July 19th marks the 80th anniversary of Harold Wagstaff’s untimely death.
Harold Wagstaff, the ‘Prince of Centres’, died 80 years ago today on 19 July 1939, at the age of 48.
Harold was born at Underbank on 19 May 1891. Shortly before his fifteenth birthday he made his debut in the local Underbank team.
He signed for Huddersfield on 2 November 1906 for five gold sovereigns and just eight days later, aged 15 years and 175 days he made his first team debut against Bramley scoring a try in a 28-11 win.
Harold’s stellar career had begun. Aged 17 he played for Yorkshire and on 2 January 1909 he was selected for England against Australia at Fartown.
Captain of Huddersfield from 1911 and Great Britain on the 1914 and 1920 tours to Australia and New Zealand, Wagstaff was the inspiration of Huddersfield’s ‘Team of All Talents’.
‘Waggy’ made 436 appearances for Huddersfield between 1906 and 1925, scoring 195 tries and kicking 14 goals.
He was recognised by the Rugby Football League when they included him in the original nine members of the Hall of Fame.”
And, of course, the HGSA award the “Wagstaff trophy” to the person who the supporters would most least like to see leave the club in honour of the great man.
To learn more about Harold there is much interesting information at:
www.huddersfieldhistory.org.uk (journal 22)
www.kirklees.gov.uk ( Harold Wagstaff Trail – a walk around Holmfirth and Underbank)
www.bbc.co.uk. programmes (World War 1 At Home – Four Trophies During Conflict)