By Paul Abraham
BRAMLEY Buffaloes Chair Martyn Cheney and Bramley Rugby League historian Paul Abraham travelled to Morpeth in Northumberland recently to meet the oldest surviving Bramley Rugby League player Eddie Mullin, 98.
They presented him with a celebratory Buffaloes team shirt, a memory book featuring his time at Bramley and his official Bramley RLFC Ex-Players lapel badge.
They spent an enjoyable couple of hours chatting to Eddie and his family as Eddie told of his fond memories of playing and coaching at the club.
Eddie made his debut for Bramley on the left wing in a 14-22 home defeat to Keighley in the Yorkshire Cup on the 6th October 1945.
In his first six appearances in the black and amber of Bramley he played at left-wing, full-back, second-row and loose-forward.
It was at loose forward that he starred in the clubs record breaking 51-3 victory over Hull Juniors in the Rugby League Challenge Cup at the Barley Mow, a club record that would last until 1974.
In all he appeared 12 times in his first full season.
His three appearances during the 1946-47 season all resulted in losing pay for Eddie with defeats at home to Bradford (6-16) and Hull (5-7) and away at York (8-11), however the Hull match saw him cross for his first Bramley try.
While not appearing in the first team during the 1947-48 campaign, the following season saw Eddie’s name as one of the first on the team-sheet as he chalked up 29 appearances, including two at prop-forward in the matches at home to Castleford (5-6) and the 5-28 loss at Huddersfield.
Eddie’s other appearances were in the second-row or at loose-forward.
Highlights of the season were the home victories versus Hull (18-16) and the one for Bramley fans to enjoy and savour – a famous 17-13 win against Leeds.
The season saw Eddie cross the whitewash for tries at home to Barrow (10-6) and Keighley (19-4) and at Huddersfield in a thrilling 15-21 defeat.
The 1949-50 season brought him another try, which would be his last for the club, in a 9-23 home defeat to Leigh.
The following season saw Eddie play just twice, first in a 0-21 loss at Barrow and in his final Bramley appearance on the 2nd December as Bramley lost at home 9-15 to Barrow.
After his first-team action finished Eddie was involved in the coaching set-up at Bramley where he helped prepare young players for their first team careers.
Awarded the MBE in 1993 for services to the defence industry through his involvement with Vickers Engineering. Eddie is now based in a care home in the North-East and is still going strong as Bramley’s oldest surviving player at the grand old age of 98!