of 1947-48 when he scored all his four tries in home games against Belle Vue Rangers (29-8), Huddersfield in the Yorkshire Cup (12-28), and victories versus visitors York (13-7) and Batley (6-0).
Eddie was awarded, along with Joe Sedgwick, a benefit match in April 1948 when a combined Bramley, Hunslet & Leeds 13 played a Colonial & Welsh 13 at the Barley Mow ground.
The following two seasons saw Eddie’s carreer come to an end with a try in the superb 27-5 home victory against Hunslet in one of his four appearances for the season. And in the 1949-50 season he was limited to just three matches, with his final appearance being in the 3-0 home victory against Belle Vue Rangers on 10 April 1950.
Eddie continued to pass on his experience to the younger members of the “A” team when not in the first team until finally hanging up his boots.
Season Appearances Tries Goals Points
1936-37 29 5 1 17
1937-38 16 1 3
1938-39 34 4 12
1939-40 21 2 6
1940-41 18 7 21
1941-42 13 4 12
1946-47 28 7 21
1947-48 27 4 12
1948-49 4 1 3
Totals 207 35 1 107