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Mick Crane

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#21 chuffer

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 09:54 PM

Mick was 23 years old, his height was 6' 0" and his weight was 13st 7lb.

Similar build to me......which would prob be too slight for the modern game but then look at the likes of Stuart Wright etc who were around at that time

#22 Daryn Hanright

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 06:20 AM

Can't comment on the authenticity of this story, but I've heard it from so many sources that I'm happy to accept it as gospel. Craney was playing for HKR at the time and had been named on the teamsheet at 13.  Trouble was, with minutes to go before kick-off he was nowhere to be seen.  Roger Millward as coach of KR is about to go and plead with the refereree to change the teamsheet when the door burst open and in staggers our hero, reeking of fags & booze and looking like he's spent the night in a ditch.  Millward delivers his version of a Fergusson hairdryer, tempered with the words "but I've told the ref, so you'll have to play".  By all accounts Millward's last words before Craney stepped on to the pitch were "I don't care how you perform this afternoon, you're a disgrace and have played your last game for this club". 


Needless to say, Craney proceeds to dance / waltz through the opposition defence at regular frequency, scores a hat-trick and is named man-of-the match in a big HKR win.  Back in the dressing room at the end & MIllward calls Mick over.  "Well played Mick, you did well there.  If you can just let us know where you are & what time you'll be coming in future, that'd be fine with me"


Legend.  Absolute legend. And I'm in full agreement with Ullman - best I ever saw.  Word has it that the 1982 Ausies were genuinely scared of Mick Crane because they couldn't even begin to guess what he was going to do. 



That is awesome! 

#23 deluded pom?

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 06:41 AM

As someone alluded to earlier, Craney was the Alf Tupper of rugby league. For you young 'uns either google it or ask your dad/grandad.


#24 boxhead

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 07:02 AM

To be honest I do not remember him even though I followed the 1982 Kangaroo tours every match.

Age is catching up with me maybe.

I thought this article was funny.


"One of my light hearted memorable moments happened in the early eighties whilst waiting for the Hull Fc supporters coach in the Boulevard car park on Airlie Street. This was taking us to a night time away match. 

The team coach was unusually late setting off for the match. Players, coaches and backroom staff were pacing up and down. Frantically glancing at watches, huffing and puffing (remember this was before mobile phones) 

Fifteen minutes later, who should come down the street with his shirt lap hanging out but, Mick Crane, puffing on a cigarette as usual and eating a bag of chips. 

All the fans, players, coaches alike just stood and laughed as he trudged up, finished off his chips before getting onto the team bus. 

Needless to say he had his usual brilliant off the cuff game"


#25 Old Frightful

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 07:14 AM

Somewhere, I have a copy of the 1982 Hull v Australia game from the Boulevard in which Mick played loose forward if anyone's interested in a copy.


It's from an original VHS tape but the quality's not too bad.


(If I suddenly get an avalanche of pms you'll have to bear with me, it may take a while.)

         SL Steve Prescott Man of Steel 2016 - Danny Houghton                 SL Top Gun 2016 - Marc Sneyd (83% goal success)

         SL Hit Man 2016 - Danny Houghton (1,289 tackles)                        SL Club of the Year 2016 - Hull FC

         SL Coach of the Year 2016 - Lee Radford                                        RL Challenge Cup Winners 2016 - Hull FC


                                                                      All in all, not a bad year, I suppose...

#26 Daryn Hanright

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 07:17 AM

Funny, that 82 kangaroos game is actually here




Entire game!

#27 Old Frightful

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 07:19 AM

Funny, that 82 kangaroos game is actually here




Entire game!

Yep, just about to post a youtube link myself. Saves me a bit of effort!

         SL Steve Prescott Man of Steel 2016 - Danny Houghton                 SL Top Gun 2016 - Marc Sneyd (83% goal success)

         SL Hit Man 2016 - Danny Houghton (1,289 tackles)                        SL Club of the Year 2016 - Hull FC

         SL Coach of the Year 2016 - Lee Radford                                        RL Challenge Cup Winners 2016 - Hull FC


                                                                      All in all, not a bad year, I suppose...

#28 Daryn Hanright

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 07:32 AM

Here is en excerpt from XIII Winters by Dave Hadfield. This piece was written by Trevor Gibbons in the book. Really is an excellent read


(typos may be here)


"...Of the four heroes, Mick Crane was the natural genius. He had the same gift with a rugby ball that George Best expressed with a soccer ball at his feet. That rugby ball seemed glued to Mick: just when it appeared he must drop it, he would come up with the pill, overstretching himself but always recovering the situation to leave you gasping. All of this was done with the cheekiest, most lop-sided grin you could see. Mick relished every minute. 

What would he have been like if he trained? It was always rumoured that the skills Mick showed on the field were as nothing to the excuses he could discover for him not to train; but who cared? We loved him, even if he would not have fitted into the 'my body is a temple' approach. 

Hull didn't actually have any Australians in the team, but Mick would fill in some of the missing gaps by (allegedly) going walkabout in the way of Aboriginal warriors. It was said he would disappear from the club for days on end, only to return mysteriously and pick up the threads as though nothing had happened. As with all true warriors, nobody asked him where he'd been and Mick, we can assume, volunteered no information. He let his talking be done out on the pitch, walking in for 19 tries that season, and none better than the one right between the posts in the Players final at Headingley, the great grin lighting up the day as he put the ball down (one-handed) over the line. Mick Crane's approach to Rugby League may well have brought shrugs from his coaches, but he played the game as though he was born to it..."


XIII Winters, XIII Worlds (2009), Dave Hadfield & Trevor Gibbons, pg 229-230


Buy it here

http://www.amazon.co...ds=XIII Winters

Edited by Daryn Hanright, 20 July 2013 - 07:35 AM.


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Posted 20 July 2013 - 08:47 AM

Mick was indeed a Rugby League genius and one of the best I've ever seen, when combined with Steve Norton in the back row the Hull pack were almost unplayable. He played during an era when every team had magic footballers and mavericks obviously some were more magic than others but the game encouraged that type of play rather than actively seeking to eradicate it as it does today.

Sts had Pinner, Adams
Wakefield had Topliss, Agar,
Wigan had Ashurst
Widnes had Myler, Grima & Pyke
Cas had Joyner, Johnson
Hull had Crane, Norton, Crooks
HKR had Hall, Lowe, Smith & Hartley
Leeds had Holmes,

Etc you get the idea

#30 westhuller

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 08:57 AM

Peter Sterling interview halfway down he mentions Mick Crane, made me chuckle http://richarddelariviere.co.uk/?p=519
We certainly miss the characters in the game now.

Edited by westhuller, 20 July 2013 - 08:57 AM.

#31 Ullman

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Posted 21 July 2013 - 08:09 AM

I've told it before but I feel I ought to add my own Mick Crane story. Not as funny as some but it's mine. Sometime in the early 70s I went on the train with my dad to see Hull at Salford (as a railwayman and true Yorkshireman the train was always his preferred option because it would cost next to nowt to get there, we even walked from Victoria to the Willows). It was a really tight game with only a few points in it when Mick received a peach of a pass that put him in a gap about 10-15 yards from the line. To our despair he dropped it and that was the end of our chances. The next week my dad went to Craven Park with his red and white mate to watch Rovers when conversation inevitably turned towards Hull's defeat. My dad was bemoaning the fact that we might have won if Craney hadn't dropped the ball over the line when he heard this indignant voice behind him exclaim 'I never dropped it ovver the larn'. Cue much mirth from the surrounding red and whites and my dad wanting the hole to swallow him up.

"I own up. I am a serial risk taker. I live in a flood zone, cycle without a helmet, drink alcohol and on Sunday I had bacon for breakfast."

#32 Daryn Hanright

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 03:08 AM

I've purchased a copy of Sterlo. If any bits of information about Crane in there will share (all properly quoted & referenced of course!)


While googling around, I found an archived article from the "Hull Daily Mail" from 1983 that (again) describes him very well.


"Crane really smokin' as Hull lift cup. 

(From Hull Daily Mail) 
Mick Crane was the man of the match when Hull FC beat Castleford 13-2 in the Yorkshire Cup final of 1983 at Elland Road, Leeds. 

Crane picked up the White Rose Trophy for a performance in which he scored one try, had a hand in another and dropped a goal. 

The strange thing about Crane was the fact that he did it in such a laid-back, nonchalant way.     

To him, it seemed that rugby league was just a past-time. 

He loved the game but was renowned for not turning up at training and even at matches. 

It seemed he couldn't be bothered at the time, but when he did turn up he was brilliant, as in the Yorkshire Cup final on October 15, 1983. 

He had a special relationship with the fans. They loved his free-and-easy style and his Hull-born pride. He was one of them. 
In wet weather, most of Crane's first-half efforts were wasted by colleagues, but when he decided to go his own way in the 47th minute it was sheer brilliance. 

A little dummy, a big hand-off and he was gone, just like a puff of smoke that he used to love. 

His try put Hull 8-2 ahead but Crane was also involved in the build-up to the second try, scored by Wayne Proctor in the 68th minute and with four minutes remaining Crane added a drop goal from 30 yards that completed the scoring. 

Crane admitted the drop goal was simply "a time waster, as they are not really worth much these days." And straight after the match Crane was seen in the dressing room lighting up. 

This was a common sight. Crane did not fit your typical sporting hero. He said: "I smoke 30 a day and feel as fit as a fiddle. I am playing better now than I have done for a long while." Crane was in such a rich vein of form that he was preferred at loose-forward to the great Steve Norton. 

Nineteen-year-old Lee Crooks gave another sparkling performance as did 18-year-old Garry Schofield in only his sixth match. 
A year earlier he had been leading Hunslet Parkside to victory. 

Trying to inspire Castleford was Malcolm Reilly, a once truly great loose-forward but he was now a 35-year-old prop with a knee injury, and he made little impact. 

Castleford were the league leaders with only one defeat in eight matches, but Hull were the favourites to retain the county cup.

The crowd of 14,049 was the best at a Yorkshire Cup final for 15 years and GBP33,522 receipts were a record for the competition.

Castleford had a slight 12-11 advantage in the scrums and won the penalties 14-10. But Hull were seldom under pressure.

On one of their first incursions into the Castleford 25 Hull opened the scoring when Gary Kemble sent Dane O'Hara over in the corner after 18 minutes. 

The rain ruined many handling moves and the only other first-half score was a 34th-minute penalty goal by Castleford's Bob Beardmore to make it 4-2 to Hull at half-time. 

Castleford came close to a try but Tony Marchant's effort was ruled offside by referee Billy Thompson.

Near the interval Castleford's Gary Connell was sent to the sin-bin for tripping James Leuluai and after the break winger Dane O'Hara was also sent to the sin-bin for a foul on Marchant. 

While they were off, Crane moved in for his try. 

Then came Proctor's try and Crane's drop goal and Hull had retained the trophy. 

HULL; Kemble, Solal, Schofield, Leuluai, O'Hara, Topliss, Dean, Edmonds, Wileman, Skerrett, Procter, L. Crooks, Crane."

#33 Daryn Hanright

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 08:15 AM

Here is Peter Sterlings opinion of Mick Crane in his book...a continuation of a theme! haha


Sterlo! The Story of a Champion, pg 95


"...I was warmly welcomed at Hull, although I sensed a certain coolness from a fellow named Mick Crane. Mick and I later became pretty good mates. He is, I think, the greatest character I have ever met in football. You may remember his classy game for England at lock forward in the Third Test of the 1982 Kangaroo tour. Mick was something else. I remember following him out into the paddock the first day we played together. He was puffing on a cigarette, which he relunctantly left with a trainer on the sidelines. When a conversion was being taken Mick would amble across, re-light, and take a puff. He was a punter, and a mystery man, with a considerable joie de vivre.  At times he would simply disappear from football, then reappear at training when the money ran out. Mick could really play. His ball skills were something special..."

Sterlo! The Story of a Champion, pg 95