Lawkholmers to Cougars - A Rugby League History


Norman Foster is one of a handful of Keighley players who are members of the
'300 club' having made a total of 371 games for the club. He made a promising
debut for Keighley on 2nd. April 1929 and then developed into such a fine player
that he was rewarded with selection for Yorkshire as well as appearing in
representative sides against Australia and France. He formed an outstanding
partnership with winger Joe Sherburn (signed in 1934) resulting in Sherburn
setting a then Keighley record of 30 tries in the 1934-35 season.
Norman was transfer listed in 1935 at a fee of £1600, at the time the highest
fee ever asked for a rugby league player. In 1936 he moved to Halifax and then
on to Hull K.R. and Newcastle before returning to his home town club in the
1938-9 season playing on through the War.
He was awarded a benefit year in 1945-6 and after his playing days were over
helped Billy Watson in coaching the 'A' team. Moving to local amateur rugby
league he coached Prince,Smith & Stells in 1949-50 and then in the 1954-55
season coached Keighley Albion to an unprecedented four cup triumphs in a two-
week spell including the Halifax Charity Cup, the first time it had been taken
out of Halifax in over 50 years. A report of the day explained Albion's
achievement, "Ask any one of the players the reason of the side's success and he
would undoubtedly point to Norman Foster, once the idol of Lawkholme crowds.
Norman's word is taken as law and the lads think the world of him. The
transformation of the side into the fast, intelligent and class team of today,
is a fine tribute to Norman's knowledge and experience of the game".