Derek Turner

Last updated

Derek Turner
Derek Turner - Wakefield Trinity.jpeg
Personal information
Born(1932-11-13)13 November 1932 [1]
Ossett, England
Died31 July 2015(2015-07-31) (aged 82)
Wakefield, England
Playing information
Height6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight13 st 7 lb (86 kg)
Position Second-row, Loose forward
Club
YearsTeamPldTGFGP
1950–55 Hull Kingston Rovers 141270081
1955–59 Oldham 1343510107
1959–66 Wakefield Trinity 2134500135
Total48810710323
Representative
YearsTeamPldTGFGP
1957 Great Britain & France 113
19??–?? Yorkshire 102006
1962 England 10000
1956–62 Great Britain 2480024
Coaching information
Club
YearsTeamGmsWDLW%
195864 Castleford 269137812451
196972 Leeds
198384 Wakefield Trinity
Total269137812451
Source: [2] [3] [4]

Derek Turner (13 November 1932 – 31 July 2015), also known by the nickname of "Rocky", was an English World Cup winning professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, and coached in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. He played at representative level for Great Britain, England, Yorkshire and Great Britain & France, and at club level for Hull Kingston Rovers, Oldham (Heritage № 589) and Wakefield Trinity (Heritage № 654) (captain), with whom he won three Challenge Cup Finals, as a second-row, i.e. number 11 or 12, or more usually loose forward, i.e. number 13, [2] [5] and coached at club level for Castleford, Leeds and Wakefield Trinity. [6] [7]

Contents

Club career

Turner played his early rugby league at Cathedral Boys School, Wakefield, then Alverthorpe Youth Club, Balne Lane ARLFC, Ossett ARLFC, and Shaw Cross ARLFC, he began his professional rugby league career at Hull Kingston Rovers. [8] In 1955, Turner was transferred from Hull Kingston Rovers to Oldham for £2,750 (based on increases in average earnings, this would be approximately £165,900 in 2016). [9]

Turner made his début for Oldham against Hunslet on 3 September 1955. He was a member of the Oldham team that found success in the Championship of 1956–57, the Lancashire County Cup Finals of 1956–57, 1957–58 & 1958–59, and the Lancashire County League of 1956–57 & 1957–58. Whilst at Oldham, Turner won 11 of his 24 Great Britain caps, winning the Ashes in 1956. In March 1959, Turner was transferred from Oldham to Wakefield Trinity for £8,000 (based on increases in average earnings, this would be approximately £391,700 in 2016). [9]

At Wakefield Trinity Turner captained Wakefield Trinity in three Challenge Cup victories (1960, 1962 and 1963), played loose forward in the 38–5 victory over Hull F.C. in the 1959–60 Challenge Cup Final during the 1959–60 season at Wembley Stadium, London on Saturday 14 May 1960, in front of a crowd of 79,773 [10] presented by HM the Queen, played loose forward in the 12–6 victory over Huddersfield in the 1961–62 Challenge Cup Final during the 1961–62 season at Wembley Stadium, London on Saturday 12 May 1962, in front of a crowd of 81,263, presented by Field Marshal Montgomery, and played right-second-row, i.e. number 12, in the 25–10 victory over Wigan in the 1962–63 Challenge Cup Final during the 1962–63 season at Wembley Stadium, London on Saturday 11 May 1963, in front of a crowd of 84,492, presented by Field Marshal Alexander.

Turner played loose forward in Wakefield Trinity's 16–10 victory over Huddersfield in the 1960–61 Yorkshire County Cup Final during the 1960–61 season at Headingley Rugby Stadium, Leeds on Saturday 29 October 1960, and played loose forward in the 19–9 victory over Leeds in the 1961–62 Yorkshire County Cup Final during the 1961–62 season at Odsal, Bradford on Saturday 11 November 1961. Turner also captained Wakefield Trinity to victory in the Yorkshire County League during the 1958–59 season, 1959–60 season, 1961–62 season and 1962–63 season.

Whilst at Wakefield Trinity, Turner won the remaining 13 of his 24 Great Britain caps, winning the World Cup in 1960 and the Ashes in 1959 & 1962, he also won his sole England cap.

Turner retired in 1964 but returned to play a further 24 matches for Trinity in the 1965–66 season before an injury in the first match of the 1966–67 season brought his playing career to an end. [11]

Representative career

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Turner played for Yorkshire against Lancashire in ten Rugby League War of the Roses matches, scoring two tries.

Alongside fellow Oldham player, centre Alan Davies, Turner was selected for the Great Britain squad to play in Australia's 1956 Kangaroo Tour of Great Britain, Turner was rested for the first Test which Great Britain won 21–10 at Central Park, Wigan. Turner played in the second match which Australia won 9–22 at Odsal, Bradford. Turner played in the third Test as Great Britain defeated Australia 19–0 at Station Road, Swinton, to take the Ashes series 2–1.

Just prior to the 1957 World Cup, Turner played in all three of Great Britain's matches against France, alternating between venues in Great Britain and France. Great Britain won two and drew one of the fixtures: 45–12 Headingley Rugby Stadium, Leeds; 19–19 Stade Municipal, Toulouse; 29–14 Knowsley Road, St. Helens.

Alongside fellow Oldham players, centre Alan Davies, and second-row Sid Little, Turner was selected for the Great Britain squad to play in the 1957 Rugby League World Cup in Australia. Turner played in the 23–5 victory over France at Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney, the 6–31 defeat by Australia at Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney, and the 29–21 defeat by New Zealand at Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney. Australia ran out comfortable World Champions, with victories over New Zealand, Great Britain and France. Despite suffering a heavier defeat by Australia than either New Zealand or France, Great Britain's heavy victory over France in the opening match, France's narrow victory over New Zealand, and Great Britain's narrow defeat by New Zealand in the last match secured Great Britain second place overall. Great Britain had the luxury of playing all their matches at Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney, whereas New Zealand and France had to play at both the Gabba, Brisbane, and Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney, which are 575-miles apart.

Turner played loose forward and scored a try in Great Britain & France's 37–31 victory over New Zealand at Carlaw Park, Auckland on 3 July 1957.

Just after to the 1957 World Cup, Turner played in both of Great Britain's matches against France, alternating between venues in Great Britain and France. Great Britain won both tests; 14–25 at Stade Municipal, Toulouse; 44–15 at Central Park, Wigan.

In 1958, Turner played for Great Britain in the 23–9 defeat by France at Stade Lesdiguières, Grenoble.

Alongside fellow Oldham players, centre Alan Davies, and scrum-half Frank Pitchford, Turner was selected for the Great Britain squad to play in 1958 tour of Australia, but had to withdraw because of an injury.

Turner was selected for the Great Britain squad to play in Australia's 1959 Kangaroo Tour of Great Britain, Turner played in first of the three matches. Australia won the first Test 22–14 at Station Road, Swinton. Turner was rested for the second and third of the three matches, Great Britain won the second 11–10 at Headingley Rugby Stadium, Leeds. Great Britain won the third 18–12 at Central Park, Wigan to take the Ashes series 2–1.

Just prior to the 1960 World Cup, Turner played in all three of Great Britain's matches against France, alternating between venues in France and Great Britain. Great Britain won one, drew one and lost one of the fixtures: France won 20–18 at Stade Municipal, Toulouse. On 65 minutes a colossal brawl erupted when Georges Fages kicked Turner on the chin following Turner's tackle on Fages. When the dust settled Turner was ordered off, but five minutes elapsed before he was finally escorted from the field by Bill Fallowfield, secretary of the Rugby Football League. The British players waited for Fages to go, but in vain. There was 17–17 draw at Knowsley Road, St Helens; Great Britain won 21–10 at Stade André Moga, Bordeaux.

Alongside fellow Wakefield Trinity player prop Jack Wilkinson, Turner was selected for the Great Britain squad to play in the 1960 Rugby League World Cup in Great Britain. Turner played in the 23–8 victory over New Zealand at Odsal, Bradford, rested on Saturday 1 October 1960 for the 33–7 victory over France at Station Road, Swinton, Turner returned for the last match of the series against Australia at Odsal, Bradford. The 1960 Rugby League World Cup was run on a league basis, but with both Great Britain and Australia undefeated, the last match became a virtual World Cup Final. Great Britain become World Champions with the 10–3 victory over Australia at Odsal, Bradford.

In 1961, Turner played for Great Britain in the 27–8 victory over France at Knowsley Road, St. Helens. Unusually, Turner played as a second-row, with Vince Karalius playing loose forward.

Turner was selected for the Great Britain squad to play in New Zealand's 1961 Tour of Great Britain, Turner played in the first of the three matches, the 11–29 defeat by New Zealand at Headingley Rugby Stadium, Leeds.

In 1962 Turner played his sole England international against France, an 18–6 victory at Headingley Rugby Stadium, Leeds. This was also England's sole international between 10 May 1956 and 7 November 1968. Great Britain being the primary incarnation of international representation during this period, a period that matched Turner's prominence.

Alongside fellow Wakefield Trinity players, Neil Fox, Harold Poynton, Gerry Round, and Jack Wilkinson, Turner was selected for the Great Britain squad to play in 1962 tour of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. This Great Britain team would be the nearest to achieving a 3–0 Ashes whitewash of the Kangaroos on Australian turf to date.

In Australia, Turner scored a try in the 31–12 victory in the first Test at Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney (before more than 70,000 fans), was rested for the 17–10 victory in the second Test in the Gabba, Brisbane (attendance 34,786), and returned for the third Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney. In the third Test of the 1962 Ashes series, Australia's Dud Beattie suffered a broken collarbone, and knowing he would have to leave the field anyway (Substitutions not being permitted until 1964), Beattie ignited a fight with Turner, it resulted in the referee sending both players from the field. As Beattie was being half-carried from the arena by an ambulance man, Turner prodded and remonstrated with Beattie for his actions. A controversial last-minute Ken Irvine try against the weakened defence, Mick Sullivan having already been sent off, and the subsequent touchline goal resulted in a 17–18 defeat, although a whitewash was denied, Great Britain won the Ashes series 2–1.

After the Australia Ashes Tests, With Eric Ashton (Captain), Alex Murphy and Don Fox injured, Turner took over the captaincy for the two tests in New Zealand. However, these and other injuries depleted the squad to such an extent that both tests in Carlaw Park, Auckland were lost 0–19 and 8–27.

After the New Zealand Tests, only fourteen players from the original squad of twenty-five were uninjured, thirteen of whom went on to play three exhibition matches in South Africa. Despite being top try scorer, with 22 tries in the tests, Billy Boston could not be considered for selection purely due to the colour of his skin, as this was apartheid-era South Africa. Consequently, coach Colin Hutton became a stand-in reserve. The squad for the South African exhibition matches was; Eric Fraser (Warrington); Ike Southward (Workington Town), Peter Small (Castleford), Neil Fox (Wakefield Trinity), Mick Sullivan (St. Helens); Dave Bolton (Wigan), Harold Poynton (Wakefield Trinity); Jack Wilkinson (Wakefield Trinity), John Shaw (Halifax), Ken Noble (Huddersfield), Laurie Gilfedder (Warrington), Dick Huddart (St. Helens), Derek Turner (Wakefield Trinity); Reserve: Colin Hutton (Hull Kingston Rovers).

In 1962, Turner played his last match for Great Britain in the 17–12 defeat by France at Stade Gilbert Brutus, Perpignan.

Representative career whilst at Oldham

Test No.DateLocationAttendanceTournamentHomeAwayNotes
971 December 1956 Odsal, Bradford23,334Ashes Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Great Britain9 (7) Flag of Australia (converted).svg Australia22 (7)
9815 December 1956 Station Road, Swinton13,515Ashes Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Great Britain19 (8) Flag of Australia (converted).svg Australia0 (0)Turner Scored 1-Try In This Game
9926 January 1957 Headingley Rugby Stadium, LeedsTest Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Great Britain45 (10) Flag of France.svg France12 (2)Turner Scored 2-Tries In This Game
1003 March 1957 Stade Municipal, ToulouseTest Flag of France.svg France19 (12) Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Great Britain19 (2)
1011957 Knowsley Road, St. HelensTest Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Great Britain29 Flag of France.svg France14
10215 June 1957 Sydney Cricket Ground, SydneyWorld Cup Flag of France.svg France5 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Great Britain23
10317 June 1957Sydney Cricket Ground, SydneyWorld Cup Flag of Australia (converted).svg Australia31 (10) Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Great Britain6 (6)
10425 June 1957Sydney Cricket Ground, SydneyWorld Cup Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Great Britain21 (13) Flag of New Zealand.svg New Zealand29 (15)
1053 November 1957Stade Municipal, Toulouse15,762Test Flag of France.svg France14 (3) Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Great Britain25 (8)Turner Scored 1-Try In This Game
10623 November 1957Central Park, Wigan19,152Test Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Great Britain44 (21) Flag of France.svg France15 (<15)Turner Scored 1-Try In This Game
1072 March 1958 Stade Lesdiguières, Grenoble20,000Test Flag of France.svg France9 (7) Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Great Britain23 (10)Turner Scored 1-Try In this Game

Representative career whilst at Wakefield Trinity

Test No.DateLocationAttendanceTournamentHomeAwayNotes
11517 October 1959Station Road, Swinton35,224Ashes Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Great Britain14 (4) Flag of Australia (converted).svg Australia22 (12)Turner scored 1 try in this game
1186 March 1960Stade Municipal, ToulouseTest Flag of France.svg France20 (12) Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Great Britain18 (11)Turner was sent off in this game
11926 March 1960Knowsley Road, St. HelensTest Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Great Britain17 (7) Flag of France.svg France17 (7)
12024 September 1960Odsal, BradfordWorld Cup Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Great Britain23 Flag of New Zealand.svg New Zealand8
1228 October 1960Odsal, BradfordWorld Cup Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Great Britain10 (10) Flag of Australia (converted).svg Australia3 (0)
12311 December 1960Stade Municipal, BordeauxTest Flag of France.svg France10 (7) Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Great Britain21 (5)
12425 January 1961Knowsley Road, St HelensTest Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Great Britain27 (20) Flag of France.svg France8 (8)
12530 August 1961 Headingley Rugby Stadium, Leeds Test Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Great Britain11 (8) Flag of New Zealand.svg New Zealand29 (14)
1309 June 1962Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney70,174Ashes Flag of Australia (converted).svg Australia12 (7) Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Great Britain31 (9)Turner scored 1 try in this game
13214 July 1962Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney42,104Ashes Flag of Australia (converted).svg Australia18 (11) Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Great Britain17 (12)Turner was sent off in this game
13329 July 1962 Carlaw Park, Auckland14,976Test Flag of New Zealand.svg New Zealand19 (8) Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Great Britain0 (0)
13411 August 1962Carlaw Park, Auckland16,411Test Flag of New Zealand.svg New Zealand27 (8) Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Great Britain8 (0)
1352 December 1962Stade Gilbert Brutus, PerpignanTest Flag of France.svg France17 (7) Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Great Britain12 (2)

Coaching career

After retiring from the field Turner was head coach for Castleford at Wheldon Road from 1966 until Saturday 24 May 1969, and is regarded as the best Castleford coach of all time. [12] During his period as coach Castleford won the Challenge Cup in 1969 as well as reaching the Yorkshire Cup Final and Premiership Final. [11]

Leaving Castleford Turner became coach at Leeds between 1969 and 1972. He coached Leeds to victory in the Championship Final in 1972. [11]

Derek Turner was the coach in Leeds' 7–24 defeat by Leigh in the 1970–71 Challenge Cup Final during the 1970–71 season at Wembley Stadium, London on Saturday 15 May 1971, in front of a crowd of 85,514, and was the coach in the 13–16 defeat by St. Helens in the 1971–72 Challenge Cup Final during the 1971–72 season at Wembley Stadium, London on Saturday 13 May 1972, in front of a crowd of 89,495

Turner was Head Coach for Wakefield Trinity at Belle Vue from July 1983 until February 1984.

Film career

Turner appeared in the 1963 film This Sporting Life . The film's director, Lindsay Anderson, instructed Turner to make a scene where the main character Frank Machin loses seven teeth, following a scrum, look realistic. Richard Harris who was playing Frank Machin was knocked out, and filming for the day was abandoned. [11]

Peer accolades

In 2003, BBC Rugby League commentator Ray French was asked to name the six 'hardest' men ever to play Rugby League, he named Turner along with; Vince Karalius, Barrie McDermott, Ray Price, Gorden Tallis & Cliff Watson. [13]

According to Lion Phil Jackson "Vince Karalius was much lauded here as one of the best loose forwards to go (to Australia) and I reckon Derek Turner were [ sic ] a better player". [14]

Personal life

For a number of years, Turner and his son Darren ran a removals business, Derek Turner Ltd, based in Ossett near Wakefield.

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References

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Ray Batten
1982-1983
Coach
Wcatscolours.svg
Wakefield Trinity

1983-1984
Succeeded by
Geoffrey Wraith
1984
Preceded by
Joe Warham
1969-1970
Coach
Rhinoscolours.svg
Leeds Rhinos

1970-1973
Succeeded by
Eric Ashton
1973-1974
Preceded by
George Clinton
1964–1966
Coach
Castleford colours.svg
Castleford Tigers

1966–1969
Succeeded by
Tommy Smales
1969–1970

Sources

Notes

  1. Hadfield, Dave (22 October 2015). "Derek Turner: Rugby league back-rower nicknamed Rocky who won the Challenge Cup as both pläyer and coäch". The Independent. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
  2. 1 2 "Statistics at rugbyleagueproject.org". rugbyleagueproject.org. 31 December 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  3. "England Statistics at englandrl.co.uk". englandrl.co.uk. 31 December 2017. Archived from the original on 30 November 1994. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  4. "Great Britain Statistics at englandrl.co.uk". englandrl.co.uk. 31 December 2017. Archived from the original on 30 November 1994. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  5. "Wakefield Trinity legend Turner dies". Yorkshire Evening Post. 2 August 2015. Retrieved 2 August 2015.
  6. "Coach Statistics at rugbyleagueproject.org". rugbyleagueproject.org. 31 December 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  7. "Coach Statistics at thecastlefordtigers.co.uk". 31 December 2017. Archived from the original on 13 August 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  8. "Derek Turner Obituary". wakefieldwildcats.co.uk. 3 August 2015. Archived from the original on 30 November 1994. Retrieved 3 August 2015.
  9. 1 2 "Measuring Worth – Relative Value of UK Pounds". Measuring Worth. 31 December 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  10. "Rugby League – The Challenge Cup Final at Wembley Stadium". Wembley Stadium. 31 December 2008. Archived from the original on 30 November 1994. Retrieved 1 January 2009.
  11. 1 2 3 4 Marsden, Lorraine (10 August 2015). "Death of a Rugby League winner". Rugby Leaguer & League Express (2979). p. 36.
  12. "The Tigers Dream Team". Castleford Tigers. 31 December 2008. Archived from the original on 1 August 2008. Retrieved 1 January 2009.
  13. "French Lessons – Hardest players". BBC. 23 April 2003. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
  14. "Phil Jackson Interview". rl1908. 31 December 2008. Archived from the original on 30 November 1994. Retrieved 1 January 2009.