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On the "Oldham RLFC" forum of this website there is a thread titled "Joe Ferguson - RL Record Holder" which details the career of an Oldham player who represented them from 1899-1923 and played a total of 627 matches for the club - and being the only club he ever played for. He is on a "List of one-club men in rugby league" as shown via the following link  ... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_one-club_men_in_rugby_league

The only player to be shown with a higher total is Albert Goldthorpe of Hunslet with 682 yet quite a number of those were during seven seasons playing Rugby Union prior to the 1895 breakaway and therefore Joe Ferguson's 627 should be recognised as the RL record of Northern Union / Rugby League appearances for one club (ie Since the sport began in 1895).

However, second is Oldham's all-time list is Jack Read with 463 who played for the club from 1926-1940 ... and in that time didn't play for any other club.  Yet a couple of seasons later he played as a guest for Huddersfield in the Emergency War League of 1941-42 and is not included on the list shown above of one-club players.

Yet on the above list of one-club players is Willie Horne of Barrow despite the fact that he actually played two games for Oldham in the Emergency War League of 1940-41.

Surely either both should be on the list or none at all ?  Have the RKC any rulings as to how guest appearances are registered and how such would affect any records to class someone as a "one club player" ?

To assist here are links to the players involved by courtesy of the Oldham RL Heritage website ...

Joe Ferguson   https://orl-heritagetrust.org.uk/player/joe-ferguson/

Jack Read        https://orl-heritagetrust.org.uk/player/jack-read/

Willie Horne     https://orl-heritagetrust.org.uk/player/willy-horne/

The following link is courtesy of the Huddersfield RL Heritage website and shows their players' list for 1941-42. This includes Jack Read and clearly lists him at the bottom of the page as a "Guest Player".

http://www.huddersfieldrlheritage.co.uk/Documents/Club/Players'%20Records/Huddersfield%201941-42.pdf

EDIT .... I have noticed that Jim Sullivan, who is credited by the RFL as having made the most appearances in the history of RL, is not on the "one-club" list and yet it appears the only times when he played for other clubs were also in the Emergency War League years, for Dewsbury, Bradford and Keighley.

In my opinion, if those Emergency War League games are to be included as "first-class" matches then the appearances of any "guest" players should also be included in the official records and thus any affected player would not be deemed as an one-club player. (ie Wigan's Jim Sullivan and Oldham's Jack Read are not one-club players and that Barrow's Willie Horne should be removed from the list).

Edited by RL does what Sky says

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I guess consistency is the key?  Some people won't like whichever way you choose.

Personally, I'm with you - if guest players are counted by the club they guest for (which RKC standards suggest as well as Heritage Numbers put out by most clubs), it seems odd to not count them as having played for anyone else.  

If it was just appearances I could maybe let it lie as an odd anomaly. However, players like Johnny Lawrenson, Gus Risman and Alan Edwards won Challenge Cups whilst guest players with Leeds (in the case of Lawrenson it was his one and only game for Leeds!).  They are surely counted as having won Challenge Cups as they legitimately played in winning finals.  I bet if they were still alive and you asked their view they'd count those games in their careers.

To be honest this seems like one of those things where people want to bend the rules to make certain players have records, or perhaps aren't even aware of guest players in WW2?  

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5 hours ago, BrisbaneRhino said:

To be honest this seems like one of those things where people want to bend the rules to make certain players have records, or perhaps aren't even aware of guest players in WW2?  

Yes and those people will often get away with bending the rules as nobody really bothers to check those facts. As on the occasion with Wilie Horne of Barrow; it was only when someone mentioned he had played twice for Oldham as a guest but was on the "one club" list that someone else pointed out that Jack Read of Oldham wasn't on it even though he had only guested for another club.

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There's no disputing the fact that the wartime games count in records, and anyone playing as a 'guest' for a club will be recognised for any appearances.  Thus if you're compiling a list of one club men, this would preclude people from being on that list.  However, the counter argument could be that technically they did actually remain a one-club man, as by definition, they never transferred their registration to the other club - the rules were relaxed to allow the playing of other club's players, hence the reference to them as 'guest'.  So it depends on your definition: if you're basing your one club list based on who players were registered for, you could argue that guest appearances do not invalidate a claim to be on the list.

As an aside, I'm not sure of the technicalities of loan signing - I believe these constitute a change in registration for the period of the loan, but am not certain.


For more information on the Rugby League Record Keepers' Club please visit our official website at www.rugbyleaguerecords.com

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22 minutes ago, Neil_Ormston said:

There's no disputing the fact that the wartime games count in records, and anyone playing as a 'guest' for a club will be recognised for any appearances.  Thus if you're compiling a list of one club men, this would preclude people from being on that list.  However, the counter argument could be that technically they did actually remain a one-club man, as by definition, they never transferred their registration to the other club - the rules were relaxed to allow the playing of other club's players, hence the reference to them as 'guest'.  So it depends on your definition: if you're basing your one club list based on who players were registered for, you could argue that guest appearances do not invalidate a claim to be on the list.

As an aside, I'm not sure of the technicalities of loan signing - I believe these constitute a change in registration for the period of the loan, but am not certain.

Yes, both views are understood and both have valid points, yet personally I would still say a guest actually made an appearance for his adopted club. If a guest scores points for the club he is guesting for then it would be recorded in that club's records as a try or goal scored by that player (as Oldham's Jack Read did when guesting for Huddersfield)... and which can only be done if he has appeared for them. (ie Surely he can't be listed in their scoring records but not in their appearance records).

More work for you to do Neil !

Edited by RL does what Sky says

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That's my view as well - if we want records to be consistent across clubs and for players' entire careers to be accounted for, guest (and loan) appearances and points have to count.

How would you account for Jack Read's points for Huddersfield if you didn't do that? Its not a "different" Jack Read.  More recently we've got the dual registration system. I don't see any argument that its in some way fundamentally different to WW2 guest players - whilst they are "registered" with two clubs they can only play for one at a time. Ditto loan players.  You can argue about the nuances of "registration" but if Player X appeared for a club that's a matter of record.  

I'd say this should go into the category of RKC having a system and sticking to it regardless of what clubs do.  Over time as the RKC starts to become more recognised I'd imagine the  RKC standard ought to become the norm. 

 

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For the avoidance of doubt, all appearances are counted, whether played for as a guest, loanee, dual reg.  Similarly, appearances played as an AN Other are included, if they name is later found: for example, Brian Bevan played 620 games for Warrington, though he actually played 'only' 619 under his own name, and was a trialist on his debut, as he had yet to sign terms or be registered with the club.

I agree that any appearance for another club probably invalidates the 'one club' claim (it's also easier to manage the data with this hard and fast rule ? ).  If this is a test of loyalty though, I would respect the view that guest appearances should be excluded, and a secondary list prepared where these don't count.  In some respects this is similar to the fact that thing like consecutive appearances can be counted both by looking at matches started (i.e. excluding sub appearances), and matches played in (i.e. including them).  A lot of the time the arguments are pedaled by those with an interest in the outcome, so if 'your' player is omitted from a list under one set of rules, or gets knocked off top spot by a more liberal interpretation, it tends to influence people's view.  if there's merit in the argument, though, I think it's worthwhile having both.  Hopefully we can bring some objectivity to these types of conversations. I say that safe in the knowledge that whichever way you cut it Bev will always be number one in the most important list of all ?


For more information on the Rugby League Record Keepers' Club please visit our official website at www.rugbyleaguerecords.com

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On a linked topic, once you've got the British appearances sorted, we need to link Aussies to their careers in Oz. I'm sure I read that Martin Offiah was annoyed that the RFL didn't recognise the tries he scored with Easts in his career total.  Again, for completeness I think its important to account for all 'first class' games as far as possible.

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5 hours ago, Neil_Ormston said:

For the avoidance of doubt, all appearances are counted, whether played for as a guest, loanee, dual reg.  Similarly, appearances played as an AN Other are included, if they name is later found: for example, Brian Bevan played 620 games for Warrington, though he actually played 'only' 619 under his own name, and was a trialist on his debut, as he had yet to sign terms or be registered with the club.

I agree that any appearance for another club probably invalidates the 'one club' claim (it's also easier to manage the data with this hard and fast rule ? ).  If this is a test of loyalty though, I would respect the view that guest appearances should be excluded, and a secondary list prepared where these don't count.  In some respects this is similar to the fact that thing like consecutive appearances can be counted both by looking at matches started (i.e. excluding sub appearances), and matches played in (i.e. including them).  A lot of the time the arguments are pedaled by those with an interest in the outcome, so if 'your' player is omitted from a list under one set of rules, or gets knocked off top spot by a more liberal interpretation, it tends to influence people's view.  if there's merit in the argument, though, I think it's worthwhile having both.  Hopefully we can bring some objectivity to these types of conversations. I say that safe in the knowledge that whichever way you cut it Bev will always be number one in the most important list of all ?

It all makes for good discussion. By the way, which list is Bev Risman the top of ???  (Only kidding !)

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Neil alluded to my next query - that player with a career spanning umpteen clubs and over 100 years - AN Other.

Agree entirely that if they later sign then any appearance as A N Other simply becomes an appearance under their real name (and also their debut and club number would be based on including their trial game). For Leeds this would include Steve Ford and Andy Smith (and much earlier Jim Bacon although he debuted under a false name). 

There are then two more categories of AN Other - ones who are recorded as AN Other (or Trialist etc), and those that played under assumed names.  For Leeds I've got 4 genuine AN Others, plus two further players - one who a newspaper cutting says "played under the name Parker" (suggesting it wasn't his real name) and another "A Smith" which also seems likely to be false.  When I typed up some Barrow sheets they had a "Newman" - including quotation marks, so likely to be a mild pun.

My question is, should these players be assigned club numbers?  Neil - you're suggesting not. Some players under assumed names will probably get numbers anyway unless we know for sure. However, we do know that they played games - any appearances and points would be needed to make game, season and club totals add up.  Given that as with other common  names like "John Smith" each could be given a unique identifier, I can see an argument for including them in club numbers because it makes the lists complete.  I can also understand not including them on the basis that we don't know who they are.

So can I confirm that the RKC approach to club numbers for AN Other is:

1) Exclude from numbering obvious triallists - those who played under AN Other/similar.  Only include them if/when their real names are found.

2) Exclude players under assumed names and replace with actual names once available. Or should these be included if we can't be sure it wasn't a real name (that article on "Parker" isn't conclusive proof he wasn't actually called Parker)?

 

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9 hours ago, BrisbaneRhino said:

Neil alluded to my next query - that player with a career spanning umpteen clubs and over 100 years - AN Other.

Agree entirely that if they later sign then any appearance as A N Other simply becomes an appearance under their real name (and also their debut and club number would be based on including their trial game). For Leeds this would include Steve Ford and Andy Smith (and much earlier Jim Bacon although he debuted under a false name). 

There are then two more categories of AN Other - ones who are recorded as AN Other (or Trialist etc), and those that played under assumed names.  For Leeds I've got 4 genuine AN Others, plus two further players - one who a newspaper cutting says "played under the name Parker" (suggesting it wasn't his real name) and another "A Smith" which also seems likely to be false.  When I typed up some Barrow sheets they had a "Newman" - including quotation marks, so likely to be a mild pun.

My question is, should these players be assigned club numbers?  Neil - you're suggesting not. Some players under assumed names will probably get numbers anyway unless we know for sure. However, we do know that they played games - any appearances and points would be needed to make game, season and club totals add up.  Given that as with other common  names like "John Smith" each could be given a unique identifier, I can see an argument for including them in club numbers because it makes the lists complete.  I can also understand not including them on the basis that we don't know who they are.

So can I confirm that the RKC approach to club numbers for AN Other is:

1) Exclude from numbering obvious triallists - those who played under AN Other/similar.  Only include them if/when their real names are found.

2) Exclude players under assumed names and replace with actual names once available. Or should these be included if we can't be sure it wasn't a real name (that article on "Parker" isn't conclusive proof he wasn't actually called Parker)?

 

Very interesting point BR

Featherstone have 17 unnamed trialists mostly from before 1945 so it is unlikely we'll ever find out who they are. We also have a handful of players, usually only a surname who played a single game out of nowhere and disappeared. If that name is "smith" or "freeman" or "newman" it does make you think.

Ive numbered our trialists from 1 to 17, and although they were not given heritage numbers ( iwould have, but was over-ruled) I think they should be included in all lists for completeness sake.  The total number of matches played by every player must add up to the total number of games played by the club multiplied by 13 (plus subs).

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I'm sort of torn.  I can understand not giving them numbers if the numbers are just used as identifiers, particularly if the numbers are flexible and change for everyone when you find a new player.

I was trying to work out what to do and decided to give the 6 unidentified Leeds players the numbers 9990 to 9995.  That way I can include them in records and lookups etc in my spreadsheet, but the numbers are different enough to clearly exclude them from the standard list of club numbers. 

I also have a separate list of "Heritage Numbers" which will hopefully match the club's numbers, if they ever publish them in a form I can check.  Kind of hard to match names printed on a shirt!

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Under the terms I'm proposing, AN Other would get a Club Number, regardless of whether a name is later identified.  Apologies for the slack wording above which caused mis-interpretation.  What I meant with the earlier comment was that if someone plays as AN Other, but is then identified as being a player who later signed on, and played under his 'real' name, it's all merged together, and his debut is recorded as the game he played as AN Other, with his name also recorded as such in the team line-up; his Club Number will be generated on that basis.  But even if his name isn't later identified, he would be given a Club Number, but will obviously just be recorded as AN Other.  Hopefully that makes sense, and clarifies things.

It seems Mark is aligned to this approach given he wanted them to have HNs are Fev; Wire have given HNs to their trialists; we've since identified names of a couple, and it makes it easier to change if they have a number, as at least you don't have to insert that, or give them a new one.  For me, if it's obvious it's a unique player, and you can pinpoint when he played, why wouldn't you give him a number?

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7 hours ago, Neil_Ormston said:

Under the terms I'm proposing, AN Other would get a Club Number, regardless of whether a name is later identified.  Apologies for the slack wording above which caused mis-interpretation.  What I meant with the earlier comment was that if someone plays as AN Other, but is then identified as being a player who later signed on, and played under his 'real' name, it's all merged together, and his debut is recorded as the game he played as AN Other, with his name also recorded as such in the team line-up; his Club Number will be generated on that basis.  But even if his name isn't later identified, he would be given a Club Number, but will obviously just be recorded as AN Other.  Hopefully that makes sense, and clarifies things.

It seems Mark is aligned to this approach given he wanted them to have HNs are Fev; Wire have given HNs to their trialists; we've since identified names of a couple, and it makes it easier to change if they have a number, as at least you don't have to insert that, or give them a new one.  For me, if it's obvious it's a unique player, and you can pinpoint when he played, why wouldn't you give him a number?

It's true. I am aligned.

 

 

At least I think that's what they were shouting....

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7 hours ago, Neil_Ormston said:

Under the terms I'm proposing, AN Other would get a Club Number, regardless of whether a name is later identified.  Apologies for the slack wording above which caused mis-interpretation.  What I meant with the earlier comment was that if someone plays as AN Other, but is then identified as being a player who later signed on, and played under his 'real' name, it's all merged together, and his debut is recorded as the game he played as AN Other, with his name also recorded as such in the team line-up; his Club Number will be generated on that basis.  But even if his name isn't later identified, he would be given a Club Number, but will obviously just be recorded as AN Other.  Hopefully that makes sense, and clarifies things.

It seems Mark is aligned to this approach given he wanted them to have HNs are Fev; Wire have given HNs to their trialists; we've since identified names of a couple, and it makes it easier to change if they have a number, as at least you don't have to insert that, or give them a new one.  For me, if it's obvious it's a unique player, and you can pinpoint when he played, why wouldn't you give him a number?

Perhaps being a bit pedantic, but just in case it's worth a thought ....

If two players appear in the same match for the same team as "AN Other" and, for the next match just one of them appears under that pseudonym, is there any way (if it matters) of identifying which of the original two it was ?

Not that I have found such an instance of the above ...the closest I have come across is with two entries in the Oldham RL records for 1944-45 where "AN Other" played one game as a centre on 2 December 1944 and the same "name" is shown for a winger on 7 April 1945. The same occurs the following season (1945-46) with "AN Other" as full-back on 1 September 1945 and a namesake as loose-forward on 15 December 1945.

I would assume that even the two instances in the same season refer to different players yet the Oldham cumulative list of players for total appearances those seasons both just show "AN Other 2" (ie totalled together).

Probably there is no other way of doing it but, as they say, if you don't ask ....

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51 minutes ago, RL does what Sky says said:

Perhaps being a bit pedantic, but just in case it's worth a thought ....

If two players appear in the same match for the same team as "AN Other" and, for the next match just one of them appears under that pseudonym, is there any way (if it matters) of identifying which of the original two it was ?

Not that I have found such an instance of the above ...the closest I have come across is with two entries in the Oldham RL records for 1944-45 where "AN Other" played one game as a centre on 2 December 1944 and the same "name" is shown for a winger on 7 April 1945. The same occurs the following season (1945-46) with "AN Other" as full-back on 1 September 1945 and a namesake as loose-forward on 15 December 1945.

I would assume that even the two instances in the same season refer to different players yet the Oldham cumulative list of players for total appearances those seasons both just show "AN Other 2" (ie totalled together).

Probably there is no other way of doing it but, as they say, if you don't ask ....

If we think they are different players, we would split - very easy to do, and probably the right thing in this instance.  Hopefully we won't encounter the first instance you describe, but unfortunately we're bound to have some grey areas.

You'll never get pulled up for pedantry by me ?

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Thanks for clarifying Neil. Sounds like the issue is much smaller for Leeds than some clubs as we've only had 6 players since 1895 that were triallists under pseudonyms/AN Other and never identified.  I think there were only 2 since I started watching in 1981 -  Steve Ford and Andy Smith. Both were identified quite quickly. Andy Smith signed for us after 1 game, and Steve Ford was "outed" by some uppity public school kid.

Be interesting to see which club holds the record for most triallists.  I'd guess 17 will be beaten?

What "name" do you propose to use for these players?  If we're sure a pseudonym (Smith, Newman etc) then it might make more sense to  convert to "Triallist" or "AN Other" for clarity?  Given that the use of AN Other basically disappeared when RU went pro, maybe it would be better to use the term "Triallist" rather then AN Other? Just a thought.

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27 minutes ago, BrisbaneRhino said:

Thanks for clarifying Neil. Sounds like the issue is much smaller for Leeds than some clubs as we've only had 6 players since 1895 that were triallists under pseudonyms/AN Other and never identified.  I think there were only 2 since I started watching in 1981 -  Steve Ford and Andy Smith. Both were identified quite quickly. Andy Smith signed for us after 1 game, and Steve Ford was "outed" by some uppity public school kid.

Be interesting to see which club holds the record for most triallists.  I'd guess 17 will be beaten?

What "name" do you propose to use for these players?  If we're sure a pseudonym (Smith, Newman etc) then it might make more sense to  convert to "Triallist" or "AN Other" for clarity?  Given that the use of AN Other basically disappeared when RU went pro, maybe it would be better to use the term "Triallist" rather then AN Other? Just a thought.

In the Oldham cumulative records of players' appearances since 1895 there are 8 instances of "AN Other" although, as I explained in a previous post, there are occasions where two seperate players might have gone under that pseudonym, having played at different times during a particular season, but have been listed as one in the totals. Furthermore there are another 10 players who have been listed with a "name" (ie "Newman").

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So would you leave them with the name in quotation marks? I'm just wondering how in another 30 years they would be identified as triallists? 

I only had one season with two triallists, I think I originally called them "Winger 1957" and "Second Row 1957" or something similarly imaginative! 

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I think we’ll probably call a spade and spade, and therefore name them Trialist; we will be able to split them (or amalgamate) in individual / total game wide records easily.  If they played under a pseudonym we’ll be able to record that, as we’ll have a ‘known as’ field in the names.  Wire have a player who played quite a few games under an assumed name, but we now know who he was, so he’s recorded in this way already.

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9 hours ago, BrisbaneRhino said:

So would you leave them with the name in quotation marks? I'm just wondering how in another 30 years they would be identified as triallists? 

I only had one season with two triallists, I think I originally called them "Winger 1957" and "Second Row 1957" or something similarly imaginative! 

With regard to the Oldham records as mentioned above, yes, some trialists' "names" are registered in quotation marks (ie "Newman") whereas there are some other players for whom only a surname is known (that being their actual name but without knowing their first name) and those are recoreded without quotation marks.

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On 07/06/2020 at 15:19, RL does what Sky says said:

On the "Oldham RLFC" forum of this website there is a thread titled "Joe Ferguson - RL Record Holder" which details the career of an Oldham player who represented them from 1899-1923 and played a total of 627 matches for the club - and being the only club he ever played for. He is on a "List of one-club men in rugby league" as shown via the following link  ... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_one-club_men_in_rugby_league

The only player to be shown with a higher total is Albert Goldthorpe of Hunslet with 682 yet quite a number of those were during seven seasons playing Rugby Union prior to the 1895 breakaway and therefore Joe Ferguson's 627 should be recognised as the RL record of Northern Union / Rugby League appearances for one club (ie Since the sport began in 1895).

However, second is Oldham's all-time list is Jack Read with 463 who played for the club from 1926-1940 ... and in that time didn't play for any other club.  Yet a couple of seasons later he played as a guest for Huddersfield in the Emergency War League of 1941-42 and is not included on the list shown above of one-club players.

Yet on the above list of one-club players is Willie Horne of Barrow despite the fact that he actually played two games for Oldham in the Emergency War League of 1940-41.

Surely either both should be on the list or none at all ?  Have the RKC any rulings as to how guest appearances are registered and how such would affect any records to class someone as a "one club player" ?

To assist here are links to the players involved by courtesy of the Oldham RL Heritage website ...

Joe Ferguson   https://orl-heritagetrust.org.uk/player/joe-ferguson/

Jack Read        https://orl-heritagetrust.org.uk/player/jack-read/

Willie Horne     https://orl-heritagetrust.org.uk/player/willy-horne/

The following link is courtesy of the Huddersfield RL Heritage website and shows their players' list for 1941-42. This includes Jack Read and clearly lists him at the bottom of the page as a "Guest Player".

http://www.huddersfieldrlheritage.co.uk/Documents/Club/Players'%20Records/Huddersfield%201941-42.pdf

EDIT .... I have noticed that Jim Sullivan, who is credited by the RFL as having made the most appearances in the history of RL, is not on the "one-club" list and yet it appears the only times when he played for other clubs were also in the Emergency War League years, for Dewsbury, Bradford and Keighley.

In my opinion, if those Emergency War League games are to be included as "first-class" matches then the appearances of any "guest" players should also be included in the official records and thus any affected player would not be deemed as an one-club player. (ie Wigan's Jim Sullivan and Oldham's Jack Read are not one-club players and that Barrow's Willie Horne should be removed from the list).

Most rugby league games could go to Ernie lake, started 1974 as a 14year old with Hatfield Wasps, and was signed on to play this year in the YML div 5 with moorends, inbetween he has pulled on the shirts of Sheffield Eagles & Doncaster Dragons.


Carlsberg don't do Soldiers, but if they did, they would probably be Brits.

http://www.pitchero....hornemarauders/

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29 minutes ago, Marauder said:

Most rugby league games could go to Ernie lake, started 1974 as a 14year old with Hatfield Wasps, and was signed on to play this year in the YML div 5 with moorends, inbetween he has pulled on the shirts of Sheffield Eagles & Doncaster Dragons.

Obviously the list in question is for professional match appearances. I am sure there are many, many amateur players who could surpass all the records ever set in the senior game (apperances, tries, goals, oldest, yoiungest, etc). I suppose the problem is that has anyone ever kept accurate records of them ?

And, of course, if amateur matches are to be included then most of the named professional players will have played at that level before signed for a senior club and so could add those to their tally.  However, how far down the scale of matches do you then go ?  If including amateur games then why not when playing in school events ?

Edited by RL does what Sky says
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3 hours ago, RL does what Sky says said:

Obviously the list in question is for professional match appearances. I am sure there are many, many amateur players who could surpass all the records ever set in the senior game (apperances, tries, goals, oldest, yoiungest, etc). I suppose the problem is that has anyone ever kept accurate records of them ?

And, of course, if amateur matches are to be included then most of the named professional players will have played at that level before signed for a senior club and so could add those to their tally.  However, how far down the scale of matches do you then go ?  If including amateur games then why not when playing in school events ?

Obviously I know it's professional games and Ernie was playing open age at 14

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Carlsberg don't do Soldiers, but if they did, they would probably be Brits.

http://www.pitchero....hornemarauders/

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