Roy Francis (rugby)

Last updated

Roy Francis
Roy-Francis.jpg
Personal information
Full nameRoy Francis
Born(1919-01-20)20 January 1919
Cardiff, Wales
DiedApril 1, 1989(1989-04-01) (aged 70)
Leeds, England
Playing information
Position Winger
Club
YearsTeamPldTGFGP
1937–39 Wigan 1290027
1939–48 Barrow 1137220220
1948–49 Warrington 37270081
1949–55 Hull FC 1276000180
1941–44 Dewsbury Rams 575710173
Total34622530681
Representative
YearsTeamPldTGFGP
1946–48 Wales 51003
1947 Great Britain 12006
1942 Northern Command 21003
1942 Lancashire 10000
Coaching information
Club
YearsTeamGmsWDLW%
195563 Hull FC
196368 Leeds 21913947663
196870 North Sydney 441722539
197073 Hull FC
197475 Leeds 442911466
197577 Bradford Northern 612932948
Total3682141014458
As of 29 September 2020

Roy Francis (20 January 1919 – April 1989) was a Welsh rugby union, and professional rugby league footballer and coach of the mid 20th century. He was the first Black British professional coach in any sport. [1] Francis was also a highly accomplished player, scoring 229 tries in his 356 career games, chiefly as a wing. A Great Britain and Wales national representative three-quarter back, he played for English clubs Wigan, Barrow, Dewsbury (World War II guest), Warrington and Hull F.C. Francis then became a coach with Hull F.C. Renowned for his innovative coaching methods, he was regarded as a visionary, leading Hull to title success before going on to win the Challenge Cup with Leeds. He then broke further ground by moving on to coach in Australia with the North Sydney Bears before another brief stint at Leeds, and then Bradford Northern. [2] [3] [4]

Contents

Playing career

Francis came from Brynmawr, Wales. He played rugby union for Brynmawr RFC before joining English rugby league club Wigan as a seventeen-year-old [5] on 14 November 1936. He made his début for Wigan on Friday 26 March 1937. He transferred from Wigan to Barrow in January 1939 but then served in the Army during the Second World War. He played rugby union in the Army and also made guest appearances for Dewsbury. Francis became a Sergeant in the British Army during World War II. He played as a centre for Northern Command XIII against a Rugby League XIII at Thrum Hall, Halifax on Saturday 21 March 1942. [6] Francis played as a left-centre, i.e. number 4 in Dewsbury's 14-25 aggregate defeat by Wigan in the Championship Final during the 1943–44 season; the 9-13 first-leg defeat at Central Park, Wigan on Saturday 13 May 1944, and scored a try in the 5-12 second-leg defeat at Crown Flatt, Dewsbury on Saturday 20 May 1944. [7]

Returning to Barrow after the war, Francis represented Great Britain but was controversially overlooked for one Ashes tour to Australia for political reasons, the organisers fearing the ructions that could be caused by travelling to a country with an infamous bar on non-white people. He joined Warrington for £800 in July 1948. Roy Francis played in Warrington's 13–12 defeat by Huddersfield the Championship Final during the 1948–49 season at Maine Road, Manchester on Saturday 14 May 1949.

He transferred from Barrow to Hull during November 1949 for a fee of £1,250. Francis played his last game on Boxing Day 1955 before switching to coaching, a field in which he was to make an even greater impact.

Coaching career

Francis' man-management, coaching methods and use of psychological techniques were considered years ahead of their time. He was the first coach to embrace players' families and offer them transport to games.

Roy Francis was the coach in Hull FC's 13–30 defeat by Wigan in the 1959 Challenge Cup Final during the 1958–59 season at Wembley Stadium, London on Saturday 9 May 1959, in front of a crowd of 79,811, [8] and was the coach in the 5–38 defeat by Wakefield Trinity in the 1960 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. [9]

Francis left Hull F.C. for Leeds in 1963 [10] and oversaw their victory in the 1968 Challenge Cup 'Watersplash' Final during the 1967–68 season at Wembley.

Francis moved to Sydney to coach the North Sydney Bears for the 1969 NSWRFL season and stayed until 1970.

From 1971 to 1973 Francis was Hull FC's team manager. [11] He won a Premiership title back at Leeds during the 1974–75 season, and then coached Bradford Northern from 1975.

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Albert Fearnley
1975
Coach
Bullscolours.svg
Bradford Northern

1975-1977
Succeeded by
Peter Fox
1977-1985
Preceded by
Eric Ashton
1973-1974
Coach
Rhinoscolours.svg
Leeds RLFC

1974-1975
Succeeded by
Syd Hynes
1975-1981
Preceded by
Colin Greenwood
1968
Coach
North Sydney colours.svg
North Sydney

1969-1970
Succeeded by
Merv Hicks
1971-1972
Preceded by
Joe Warham
1958-1962
Coach
Rhinoscolours.svg
Leeds RLFC

1963-1969
Succeeded by
Joe Warham
1969-1970
Preceded by
Ted Tattersfield
1946-1949
Coach
Hullcolours.svg
Hull FC

1949-1963
Succeeded by
Johnny Whiteley
1963-1970

He died in April 1989, aged 70. [12]

Honours

Francis served as a Sergeant in the British Army during World War II. [13]

As a player

As a coach

Related Research Articles

Jim Sullivan (rugby, born 1903) former GB & Wales international rugby league footballer

Jim Sullivan was a Welsh rugby league player, and coach. Sullivan joined Wigan in June 1921 after starting his career in rugby union. A a right-footed toe-end style goal-kicking fullback, he scored 4,883 points in a career that spanned 25 years with Wigan, and still holds several records with the club today.

Stephen Norton, also known by the nickname of "Knocker", is an English former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1970s and 1980s, and coached in the 1990s. He played at representative level for Great Britain, England and Yorkshire, and at club level for Fryston ARLFC, Castleford, Hull F.C. and Wakefield Trinity, as a second-row or loose forward, and coached at club level for Barrow.

Eric Hughes was an English rugby union and professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, and coached rugby league in the 1980s and 1990s. He played representative level rugby union (RU) for England (Under-15s), and representative level rugby league (RL) for Great Britain and England, and at club level for Widnes, Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, St Helens and the Rochdale Hornets, as a wing, centre or stand-off, i.e. number 2 or 5, or, 3 or 4, or 6, and coached at club level for Widnes, Rochdale Hornets, St Helens, Leigh and the Wigan Warriors. He unwittingly added confusion to the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs team as he was unrelated but played at the same time as the three Australian brothers named Hughes; Garry, Graeme and Mark.

Charles Douglas Laughton is an English former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, and coached in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. He played at representative level for Great Britain (captain), winning 15 caps in all, winning a further cap for England, and Lancashire, and at club level for St. Helens, Wigan, Widnes, and the Canterbury Bulldogs, as a second-row, or loose forward, and coached at club level for Widnes and Leeds.

Eric Ashton former GB & England RL coach and GB & England international rugby league footballer

Eric Ashton MBE was an English World Cup winning professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1950s and 1960s, and coached in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

Joseph Paul Lydon is an English former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1980s and 1990s, and coached rugby union in the 2000s and 2010s, and rugby league and rugby union administrator of the 1990s, 2000s and 2010s. He played representative level rugby league (RL) for Great Britain and Lancashire, and at club level for Widnes, Wigan and Eastern Suburbs, as a fullback, wing, centre, or stand-off, has coached representative level rugby union (RU) for England, England Sevens (2001-), was the Team Manager for Wigan (1994–96), Performance Consultant for Waterloo FC (2007-), Chief Executive for Wigan Warriors (2007-), Head of Rugby Performance & Development for Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) (2008-), and Head of International Player Development for Rugby Football Union (RFU) (2013-).

Andy Gregory English RL coach and former GB international rugby league footballer

Andrew Gregory is an English former professional rugby league footballer. A Great Britain international representative scrum-half, he is an inductee of the Wigan Hall of Fame.first player to win five Challenge Cup Final winners medals, first player to play in eight Challenge Cup finals, only one of only two players to have played in six Ashes series against Australia ; Andy Gregory and Garry Schofield.

Graeme Leonard West is a New Zealand former rugby league footballer and coach. Standing at six-foot, five inches, he played in the forwards, captaining English club Wigan. West also played representative rugby league for New Zealand and is the father of Super League player, Dwayne West.

Joe Egan (rugby league) former GB & England international rugby league footballer

Joseph Egan was an English professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, and coached in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. He played at representative level for Great Britain and England and Lancashire, and at club level for Wigan from 1938 to 1950, Oldham and Leigh, as a hooker, or second-row, i.e. number 9, or, 11 or 12, during the era of contested scrums, and coached at club level for Leigh, Wigan, Widnes, Warrington and Blackpool Borough. Egan is a Wigan Hall of Fame inductee, and was a life member at Wigan, Egan later became coach of Wigan, taking them to Championship success in the 1959–60 season.

Thomas Smales is an English former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1950s and 1960s, and coached in the 1970s and 1980s. He played at club level for Wigan, Barrow and Featherstone Rovers as a goal-kicking loose forward, i.e. number 13, during the era of contested scrums, and coached at club level for Dewsbury, Featherstone Rovers, Bramley, Doncaster and Batley.

Joe Jones (rugby)

Joseph Jones was a Welsh rugby union and professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. He played club level rugby union (RU) for Cilfynydd RFC, and representative level rugby league (RL) for Great Britain and Wales, and at club level for Wigan and Barrow, as a fullback, centre, stand-off, or loose forward, i.e. number 1, 3 or 4, 6, or 13, during the era of contested scrums.

William Newman Ramsey was an English professional rugby league footballer who played as a prop, second-row or loose forward in the 1960s and 1970s, and coached in the 1970s. He played at representative level for Great Britain, Yorkshire, and Commonwealth XIII, and at club level for Hunslet, Leeds, Bradford Northern, Hull FC and Widnes during the era of contested scrums, and coached at club level for Hunslet. During his Leeds career Ramsey appeared in 17 major Finals, including five at Wembley Stadium, London, scored a rare drop goal in the 1969 Championship Final, toured twice in 1966 and 1974, and won seven winners medals with Leeds.

R. Brindle Knowelden was an English professional rugby league and association football (soccer) footballer who played in the 1940s and 1950s, and coached rugby league in the 1950s. He played at representative level for Great Britain and England, and at club level for Barrow, Warrington (captain), and Hull Kingston Rovers, as a wing, centre or stand-off, i.e. number 1 or 5, 2 or 5, or 6, and coached at club level for Hull Kingston Rovers. He also played association football (soccer) for Morecambe and Liverpool (reserves).

George Curran was an English professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1940s and 1950s. He played at representative level for Great Britain and England, and at club level for Salford, Dewsbury, Wigan, Huddersfield and Liverpool City, as a prop, hooker, or second-row, i.e. number 8 or 10, 9, or, 11 or 12, during the era of contested scrums.

Barney Hudson GB & England international rugby league footballer

Bernard "Barney" Hudson was an English rugby union, and professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. He played club level rugby union (RU) for Horden Rugby Football Club and Hartlepool Rovers, and representative level rugby league (RL) for Great Britain and England, and at club level for Salford, as a wing, i.e. number 2 or 5. Whilst serving in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War, he was a guest player, and captained Dewsbury.

Ernie Ashcroft former GB & England international rugby league footballer

Ernest "Ernie" J. Ashcroft was an English professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, and coached in the 1950s and 1960s. He played at representative level for Great Britain, England, British Empire XIII and Lancashire, and at club level for Wigan, and Huddersfield, as a fullback, wing, or centre, i.e. number 1, 2 or 5, or, 3 or 4, and coached at club level for Huddersfield and Warrington.

Alan Spencer Edwards was a Welsh rugby union, and professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1930s and 1940s. He played club level rugby union (RU) for Aberavon RFC, the Royal Air Force, and representative level rugby league (RL) for Great Britain and Wales, and at club level for Salford, Leeds, Dewsbury, and Bradford Northern, as a wing

Shaun Wane Professional RL coach and former GB international rugby league footballer

Shaun David Wane is an English rugby league and rugby union coach, and former professional rugby league footballer. He is currently the head coach for the England national rugby league team, and is the former head coach of the Wigan Warriors from 2011 to 2018, where he won 3 Super League Grand Finals. He enjoys talking at Leigh Sports Village about his whole life story about being the world record holder for the person who has ate the most pies in the globe. Wane is currently on a diet programme and had a PT, however it was circulated Shaun said some inappropriate words and actions whilst on his sessions. The Personal Trainer is taking Shaun to court over this in which he will have to face a trial. Wane made a statement regarding this, in which he strongly denied all allegations made about him.

Arthur Binks was an English professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1920s and 1930s. He played at representative level for England, and at club level for Buslingthorpe Vale ARLFC, Leeds, Wigan and Bradford Northern, as a stand-off, or scrum-half, i.e. number 6, or 7.

Steve O'Neill is an English former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, and coached in the 1990s and 2000s. He played at representative level for England, and at club level for Wigan, Widnes, Salford, Swinton and the Gateshead Thunder, as a prop or second-row, i.e. number 8 or 10, or, 11 or 12, and coached at representative level for Ireland.

References

  1. Iwan Gabe Davies. "Trailblazer Roy Francis from Gwent who became Britain's first professional black sporting coach". South Wales Argus. Retrieved 15 June 2020.
  2. "Statistics at rugbyleagueproject.org (RL)". rugbyleagueproject.org. 31 December 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  3. "Coach Statistics at rugbyleagueproject.org (RL)". rugbyleagueproject.org. 31 December 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  4. Gone North Volume 1 by Robert Gate page 53 ISBN   0951119001
  5. University of Keele; Bale, John; Maguire, Joseph (1994). The Global Sports Arena: Athletic talent migration in an interdependent world. UK: Frank Cass & Co. Ltd. p. 28. ISBN   9780714634890.
  6. "inside programme, Northern Command v. A Rugby League XIII, 1942". rugbyleagueoralhistory.co.uk. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
  7. "1943-1944 War Emergency League Championship Final". wigan.rlfans.com. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
  8. "1958-1959 Challenge Cup Final". wigan.rlfans.com. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
  9. "A complete history of Hull FC's Challenge Cup finals". Hull Daily Mail. 22 August 2013. Archived from the original on 3 February 2014. Retrieved 1 January 2014.
  10. "Local lad who sealed his place in city's heart". Hull Daily Mail at satellite.tmcnet.com. 1 January 2006. Retrieved 1 January 2007.
  11. "Coaches and Captains". hullfc.com. 31 December 2016. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
  12. "1988-1989". Leeds Rhinos. Retrieved 21 August 2017.
  13. Dore, Richard (28 October 2020). "Roy Francis: The black head coach who revolutionised rugby league". BBC Sport. Retrieved 30 October 2020.