An early history
The Heysham Atoms A.R.F.C. started life as the Heysham
Power R.U.F.C. around 1983. They had difficulty obtaining a fixture list
and were run on a rather haphazard set up.
A lot of the boys were from a Rugby League background and were not particularly
happy with the 15 a side game.
In 1986 they decided en bloc to turn to the league code, the idea was
to play a series of friendlies, see how well they prospered, and if things
went according to plan , apply to join the N.W.Counties league.
They had some surprisingly good results and were led from the front by
James Sexton Hamilton, a formidable Cumbria county prop, who had spell
with Workington, Blackpool Borough and Keighley, and only a badly broken
leg stopped him from touring with the Lions down under. The team captain
was John Hughes a skilled hooker or half back, other notables were Johnny
Graham a former St. Helens schools star who had played in the same team
as several future Saints team players. Second row Dave Watkins had played
at the same level and the other Second row was the affable Roger Barton
a former Wigan St. Judes star.
It was during this period that the two first non power station players
appeared Jim Walker and Welshman Ged Donahue.
The Atoms then applied for and were accepted into Division 9 of the N.W.Counties
league. In the preseason two more non power station workers joined the
ranks, Andy Bradley a Morecambe based Cumbrian, and long serving prop
Dave Crow, at that time the club's youngest player.
first season they finished a creditable fifth and with a little help from
a league re-structuring were promoted to the eighth division, and were
For these first two seasons they were sponsored by Brian Norris of the
'Smugglers Den ' Brian supplied the shirts and the after game meals, the
shirts incidentally were presented by the Australian hard man prop Les
Boyd, then in the twilight of a somewhat chequered career with Warrington.
At the startof the second season the Atoms were further strengthened by
several local players, Andy Aldren, Peter Whaley, Jason Mills, Phil Lee
and old grey head himself, Dominic Harrison.
At the same time PeterThorpe was running an under 16 side, This included
Alan Owen and Darren Walker who both played open age when only 15 years
old. Other players to come through from this team were Bryan Graham who
once played at union for his school in the morning and for the Atoms in
the afternoon, Simon Brookes, Ryan Weed and of course the much lamented
Alan Reynolds a Cumbrian Aspatria player joined half way through the second
season and eventually became team captain and coach, his broad Cumbrian
brogue causing no little confusion at training sessions
The start of the third season was helped by the addition of Peter Livingstone,
David Owen, Gary Butler and Steve Kyle, all of whom were introduced to
the rigours of the league game at a ' friendly ' with Aspatria, which
resulted in the bloodiest dressing room I have ever seen. The Atoms had