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Harry Sunderland

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The calls to rename the Harry Sunderland Trophy are as silly as it gets.

Finding ways to celebrate the history of RL in terms BLM and BAME important figures in the game is one thing simply replacing the ones recognised so far with others is a bit silly.

Unless Harry Sunderland himself had a history of prejudice or racism that we've kept hidden all these years?

A look at all the firsts for RL as a sport and how we led the way in all sorts of directions would help but action today is needed as well.

Mind you a bit of a constant reminder for the terraces and in development terms wouldn't go amiss.

Edited by Oxford

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Oxford said:

The calls to rename the Harry Sunderland Trophy are as silly as it gets.

Finding ways to celebrate the history of RL in terms BLM and BAME important figures in the game is one thing simply replacing the ones recognised so far with others is a bit silly.

Unless Harry Sunderland himself had a history of prejudice or racism that we've kept hidden all these years?

A look at all the firsts for RL as a sport and how we led the way in all sorts of directions would help but action today is needed as well.

Mind you a bit of a constant reminder for the terraces and in development terms wouldn't go amiss.

In "A People's Game: The Official History of Rugby League 1895- 1995", author Geoffrey Moorhouse describes how Sunderland, when Manager of Wigan in the late 1930's, treated black winger, Roy Francis:

" Roy Francis of Wigan, Barrow, Dewsbury, Warrington and Hull, spectacular winger and afterwards an inspired coach, had to leave his first club because its new manager had no time for blacks, and was omitted from Risman's touring party because it was expedient to do without him while Australia operated a colour bar, as it did in 1946 and for many years after."

It is widely believed that Sunderland’s background from a ‘White Australia Policy’ was behind the decision to ship him out Wigan.

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55 minutes ago, burnleywelsh said:

In "A People's Game: The Official History of Rugby League 1895- 1995", author Geoffrey Moorhouse describes how Sunderland, when Manager of Wigan in the late 1930's, treated black winger, Roy Francis:

" Roy Francis of Wigan, Barrow, Dewsbury, Warrington and Hull, spectacular winger and afterwards an inspired coach, had to leave his first club because its new manager had no time for blacks, and was omitted from Risman's touring party because it was expedient to do without him while Australia operated a colour bar, as it did in 1946 and for many years after."

It is widely believed that Sunderland’s background from a ‘White Australia Policy’ was behind the decision to ship him out Wigan.

Thanks for that then it needs to be changed and will be a marker and reasonable start.


 

 

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57 minutes ago, Moove said:

What calls?

Moove you need to read round a bit.

https://forty20.news/calls-to-rename-harry-sunderland-trophy/

Making our game more representative of its history and the modern world it would be a good start to name Trophies after as many representative groups from our game as possible.

 


 

 

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Why not re-name it. There is nothing that states that we have to keep these names.

I suggest the Clive Sullivan trophy

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Just now, Bostik Bailey said:

Why not re-name it. There is nothing that states that we have to keep these names.

I suggest the Clive Sullivan trophy

The Clive Sullivan trophy is actually already a thing, albeit a very minor thing. It is played for by the Hull teams each season, at least I think it still is. We played for it when we had the annual preseason friendly then we stopped that and were playing for it over the three regular season games when we played at magic and now we don't play at magic either. As I say, I still think it's played for though. Of course naming what is currently the Harry Sunderland trophy after Clive would be a massive honour!

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1 hour ago, Oxford said:

The calls to rename the Harry Sunderland Trophy are as silly as it gets.

Finding ways to celebrate the history of RL in terms BLM and BAME important figures in the game is one thing simply replacing the ones recognised so far with others is a bit silly.

 

32 minutes ago, Oxford said:

Thanks for that then it needs to be changed and will be a marker and reasonable start.

Well that was a pretty quick about-turn! :kolobok_biggrin:

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5 minutes ago, silverback said:

a few trophys going in the bin then.🍂

One that could do to go in the bin is that weird, flat trophy that was getting handed out in the world club challenge. Looked like something had run over it. 

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The naming of trophies is an interesting one, and as has been mentioned, we can call them what we want, and can change when we see fit. But I'm not sure what the criteria should be when it comes to awarding these. 

I always think very careful thought needs to go into why we name things after people. Whilst very much a fan of the man, I'm not a fan of the MoS renaming tbh. I know I'll be an outlier on that though. 

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37 minutes ago, Oxford said:

Moove you need to read round a bit.

Oxford you need to try answering a simple question without being so sanctimonious. Just the link would have sufficed, thanks.

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30 minutes ago, Dave T said:

I always think very careful thought needs to go into why we name things after people. Whilst very much a fan of the man, I'm not a fan of the MoS renaming tbh. I know I'll be an outlier on that though. 

I heard a great argument on a podcast, can't remember which one, that they named the wrong thing after Steve Prescott. They should have named an award for great service to the community or charity after him, because that's what he stood for more than a knee-jerk reaction to name the award for the best player after him, rather than anyone else, including Hall of Famers, in the history of the sport.

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This topic did the rounds a few years ago and as I remember it, the paragraph in Moorehouse's book was the only reference produced. That paragraph itself had no reference despite the book being studded with them elsewhere. Tony Collins would never have left it like that.

I'd like to see more evidence than that before tampering with history.

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7 minutes ago, bird said:

This topic did the rounds a few years ago and as I remember it, the paragraph in Moorehouse's book was the only reference produced. That paragraph itself had no reference despite the book being studded with them elsewhere. Tony Collins would never have left it like that.

I'd like to see more evidence than that before tampering with history.

The woke never need evidence.

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Why is the trophy named after Harry Sunderland in the first place?


Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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Why does it have to be named for someone?

Just call it the man of the match trophy. That will save it having to changed it when there is a history rewrite

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Ron Banks

Bears and Barrow

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14 minutes ago, bird said:

This topic did the rounds a few years ago and as I remember it, the paragraph in Moorehouse's book was the only reference produced. That paragraph itself had no reference despite the book being studded with them elsewhere. Tony Collins would never have left it like that.

I'd like to see more evidence than that before tampering with history.

This is my feeling on it too. I am happy with it being renamed, and there may be indeed more worthy individuals, but feel there should be a little more to go on than just this.

On a different note maybe all trophies that are named after individuals should only be so for a set period of time, say 10 years then renamed anyway to someone from a later generation. Then continually keep moving up through the generations. This gets around issues like this somewhat and allows a lot more RL figures to be honoured. I am not sure how much Harry Sunderland and Lance Todd resonate with people today.

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1 hour ago, RigbyLuger said:

I heard a great argument on a podcast, can't remember which one, that they named the wrong thing after Steve Prescott. They should have named an award for great service to the community or charity after him, because that's what he stood for more than a knee-jerk reaction to name the award for the best player after him, rather than anyone else, including Hall of Famers, in the history of the sport.

Yes, I think this is right. 

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6 minutes ago, Damien said:

This is my feeling on it too. I am happy with it being renamed, and there may be indeed more worthy individuals, but feel there should be a little more to go on than just this.

On a different note maybe all trophies that are named after individuals should only be so for a set period of time, say 10 years then renamed anyway to someone from a later generation. Then continually keep moving up through the generations. This gets around issues like this somewhat and allows a lot more RL figures to be honoured. I am not sure how much Harry Sunderland and Lance Todd resonate with people today.

Yes, I was thinking something similar earlier. That way we get to honour many different people, but we have a finite number of awards so we don't end up in a place where it can be difficult to honour some real legends over some other players because you have done it.

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3 hours ago, Oxford said:

The calls to rename the Harry Sunderland Trophy are as silly as it gets.

Finding ways to celebrate the history of RL in terms BLM and BAME important figures in the game is one thing simply replacing the ones recognised so far with others is a bit silly.

Unless Harry Sunderland himself had a history of prejudice or racism that we've kept hidden all these years?

A look at all the firsts for RL as a sport and how we led the way in all sorts of directions would help but action today is needed as well.

Mind you a bit of a constant reminder for the terraces and in development terms wouldn't go amiss.

This is an old chestnut that keeps coming up on this forum.

Calls for the trophy to be renamed seem to be based on a single very small extract from Geoffrey Moorhouse's history of the game.

The assertion was unsupported by any evidence.

Harry Sunderland was a prolific Rugby League journalist, both in Australia and the UK in the first half of the twentieth century.

If there were any examples of racism from anything he wrote, I suspect it would have been unearthed by now. But I haven't seen anything.

Harry may have been dead since the 1960s, but he does have descendants who are presumably still alive. In fact his son was a much more famous person in Australia and throughout the world than Harry was.

For the game to trash their name on the basis of a throwaway line in a book would utterly wrong in my view.

As for Roy Francis, I totally agree that as a separate issue he deserves to be commemorated.

I have suggested that each year there should be a Welsh Player of the Year who is awarded the Roy Francis Medal.

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32 minutes ago, Number 16 said:

The woke never need evidence.

i had to check as thats new to me,

          Woke means being conscious of racial discrimination in society and other forms of oppression and injustice. In mainstream use, woke can also more generally describe someone or something as being "with it."29 Jun 2018

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I must say as a younger fan of the game the name Harry Sunderland (Or Lance Todd) don't really have much relevance to me and if they did change it wouldn't affect me too much. I say that as a person going on to do a PhD in history so not someone keen on throwing away important things of the past.

Perhaps trophies like these should be renamed every 40 years or so, in order that they retain relevance?

That said by comparison, names like Jean Galia, Roy Francis, Billy Boston, TVV, Clive Sullivan, Dave Valentine, Lewis Jones, Bevan, stand out more in my mind at least

Edited by Tommygilf
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Some here may already have seen that in this 125th Anniversary year of the founding of the Northern Union (now the RFL) there is a suggestion to rename the Super League trophy is honour of the man who was the most significant person in the fight for broken-time payments and organised the historic meeting at the George Hotel, while also being the game's first secretary until 1922 - Joseph Platt of Oldham - and without whom the breakaway may never have occured.

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