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Harry Sunderland (Be Careful Don't Get it Locked)

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Please tread carefully.

 

The story so far. 
 
After doing some digging, there is no smoking gun, I didn't expect one to be honest.
 
When Francis left Wigan to go to Barrow within a few games he was actually back at Central Park playing for his new club.
 
In his first game for Barrow he had an excellent game and was given a great reception from the crowd. On his return to Wigan as a Barrow player it was reported that he had a poor game. The interesting thing though is that The Wigan Examiner reported that he was given an ovation from the Wigan crowd on entering the field. Now that seems a little odd for a player who had been at Wigan for a couple of years and had only played 12 first team games.
 
The examiner also quoted a Barovian report from their local newspaper asking what where Wigan playing at letting such a talented player go when he had an obviously great future ahead of him.
 
Having now read a lot of material about Sunderland it seems that, regardless of the racism charge, he was first and foremost a self publicist, he was almost certainly interested in what was best for himself and makes claims, like he was responsible for the creation of French RL, that are patently not true.
 
He certainly knew how to use the media, he was a journalist after all, and insisted that during his time as a manager of Australia touring teams he was allowed to continue his journalistic sideline. Interestingly he was only allowed to do that as long as all other tour members had the same privilege, thus denying him exclusivity.
 
He was  sued just before one tour for defamation of a player and had to apologies in court despite  continual refusals to do so. I don't know the origins of the player involved, I need to do more digging.
 
I had a meet up with Tony Collins on Saturday and he sticks by his view that Harry Sunderland is not fit for the honour bestowed upon him in having the GF MoM awarded a trophy given in his honour.
 
The more I have read the more I tend to agree with the view that he was not all he is painted as.
 
Please do not let this descend into another I'm right your wrong slanging match. If you have something to add please do so.
 

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Please tread carefully.

 

The story so far. 
 
After doing some digging, there is no smoking gun, I didn't expect one to be honest.
 
When Francis left Wigan to go to Barrow within a few games he was actually back at Central Park playing for his new club.
 
In his first game for Barrow he had an excellent game and was given a great reception from the crowd. On his return to Wigan as a Barrow player it was reported that he had a poor game. The interesting thing though is that The Wigan Examiner reported that he was given an ovation from the Wigan crowd on entering the field. Now that seems a little odd for a player who had been at Wigan for a couple of years and had only played 12 first team games.
 
The examiner also quoted a Barovian report from their local newspaper asking what where Wigan playing at letting such a talented player go when he had an obviously great future ahead of him.
 
Having now read a lot of material about Sunderland it seems that, regardless of the racism charge, he was first and foremost a self publicist, he was almost certainly interested in what was best for himself and makes claims, like he was responsible for the creation of French RL, that are patently not true.
 
He certainly knew how to use the media, he was a journalist after all, and insisted that during his time as a manager of Australia touring teams he was allowed to continue his journalistic sideline. Interestingly he was only allowed to do that as long as all other tour members had the same privilege, thus denying him exclusivity.
 
He was  sued just before one tour for defamation of a player and had to apologies in court despite  continual refusals to do so. I don't know the origins of the player involved, I need to do more digging.
 
I had a meet up with Tony Collins on Saturday and he sticks by his view that Harry Sunderland is not fit for the honour bestowed upon him in having the GF MoM awarded a trophy given in his honour.
 
The more I have read the more I tend to agree with the view that he was not all he is painted as.
 
Please do not let this descend into another I'm right your wrong slanging match. If you have something to add please do so.

 

 

I think there is a fair case for a review of the MoM trophy name for the GF. The Harry Sunderland Trophy was for the MoM in the Premiership Final and simply transferred across because it appeared to be convenient.

 

Now that the GF is the pinnacle of our game, it needs something alongside the 'Churchill Medal' . There are plenty of great candidates for this and I think the issue should be re-opened. I think there is a easy way of getting around the accusations/politics by saying the HS Trophy was not officially intended for the MoM in the GF.

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Please tread carefully.

 

The story so far. 
 
After doing some digging, there is no smoking gun, I didn't expect one to be honest.
 
When Francis left Wigan to go to Barrow within a few games he was actually back at Central Park playing for his new club.
 
In his first game for Barrow he had an excellent game and was given a great reception from the crowd. On his return to Wigan as a Barrow player it was reported that he had a poor game. The interesting thing though is that The Wigan Examiner reported that he was given an ovation from the Wigan crowd on entering the field. Now that seems a little odd for a player who had been at Wigan for a couple of years and had only played 12 first team games.
 
The examiner also quoted a Barovian report from their local newspaper asking what where Wigan playing at letting such a talented player go when he had an obviously great future ahead of him.
 
Having now read a lot of material about Sunderland it seems that, regardless of the racism charge, he was first and foremost a self publicist, he was almost certainly interested in what was best for himself and makes claims, like he was responsible for the creation of French RL, that are patently not true.
 
He certainly knew how to use the media, he was a journalist after all, and insisted that during his time as a manager of Australia touring teams he was allowed to continue his journalistic sideline. Interestingly he was only allowed to do that as long as all other tour members had the same privilege, thus denying him exclusivity.
 
He was  sued just before one tour for defamation of a player and had to apologies in court despite  continual refusals to do so. I don't know the origins of the player involved, I need to do more digging.
 
I had a meet up with Tony Collins on Saturday and he sticks by his view that Harry Sunderland is not fit for the honour bestowed upon him in having the GF MoM awarded a trophy given in his honour.
 
The more I have read the more I tend to agree with the view that he was not all he is painted as.
 
Please do not let this descend into another I'm right your wrong slanging match. If you have something to add please do so.

 

thanks for going to the trouble dave.

It seems it makes no difference whether he was a racist or not, it seems that there are many better candidates for the accolade.

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I think there is a fair case for a review of the MoM trophy name for the GF. The Harry Sunderland Trophy was for the MoM in the Premiership Final and simply transferred across because it appeared to be convenient.

 

Now that the GF is the pinnacle of our game, it needs something alongside the 'Churchill Medal' . There are plenty of great candidates for this and I think the issue should be re-opened. I think there is a easy way of getting around the accusations/politics by saying the HS Trophy was not officially intended for the MoM in the GF.

couldn't agree more

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Since it is writers award I think Harold Mather would be a good candidate, he was an excellent Guardian journalist who was held in great respect. His reports are a pleasure to read.

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Please tread carefully.

 

The story so far. 
 
After doing some digging, there is no smoking gun, I didn't expect one to be honest.
 
When Francis left Wigan to go to Barrow within a few games he was actually back at Central Park playing for his new club.
 
In his first game for Barrow he had an excellent game and was given a great reception from the crowd. On his return to Wigan as a Barrow player it was reported that he had a poor game. The interesting thing though is that The Wigan Examiner reported that he was given an ovation from the Wigan crowd on entering the field. Now that seems a little odd for a player who had been at Wigan for a couple of years and had only played 12 first team games.
 
The examiner also quoted a Barovian report from their local newspaper asking what where Wigan playing at letting such a talented player go when he had an obviously great future ahead of him.
 
Having now read a lot of material about Sunderland it seems that, regardless of the racism charge, he was first and foremost a self publicist, he was almost certainly interested in what was best for himself and makes claims, like he was responsible for the creation of French RL, that are patently not true.
 
He certainly knew how to use the media, he was a journalist after all, and insisted that during his time as a manager of Australia touring teams he was allowed to continue his journalistic sideline. Interestingly he was only allowed to do that as long as all other tour members had the same privilege, thus denying him exclusivity.
 
He was  sued just before one tour for defamation of a player and had to apologies in court despite  continual refusals to do so. I don't know the origins of the player involved, I need to do more digging.
 
I had a meet up with Tony Collins on Saturday and he sticks by his view that Harry Sunderland is not fit for the honour bestowed upon him in having the GF MoM awarded a trophy given in his honour.
 
The more I have read the more I tend to agree with the view that he was not all he is painted as.
 
Please do not let this descend into another I'm right your wrong slanging match. If you have something to add please do so.

 

mate your pm folder or whatever  they call it, is clagged up

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mate your pm folder or whatever  they call it, is clagged up

Should be right now

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Is being a self publicist and possibly a bit arrogant now the reason for the removal of the medal?

Sounds suspect to only honour people who are really nice and friendly.

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Is being a self publicist and possibly a bit arrogant now the reason for the removal of the medal?

Sounds suspect to only honour people who are really nice and friendly.

John, I'm trying my best to be very nice here.

 

The more i read about him the less I like him.

 

What are you basing your assumption on that he is a great guy, have your researched his background, have you studied what he did and what he was responsible for.

 

You don't actually want to back up your position with anything other than he's had an award named after him he must therefore be a good guy.

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Since it is writers award I think Harold Mather would be a good candidate, he was an excellent Guardian journalist who was held in great respect. His reports are a pleasure to read.

And no doubt Harold Mathers was part of the Rugby League Writers Association when it decided to put forward Sunderland's name to be honoured in the Premiership/Championship Final.

 

Given that the award was first presented in 1965, when there were a fair number of black players around, it's hard to believe that he would have been nominated if there had been any suspicions of racism. And the writers at the time, including Harold Mathers, would surely have been in a much better position than us to make that judgement.

 

I'm glad you took the trouble to read the newspapers from the 1930s, but you don't seem to have unearthed any evidence of racism on Sunderland's part.

 

I'm sure the Wigan fans would have given Roy Francis a warm welcome because they were very fair minded, particularly in relation to a black player, who was relatively unusual in the 1930s, although not unique.

 

If we were deciding today who to name an award after, we may not choose Sunderland, although oddly enough the Queensland Rugby League did so in putting his name to an annual lecture on Rugby League in 2010. So they don't think he's a racist.

 

It's one thing to name an award after someone, but it's another to re-name the award, which by implication insults the person after whom the award is originally named.

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John, I'm trying my best to be very nice here.

The more i read about him the less I like him.

What are you basing your assumption on that he is a great guy, have your researched his background, have you studied what he did and what he was responsible for.

You don't actually want to back up your position with anything other than he's had an award named after him he must therefore be a good guy.

I aren't saying he was a good guy. I know very little about him. Maybe I couldn't stand him if I had met him.

But that is not reason to remove an award in his name.

I know people who have *good* reason to dislike Ellery Hanley, would that be reason enough for the powers that be to not recognise him one day?

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And no doubt Harold Mathers was part of the Rugby League Writers Association when it decided to put forward Sunderland's name to be honoured in the Premiership/Championship Final.

 

Given that the award was first presented in 1965, when there were a fair number of black players around, it's hard to believe that he would have been nominated if there had been any suspicions of racism. And the writers at the time, including Harold Mathers, would surely have been in a much better position than us to make that judgement.

 

I'm glad you took the trouble to read the newspapers from the 1930s, but you don't seem to have unearthed any evidence of racism on Sunderland's part.

 

I'm sure the Wigan fans would have given Roy Francis a warm welcome because they were very fair minded, particularly in relation to a black player, who was relatively unusual in the 1930s, although not unique.

 

If we were deciding today who to name an award after, we may not choose Sunderland, although oddly enough the Queensland Rugby League did so in putting his name to an annual lecture on Rugby League in 2010. So they don't think he's a racist.

 

It's one thing to name an award after someone, but it's another to re-name the award, which by implication insults the person after whom the award is originally named.

I understand your sentiments, and yes I have haven't found a quote from Australia or the UK to show he was racist, but there is a lot of stuff to show he wasn't Mr. Nice Guy

 

I aren't saying he was a good guy. I know very little about him. Maybe I couldn't stand him if I had met him.

But that is not reason to remove an award in his name.

I know people who have *good* reason to dislike Ellery Hanley, would that be reason enough for the powers that be to not recognise him one day?

I wouldn't want a trophy named after Eller Hanley, full stop.

 

One of the greatest players i have had the privilege to watch, but no way should his name be attached to a trophy.

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I'm just supposing a scenario where someone proposed a medal or something in his name. Would certain people disliking him outweigh whatever reason they had for proposing him in the first place? That's the only point I'm making, ie should all the people we honour be whiter than white?

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thanks for going to the trouble dave.

It seems it makes no difference whether he was a racist or not, it seems that there are many better candidates for the accolade.

Probably but it has had that name for almost 50 years. Why change it now and devalue its history?

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I'm just supposing a scenario where someone proposed a medal or something in his name. Would certain people disliking him outweigh whatever reason they had for proposing him in the first place? That's the only point I'm making, ie should all the people we honour be whiter than white?

The sunderland trophy is a very high honour, he appears to be less than savoury character. I started with an open mind on this, but the mor I dig the more i tend towards l'ange's view.

 

It may not be popular, Martyn has made his view quite clear, however I feel that the award should be questioned.

 

Thinking about I think we should have a rule/law that says that these awards should only last for a set number of years and then be passed on.

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The sunderland trophy is a very high honour, he appears to be less than savoury character. I started with an open mind on this, but the mor I dig the more i tend towards l'ange's view.

It may not be popular, Martyn has made his view quite clear, however I feel that the award should be questioned.

Thinking about I think we should have a rule/law that says that these awards should only last for a set number of years and then be passed on.

You say that but I haven't seen anything you or ange have put on here that's concrete enough to be thinking about scrapping this award. I have no problem changing the award because there is a better candidate or bringing a rule in that limits the length of time it is in some bodies name. What we are talking about here though is changing the award because he was a racist/unsavoury character and as yet I haven't seen anything conclusive enough to do that.

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There's a whole world of difference between being an 'unsavoury character' and a racist as was the original proposal for removing his name.

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padge has passed on some information that he's gone to the trouble of obtaining.

 

that's all

 

thanks again

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Again, this is interesting, but what has been added to the debate?

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Again, this is interesting, but what has been added to the debate?

As far as I can see it goes like this.... 'it can't be proved he is racist but he's definitely a bad 'un'

Pretty certain that if any significant proof of racism had been discovered, much more of a deal would have been made of it. It highlights the dangers of retrospective banning and 'I think he was a tosser' style claims

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Again, this is interesting, but what has been added to the debate?

Not a lot but it was interesting nevertheless. 

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The sunderland trophy is a very high honour, he appears to be less than savoury character. I started with an open mind on this, but the mor I dig the more i tend towards l'ange's view.

 

It may not be popular, Martyn has made his view quite clear, however I feel that the award should be questioned.

 

Thinking about I think we should have a rule/law that says that these awards should only last for a set number of years and then be passed on.

I'm not even sure you've got any proof that he was a "less than savoury" character.

 

He certainly knew how to look after number one, but if that were a disqualification, there would be few people who we could name anything after.

 

Sunderland was involved with the Queensland Rugby League before the First World War, which was a time when rugby union went defunct in that state. And in the years after that he was a Rugby League evangelist, more successful in some places than others.

 

So on that basis I'm sure you'd have got some support from the RFU and the Australian Rugby Union about him being an unsavoury character, and no doubt the Vichy government in France would have been on your side too.

 

But clearly Harold Mathers, who you obviously admired, and his colleagues didn't take much note of the rugby union authorities when they nominated him for the award after his death in 1964.

 

I think we should draw the line with them.

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None of us are in a position to judge the man, as none of us knew him. Those who may have supported the case for either side are long gone and so what it boils down to is simple opinion. It doesn't matter how many archived press cuttings you've trawled through, it is still only an opinion that is incapable of being proved beyond doubt.

I would ask this question though - if he was such an unsavoury character, someone of dubious opinions and morals, then why on earth would his peers of the time see fit to name an award after him ? They knew the man far better than anyone on here did - so by implication their judgement is being questioned. I mean, Sunderland did not bestow the honour on himself, so the members of the RLWA must have thought him a worthy person to honour in this way.

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Unfortunately people with talent and drive in their chosen profession tend not to be very nice as individuals. Possibly the 19th. century's greatest and most innovative operatic composer and director was Richard Wagner who as a person was a quite revolting anti-semitic egomaniac. This doesn't, however detract from his work (incidentally he died of a heart attack following a row with his wife - you have been warned!).

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I'm just supposing a scenario where someone proposed a medal or something in his name. Would certain people disliking him outweigh whatever reason they had for proposing him in the first place? That's the only point I'm making, ie should all the people we honour be whiter than white?

 

Is it just me that sees the irony? :ph34r:

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