Bramley Legends - Ivor Rees - Bramley Buffaloes

Welsh-born Ivor signed for Bramley from Salford and made a stunning start by scoring the only try of the game in a 5-4 victory at Keighley on October 22nd 1932 while playing at left centre. His other try that season came in the Boxing day 5-8 home defeat against Bradford Northern.  He kicked his first goals for the club in the 13-30 defeat to Leeds at Headingley.

Described as a pocket battleship standing at five foot nine inches and weighing more than thirteen stone he proved a great fans favourite during the 1933-34 season as he powered through defences to score eleven tries in the season including braces at home against Bradford Northern on Boxing Day a match Bramley won by 20 to 12, and in the away matches at Featherstone Rovers (13-12) and Broughton Rangers (12-44), he also scored tries in the victories at Barrow (10-6) and at home to Hull (16-11).  He also played in the touring match at the Barley Mow against Australia, a match Bramley lost 6-53. The away match at Featherstone was his 50th first-team start for the Villagers.

The 1934-35 season brought Ivor another eight tries and 22 goals including a brace of tries in the 13-34 defeat at Hunslet’s Parkside ground, the other notable try was scored in the 19-7 home victory against Hull and Ivor also kicked six goals in the away match at Wigan as Bramley went down 21-53.  His last seven appearances for the side saw Ivor playing at stand-off.

At this time the match pay for the players was thirty shillings (£1-50p) plus a bonus if they won, although Ivor did receive slightly more money as being one of the club’s top players.

Ivor took over the goal-kicking role during the 1935-36 season and kicked an impressive 53 goals as well as scoring tries at home to Barrow in a 20-13 victory where he also kicked three goals and in a 3-22 defeat at Keighley.  He kicked five goals in the home match against Acton and Willesden (22-3) and in the stunning 22-4 home hammering of St Helens.  The 10-19 loss at Wakefield on the last day of November was Ivor’s 100th appearance for the club.  He also showed his versatility by playing 21 games at full-back.

The 1936-37 season saw Ivor start as the clubs goal-kicker before full-back Taylor took over the duties, although this wasn’t before Ivor had kicked 22 goals including five in the 10-46 home defeat to Leeds.  He scored crucial tries in the home victories versus Batley (6-5), York (9-8) and Newcastle (16-14).  He played his 150th match in the amber and black in the 9-20 defeat at York.

Another 36 appearances followed during 1937-38 with Ivor playing at full-back, right-centre, left-centre and stand-off and which brought him another six tries and eight goals with highlights being tries in the 21-9 home victory against Featherstone Rovers and in a tense 7-7 draw with Batley also at the Barley Mow.

Ivor started the 1938-39 season in style by scoring in successive matches in the away defeats at Wakefield (5-8) which was his 200th club appearance and in the Yorkshire Cup defeat at Hull (10-17).  Later in the season he again scored in successive matches this time in the 3-3 draw at home to Liverpool Stanley and in the 14-38 away defeat at Halifax.  His other try that season was scored in the 22-0 home victory against St Helens Recs.  The 7-all draw at home to York on March the 18th was Ivor’s last match for Bramley, he signed off by kicking two goals while his final try had come in the Rugby League Challenge Cup tie at Sharlston Red Rose which Bramley won by 23-5 and then shook the rugby league world by defeating the awesome Swinton side at Station Road 5-0, only to lose 0-20 at Salford in the quarter final.  While at Bramley he had married the daughter of one of the Bramley directors and stayed in the Bramley area long after he had retired.


Career totals

Appearances          Tries           Goals          Points

1932-33              17                        2                 11                 28

1933-34              37                       11                13                 59

1934-35              38                        8                 22                 68

1935-36              34                        2                 53               112

1936-37              35                        5                 22                 59

1937-38              36                        6                   8                 34

1938-39              20                         6                  14                32

Totals                217                      40                143              392