Don Fox

Last updated

Don Fox
Personal information
Full nameDonald Fox
Born(1935-10-15)15 October 1935
Sharlston, Wakefield, England
Died21 August 2008(2008-08-21) (aged 72)
Wakefield, England
Playing information
Position Scrum-half, Prop, Loose forward
Club
YearsTeamPldTGFGP
1953–65 Featherstone Rovers 36816250301492
1965–70 Wakefield Trinity 11718840222
Batley
Total48518058701714
Representative
YearsTeamPldTGFGP
1956/57–≥58/59 Yorkshire ≥3
1956 England 10000
1963 Great Britain 11207
Coaching information
Club
YearsTeamGmsWDLW%
197274 Batley
Source: [1] [2]

Donald Fox (15 October 1935 – 21 August 2008), was an English rugby league footballer who played in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, and coached in the 1970s. He played at representative level for Great Britain, England and Yorkshire, and at club level for Featherstone Rovers (Heritage № 348) (captain) and Wakefield Trinity (Heritage № 710), as a right-footed goal-kicking scrum-half , prop or loose forward, i.e. number 7, 8 or 10, or 13, during the era of contested scrums, and coached at club level for Batley.

Contents

Background

Don Fox was born in Sharlston, near Wakefield, West Riding of Yorkshire, England. He was the younger brother of Peter, and the older brother of Neil Fox, and together they formed one of the legendary rugby league families.

Don holds the Featherstone Rovers record for tries scored (162) and is third on their all-time goal-kicking charts with 503 in 369 appearances, itself the 7th most in Featherstone Rovers' history, [3] having enjoyed 13 years at Featherstone Rovers, [4] before joining Wakefield Trinity in 1965 for £3,000 [5] (based on increases in average earnings, this would be approximately £98,750 in 2013). [6] Don Fox earned his début for Featherstone Rovers as a scrum-half on Wednesday 9 September 1953. A gifted player, he broke the Featherstone Rovers' record points scored in a season, the next winter and was called up for England's game against France. He was an outstanding kicker, scoring 12 goals in a Challenge Cup victory against Stanningley ARLFC in 1964. He was understudy to Alex Murphy on the 1962 Lions tour of Australasia and then moved to loose forward where he earned his sole Test cap for Great Britain against Australia in 1963. He joined Wakefield in 1965, linking up with his young brother Neil, and they enjoyed great success with Wakefield Trinity. After he retired from playing in 1970, he coached Batley from November 1972 to October 1974, before becoming a safety-joiner in the South Yorkshire coalfield. He died in a hospital in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, England. [7]

Playing career

International honours

Great Britain

Don Fox won a cap for Great Britain while at Featherstone Rovers in 1963 against Australia (1-try, 2-goals), [1] he also represented Great Britain while at Featherstone Rovers between 1952 and 1956 against France (1 non-Test match), [8] and he was selected for Great Britain while at Featherstone Rovers for the 1962 Great Britain Lions tour of Australia and New Zealand. [9]

England

Fox won one cap for England, during the 1955-56 European Rugby League Championship, v France on 10 May 1956; France won 23-9.

County honours

Don Fox won caps for Yorkshire while at Featherstone Rovers; during the 1956–57 season against Cumberland and Lancashire, and during the 1958–59 season against and Lancashire, he also won a cap(s) for Yorkshire while at Wakefield Trinity.

Championship Final appearances

Don Fox played loose forward in Wakefield Trinity's 21-9 victory over St. Helens in the Championship Final replay during the 1966–67 season at Station Road, Swinton on Wednesday 10 May 1967, and played right-prop, i.e. number 10, and scored a goal in the 17-10 victory over Hull Kingston Rovers in the Championship Final during the 1967–68 season at Headingley Rugby Stadium, Leeds on Saturday 4 May 1968. [10]

Challenge Cup Final appearances

Don Fox played right-prop, i.e. number 10, and scored 2-conversions in Wakefield Trinity's 10-11 defeat by Leeds in the 1967–68 Challenge Cup "Watersplash" Final during the 1967–68 season at Wembley Stadium, London on Saturday 11 May 1968, in front of a crowd of 87,100. [10] The match was played on a waterlogged pitch and the score was 11-7 to Leeds when Ken Hirst scored a try under the posts for Wakefield Trinity with the final play of the game. Tries were worth three points at that time, making the score 11-10, but a simple 2-point conversion was all that was needed to give Wakefield an unassailable one-point lead, and win the game. Wakefield Trinity fans were jubilant as the conversion from in front of the posts is by far the easiest kick in rugby league. Fox had already scored two more difficult conversions in the game, and he was such a prolific kicker that it realistically should have presented no problem. However, the waterlogged state of the pitch made this a more difficult proposition, and Fox lost his footing and sliced the ball wide of the posts. The final whistle was blown immediately afterwards, giving Leeds a dramatic one-point victory. Commentator Eddie Waring said of Fox, 'He's a poor lad', a remark which became a widely quoted piece of commentary. [11] Fox had already been chosen to win the Lance Todd Trophy for his performance in the match, but he was disconsolate and trudged off the pitch. Interviewed by David Coleman on television later, he was asked if the trophy was any consolation and replied "not really, no". [12] The boots he was wearing during the game are now on display at Wakefield Museum.

County Cup Final appearances

Don Fox played scrum-half, and scored a try in Featherstone Rovers' 15-14 victory over Hull F.C. in the 1959–60 Yorkshire County Cup Final during the 1959–60 season at Headingley Rugby Stadium, Leeds on Saturday 31 October 1959, and played scrum-half in Featherstone Rovers' 0-10 defeat by Halifax in the 1963–64 Yorkshire County Cup Final during the 1963–64 season at Belle Vue, Wakefield on Saturday 2 November 1963.

Drop-goals (field-goals)

Don Fox appears to have scored no drop-goals (or field-goals as they are currently known in Australasia), but prior to the 1974–75 season all goals, whether; conversions, penalties, or drop-goals, scored 2-points, consequently prior to this date drop-goals were often not explicitly documented, therefore '0' drop-goals may indicate drop-goals not recorded, rather than no drop-goals scored.

Testimonial match

Don Fox's benefit season/testimonial match at Featherstone Rovers took place during the 1963–64 season.

Honoured at Featherstone Rovers

Don Fox is a Featherstone Rovers Hall of Fame inductee. [13]

Related Research Articles

David Hobbs is an English former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, and coached in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. He played at representative level for Great Britain and England, and at club level for Featherstone Rovers, Oldham, Bradford Northern and Wakefield Trinity (captain), as a prop, second-row or loose forward, and coached at club level for Bradford Northern, Wakefield Trinity and Featherstone Rovers.

Jonty Parkin former GB & England international rugby league footballer

Jonathan "Jonty" Parkin (1894–1972) was an English professional rugby league footballer who played the 1910s, 1920s and 1930s. One of the nine inaugural inductees of the Rugby Football League Hall of Fame, he toured Australia three times, twice as captain of Great Britain, earning 17 Test caps. Parkin played at stand-off or scrum-half, i.e., number 6, or 7, and also captained England for whom he made 12 appearances, as well as 17 for Yorkshire. Parkin gave the Wakefield Trinity club seventeen years' service, including victory in the 1924–25 Yorkshire Cup.

Neil Fox MBE is an English former professional rugby league footballer and player-coach who played in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, and coached in the 1970s and 1980s.

Geoffrey Clarkson English rugby union & league footballer

Geoffrey "Geoff" Clarkson was an English rugby union, and professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. He played representative level rugby union (RU) for Yorkshire, and at club level for Wakefield RFC, and representative level rugby league (RL) for Yorkshire, and at club level for Wakefield Trinity, Bradford Northern, Leigh, Warrington, Leeds, York, Bramley, Hull Kingston Rovers, Oldham and Featherstone Rovers, as a second-row, i.e. number 11 or 12, during the era of contested scrums.

Thomas "Tommy" Henry Newbould, also known by the nickname of 'Trapper', was an English rugby union, and professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1900s, 1910s, and 1920s. He played representative level rugby union (RU) for Yorkshire, and at club level for Castleford Parish Church RFC and Castleford RUFC, and representative level rugby league (RL) for Great Britain, England and Yorkshire, and at club level for Wakefield Trinity (captain), York and Castleford Rovers as a stand-off or scrum-half, i.e. number 6, or 7.

Donald Metcalfe English rugby union & league footballer and RL coach

Donald "Don" Metcalfe was an English rugby union, and professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1950s and 1960s, and coached rugby league in the 1960s. He played club level rugby union (RU) for Sandal RUFC, and representative level rugby league (RL) for England (Under-21s), and Yorkshire (captain), and at club level for Featherstone Rovers (captain), and Wakefield Trinity, as a fullback, or centre, i.e. number 1, or, 3 or 4, and coached at club level for Keighley.

Gary Cooper, also known by the nickname of "Super Duper" Gary Cooper, was an English professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, and coached in the 1970s. He played at representative level for Great Britain, and at club level for Featherstone Rovers (captain), and Wakefield Trinity, as an occasional goal-kicking fullback, or centre, i.e. number 1, or, 3 or 5, and coached at club level for Wakefield Trinity, and York.

William Isaac C. Stott was an English professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1930s and 1940s. He played at representative level for England and Yorkshire, and at club level for Featherstone Rovers, Broughton Rangers, Oldham, Wakefield Trinity (captain) and Belle Vue Rangers, as a goal-kicking centre or stand-off, i.e. number 3 or 4, or 6.

Herbert Goodfellow England international rugby league footballer

Herbert Goodfellow, also known by the nickname of "Goody", was an English professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. He played at representative level for England and Yorkshire, and at club level for Wakefield Trinity (captain), Batley, Castleford and Oldham, as a scrum-half, i.e. number 7.

Colin Clifft, also known by the nickname of "Grandad", is an English former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1950s and 1960s. He played at representative level for England, and at club level for Wakefield Trinity, Halifax, and Featherstone Rovers (vice-captain), as a loose forward, i.e. number 13.

Thomas "Tommy" Smales was an English professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, and coached in the 1960s and 1970s. He played at representative level for Great Britain and England, and at club level for Castleford, Huddersfield (captain), Bradford Northern, North Sydney Bears and Wakefield Trinity as a scrum-half, i.e. number 7, and coached at club level for Castleford and Featherstone Rovers.

Malcolm "Mal" Dixon is an English former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, and coached in the 1970s. He played at representative level for Great Britain, England and Yorkshire, and at club level for Featherstone Rovers and York, as an occasional goal-kicking prop, i.e. number 8 or 10, during the era of contested scrums, and coached at club level for York.

David Smith is an English former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1970s and 1980s. He played at representative level for England and Yorkshire, and at club level for Shaw Cross Sharks ARLFC, Wakefield Trinity, Leeds, Bradford Northern, Workington Town and Carlisle as a wing, or centre, i.e. number 2 or 5, or, 3 or 4.

George Henry Exley, also known by the nickname of 'Mick', was an English rugby union, and professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, and coached rugby league in the 1940s. He played representative level rugby league (RL) for Great Britain, England and Yorkshire, and at club level for Wakefield Trinity (captain) and Hanging Heaton WMC ARLFC, as a wing and later as second-row, i.e. number 2 or 5, or, 11 or 12 during the era of contested scrums, and club level rugby union (RU) for Wakefield RFC Old Boys, and coached at club level for Batley.

Terence "Terry" A. Clawson was an English World Cup winning professional rugby league footballer who played from the 1950s through to the 1980s. He played at representative level for Great Britain between 1962 and 1974, and was part of the 1972 Rugby League World Cup winning squad. He also played for Yorkshire, and at club level for Featherstone Rovers (captain), Bradford Northern, Leeds, Hull Kingston Rovers, Oldham, York, Wakefield Trinity, Hull FC and South Newcastle, as a goal-kicking prop or second-row, i.e. number 8 or 10, or, 11 or 12. He coached at club level for South Newcastle and Featherstone Rovers.

William J. Derek Howes was a Welsh rugby union and professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1940s and 1950s. He played club level rugby union (RU) for Llanelli RFC, and representative level rugby league (RL) for Wales, and at club level for Wakefield Trinity, and Featherstone Rovers, as a second-row, or loose forward, i.e. number 11 or 12, or 13, during the era of contested scrums.

John "Johhny" Malpass was an English professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1930s and 1940s, and coached in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. He played at representative level for Yorkshire, and at club level for the Featherstone Rovers, and Wakefield Trinity, as a wing, or centre, i.e. number 2 or 5, or 3 or 4, and coached at club level for Wakefield Trinity, and Featherstone Rovers.

Laurie Gant English RL coach and former rugby league footballer

Laurence "Laurie" Gant MBE was an English professional rugby league footballer who played as a second-row forward in the 1940s and 1950s, coached in the 1960s and 1970s, and refereed in the 1950s and 1960s.

Carl Dooler GB international rugby league footballer

Carl Dooler was an English professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1960s and 1970s. He played at representative level for Great Britain, and Yorkshire, and at club level for Sharlston Rovers ARLFC, Featherstone Rovers, Hull Kingston Rovers, York and Batley, as an occasional goal-kicking scrum-half, i.e. number 7.

Thomas "Tommy" Henry Pickup was an English professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1920s and 1930s. He played at representative level for Yorkshire, and at club level for Wakefield Trinity, and the Featherstone Rovers, as a centre, or stand-off, i.e. number 3 or 4, or 6.

References

  1. 1 2 "Statistics at rugbyleagueproject.org". rugbyleagueproject.org. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
  2. "Coach Statistics at rugbyleagueproject.org". rugbyleagueproject.org. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
  3. "Btinternet.com". Archived from the original on 18 March 2005.
  4. Bailey, Ron (1956). The Official History Of Featherstone Rovers R.L.F.C.. Wakefield Express. ASIN: B00O1TLDPC
  5. "Sporting Bygones: Golden days of the Sixties when Wakefield ruled the roost…". Yorkshire Post. 25 July 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
  6. "Measuring Worth – Relative Value of UK Pounds". Measuring Worth. 31 December 2014. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  7. "GB and Wakefield legend Fox dies". bbc.co.uk. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
  8. Edgar, Harry (2007). Rugby League Journal Annual 2008 Page-110. Rugby League Journal Publishing. ISBN   0-9548355-3-0
  9. "Representative Players". featherstonerovers.net. 31 December 2011. Archived from the original on 15 May 2014. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
  10. 1 2 Hoole, Les (2004). Wakefield Trinity RLFC – FIFTY GREAT GAMES. Breedon Books. ISBN   1-85983-429-9
  11. "The 10 greatest bits of commentary ever". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 July 2020.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. Blogspot.com
  13. "Featherstone Rovers legends added to Hall of Fame". pontefractandcastlefordexpress.co.uk. 5 November 2016. Retrieved 1 January 2017.