Dick Huddart

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Dick Huddart
Personal information
Full nameRichard Huddart
Born(1936-06-22)22 June 1936
Flimby, Cumberland, England
Died11 August 2021(2021-08-11) (aged 85)
Australia
Playing information
Height6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight15 st 0 lb (95 kg)
Position Prop, Hooker, Second-row
Club
YearsTeamPldTGFGP
1956–58 Whitehaven 643400102
1958–64 St. Helens 2097600228
1964–68 St. George 78160048
1970–71 Whitehaven 70000
Total35812600378
Representative
YearsTeamPldTGFGP
1958–63 Great Britain 162006
1962 England 10000
1956–63 Cumberland 1140012
Source: [1] [2] [3] [4]

Richard Huddart (22 June 1936 – 11 August 2021) was an English professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. A Great Britain and England international representative forward, he played at club level in England for Whitehaven and St Helens (with whom he won the 1961 Challenge Cup), and in Australia for St. George (with whom he won the 1966 NSWRFL Premiership). [1] Huddart was both a Whitehaven and St Helens R.F.C. Hall of Fame inductee.

Contents

Background

Dick Huddart was born in Flimby, Cumberland on 22 June 1936. After leaving school he worked as a fitter at a local coal mine. He played amateur rugby for Risehow, Huddart turned professional, signing with rugby league club Whitehaven in 1954. [4]

Playing career

Britain

Huddart's first team debut for Whitehaven came in August 1956 against Warrington, the following month he played in his first County Championship match for Cumberland. [4] Huddart played right-second-row in Whitehaven's 14–11 victory over Australia in the 1956–57 Kangaroo tour of Great Britain and France match at the Recreation Ground, Whitehaven on Saturday 20 October 1956, in front of a crowd of 10,917. [5] Later that year he became the first Whitehaven player to be selected to play for the Great Britain national rugby league team, [4] touring Australia and New Zealand as a member of the 1958 Great Britain team and winning the Ashes being capped four times on the tour - twice against Australia and wice against New Zealand. [4]

Upon his return, Huddart decided to move to St. Helens, signing with them in October, 1958. During the 1959–60 season he played as a second-row in St. Helens' 4–5 loss against Warrington in the 1959 Lancashire Cup Final at Central Park, Wigan on Saturday 31 October 1959. While at St. Helens he played for Great Britain in 1959 against Australia, in 1961 against New Zealand (three matches), in 1962 against France (two matches), Australia (three matches), and New Zealand (two matches), and in 1963 against Australia. [3] During the 1960–61 season Huddart played at second-row and was named man of the match, winning the Lance Todd Trophy in the 12–6 victory over Wigan in the 1961 Challenge Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, London on Saturday 13 May 1961, in front of a crowd of 94,672. He also helped Great Britain retain the Ashes] in the 1962 tour of Australia. Huddart won a single cap for England while at St. Helens in 1962 against France. [2] During the 1960–61 season he played at second-row in the 15–9 victory over Swinton in the 1960 Lancashire Cup Final at Central Park, Wigan on Saturday 29 October 1960. During the 1961–62 season he played right-second-row in the 25–9 victory over Swinton in the 1961 Lancashire Cup Final at Central Park, Wigan on Saturday 11 November 1961. During the 1962–63 season he played at second-row in the 7–4 victory over Swinton in the 1962 Lancashire Cup Final at Central Park, Wigan on Saturday 27 October 1962.

Australia

Huddart moved to Australia to play for NSWRFL club St. George from the 1964 season. It was hoped he could help fill the large shoes left in the record-breaking champion St. George side's second-row by the retiring Norm Provan. Huddart went on to help the Dragons continue their dominance in that period, scoring a try in the 1966 NSWRFL season's Grand Final victory over Balmain. The turning point of that match came when Huddart and Ian Walsh put on a set move as the Balmain defence rushed up too early. Walsh burst through the line and with only the fullback to beat and passed the ball to Huddart who raced 30 yards to score. [6] Huddart thus became the first Great Britain Test player to win a premiership in Australia. [4] After leaving St. George, Huddart became player-coach at Dubbo Macquarrie in the Western Division of the NSWRL. [7]

Huddart returned to Britain in 1970–71 to play a final season with Whitehaven. [4]

Personal life

Huddart was married twice, his first marriage to Iris ended in divorce after the family returned to England in 1970. After the divorce Huddart returned to Australia where he met and married his second wife, Lyn. [8] He was the father of rugby league footballer; Milton Huddart while and uncle, Dan Huddart, also played professional rugby league for Workington Town. [9]

He died in hospital in Australia on 11 August 2021, aged 85. [10]

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References

  1. 1 2 "Statistics at rugbyleagueproject.org". rugbyleagueproject.org. 31 December 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  2. 1 2 "England Statistics at englandrl.co.uk". englandrl.co.uk. 31 December 2017. Archived from the original on 18 April 2018. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  3. 1 2 "Great Britain Statistics at englandrl.co.uk". englandrl.co.uk. 31 December 2017. Archived from the original on 18 April 2018. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "Special Tribute: Dick Huddart". Rugby League Journal. No. 76. Autumn 2021. pp. 24–26.
  5. "When Haven beat the Aussies". totalrl.com. 31 December 2017. Archived from the original on 14 January 2010. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  6. "1966 grand final rewind: Eras end as Dragons win 11th straight". National Rugby League. 24 January 2021. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  7. Riviere, Richard de la (1 July 2021). "Rugby League Heroes: Dick Huddart (Part 2)". TotalRL.com | Rugby League Express | Rugby League World. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  8. "Rugby League had never seen a more explosive running forward than Dick Huddart". St Helens Star. 11 August 2021. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  9. "Rugby legend dies in Australia". Whitehaven News. 11 August 2021. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  10. "Dick Huddart: St Helens legend and three-time Ashes winner with Great Britain dies aged 85". Sky Sports. 11 August 2021. Retrieved 11 August 2021.