Reginald Sykes

3rd September 1888 – 15th September 1916. Rifle Brigade

Reginald Sykes was a former Manchester FC player who was in the Lancashire Fusiliers during the First World War. He was killed in action on the 15th September 1916.

Sykes spent his life in Whalley Range. He went to Hulme Grammar School, and before travelling to the front he lived at 180 Withington Road in Whalley Range, near Manchester FC’s once-hallowed, now-demolished stadium. In peacetime, he was a solicitor.

Sykes was a long-serving, loyal, and passionate member of the Manchester team, plying his (strictly amateur) trade at half-back. A young Sykes rose through the club’s junior teams during the 1900s, and by the end of the decade, he was a first-team fixture. Sykes had a strong season in 1911-1912, scoring six tries, and consequently he earned county colours with Lancashire. He continued his good form the following year. During the last season prior to war, Sykes served as part of Manchester FC’s player’s committee.

Like most of his teammates, Sykes enlisted right away in August 1914, joining the Rifle Brigade. By the following May, training was complete, and he was sent to the front as a Corporal. He was wounded in August 1915 but recovered, only to lose his life the following autumn.

SOURCES
World Rugby Museum
Old Hulmeians War Memorial 1914-1919
Manchester Evening News

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