Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
old un

Intial black players in the professional RL game

Recommended Posts

Cec Thompson played for GB in 1951. He twice played for Barrow in the 60s, but made his debut for Hunslet in 1948, playing for them and at Wembley for Workington.

He is remarkable also for having been a native of the NE, and only taking up the game whilst working near Leeds. He hadn't played Union either!

He retired to found his own business, get a degree in Economics, teach at a Grammar School and form the first student RL team at Leeds Uni.

Not bad for a mixed race kid who grew up in orphanages!

 

Edited by dixiedean
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lucius Banks an American quarter back was signed by Hunslet in 1912, he is recognised as being the first black rugby league player.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
55 minutes ago, dixiedean said:

Cec Thompson played for GB in 1951. He twice played for Barrow in the 60s, but made his debut for Hunslet in 1948, playing for them and at Wembley for Workington.

He is remarkable also for having been a native of the NE, and only taking up the game whilst working near Leeds. He hadn't played Union either!

He retired to found his own business, get a degree in Economics, teach at a Grammar School and form the first student RL team at Leeds Uni.

Not bad for a mixed race kid who grew up in orphanages!

 

He was also dyslexic, his autobiography is an incredible read. I met him a few times and he has hands the size of a jcb bucket, an absolute gentleman too. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
52 minutes ago, Moose said:

Lucius Banks an American quarter back was signed by Hunslet in 1912, he is recognised as being the first black rugby league player.  

Cue cries of "FORWARD!!!" every time he passed no doubt.

  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tony Collins published some research on this back in the 1990s, might be worth looking out for that if this is a topic of interest.

George Bennett was the first Black player for an international team - Wales in the 1930s, after Wigan signed him from RU.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Bennett_(rugby)

Roy Francis (mentioned by Old Un) was the first Black man to be a professional coach in British sport - he was famously omitted from the 1947 Lions tour because the Aussies had a bar on non-whites entering the country.

I've just read a biography of the Trinidadian cricketer Learie Constantine, who was my grandad's childhood hero growing up in Nelson. Lancashire League cricket seems to have been somewhat ahead of other sports when it came to such things. Constantine was treated far less badly in the north-west of England than he was at home in Trinidad.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, dkw said:

He was also dyslexic, his autobiography is an incredible read. I met him a few times and he has hands the size of a jcb bucket, an absolute gentleman too. 

Cec Thompson's autobiography gets a thumbs-up from me too. it goes beyond sport and takes you through a remarkable man's life.

  • Like 1

"Men will be proud to say 'I am a European'. We hope to see a day when men of every country will think as much of being a European as of being from their native land." (Winston Churchill)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, JonM said:

Tony Collins published some research on this back in the 1990s, might be worth looking out for that if this is a topic of interest.

George Bennett was the first Black player for an international team - Wales in the 1930s, after Wigan signed him from RU.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Bennett_(rugby)

Roy Francis (mentioned by Old Un) was the first Black man to be a professional coach in British sport - he was famously omitted from the 1947 Lions tour because the Aussies had a bar on non-whites entering the country.

I've just read a biography of the Trinidadian cricketer Learie Constantine, who was my grandad's childhood hero growing up in Nelson. Lancashire League cricket seems to have been somewhat ahead of other sports when it came to such things. Constantine was treated far less badly in the north-west of England than he was at home in Trinidad.

From what I've read, League Cricket, especially in Lancashire, was so competitive back in the day that they developed colourblindness earlier than the rest of the sport when it came to recognising available talent. 


"Men will be proud to say 'I am a European'. We hope to see a day when men of every country will think as much of being a European as of being from their native land." (Winston Churchill)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A bit off topic as he was far from being one of the initial players but I can still remember as a Young boy who had only recently taken up the game marvelling at Green Vigo rampaging down the wing for Wigan at Hedingley on Grandstand.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...