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Harry Sunderland

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Just now, RL does what Sky says said:

Don't be - just tell about the actual evidence  you say there is about what Harry Sunderland is supposed to have done.

The accuser, along with several others, who only felt secure enough to discuss it after such an influential figure in the sport was out of it for good (dead). Put into another context it sounds awfully like certain other historical accusations.

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1 minute ago, Dave T said:

I don't know what this post means. 

I've explained why I would like to see these refreshed. 

Quite clearly, a few times. Player pride in the award is not something that would be affected either way imo, but I'm not suggesting changing them for player pride as that isn't a factor. 

It means that as you said that the award would be prestigious irrespective of who it is named after then you obviously don't think it matters who that person is. So, if that doesn't matter then why change it at all if you are equally not bothered who any new name would be ?

ie Earlier Ellery Hanley was mentioned but if you are equally not bothered if it is him then why change it anyway ?

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12 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

The accuser, along with several others, who only felt secure enough to discuss it after such an influential figure in the sport was out of it for good (dead). Put into another context it sounds awfully like certain other historical accusations.

As I said earlier, if tangible evidence could be produced then I might think differently but comments by people with a vested interest cannot be enough for me to do that.

Before going totally off the topic I think we both know each other's views - you want it changed for your reasons; I don't for mine. We aren't going to agree so let's just see what happens. No matter what we say on here isn't going to influence it.

Edited by RL does what Sky says

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4 minutes ago, RL does what Sky says said:

It means that as you said that the award would be prestigious irrespective of who it is named after then you obviously don't think it matters who that person is. So, if that doesn't matter then why change it at all if you are equally not bothered who any new name would be ?

ie Earlier Ellery Hanley was mentioned but if you are equally not bothered if it is him then why change it anyway ?

It's fine if you can't follow the discussions that are ongoing. 

We agreed to disagree a few pages back, let's go back to that place. 

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53 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

The accuser, along with several others, who only felt secure enough to discuss it after such an influential figure in the sport was out of it for good (dead). Put into another context it sounds awfully like certain other historical accusations.

Such issues are always thorny and sensitive ones particularly when so much time has passed and in the case of this subject both Harry Sunderland and Roy Francis have died so neither man can be questioned on the matter. Recent experience of historical accusations could alter the way some people approach the issue when making decisions/ forming conclusions.

In relation to Clogiron's post which I replied to and which mentioned a section from The Glory of Their Times, as that book was not written by Roy Francis it is necessary to investigate the sources. According to his/her post that section of the book mentions Roy Francis breaking silence on the issue in 1985. IMO it is then necessary to find the source for that information from 1985 and if it can be found to use it to verify that the words were those of Roy Francis, that if they were his words that what he said/wrote did constitute what the section in The Glory of Their Times asserted. Then finally whether the source material from 1985 directly attributed those actions/attitudes to Harry Sunderland. If checking the source material leads to the conclusion that the answer to all 3 queries was yes then you have a valid pretext under which to at least review whether to retain or remove Sunderland's name from the trophy. Whether that alone would be enough for a decision to be made or whether it led to efforts to discover whether or not records of similar attitude/behaviour occurring existed elsewhere before a decision was made would be up to those tasked with making the decision.

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1 hour ago, Oxford said:

I wouldn't say this article adds anything which hasn't already been discussed at length on here. For example:

"there are a lot of allegations, some of which that can be proven" - no proof offered.

"Those allegations suggest" - again we're back to supposition.

Re-reading the Moorhouse book has also revealed that the author uses some questionable language. For example:

"Clive Sullivan ...became the first coloured man to captain any team from the British Isles in a major sport". Was calling someone coloured really acceptable in 1995 when the book was published?

Also, when talking about Roy Francis - "He was the first black to play for his country". Not the first black man, not the first black player, but the first "black".

This is the author of the official history of the game. Not written in some bygone era but only 25 years ago.

 

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3 hours ago, Oxford said:

I suppose Phil Caplan would be happy if he reads this thread going off what he says in that article. He suggests not necessarily removing Sunderland's name from the trophy but having a discussion about it. That is what we are doing. He also suggests naming another trophy/award in honour of Roy Francis, I have suggested naming the Coach of the Year Award in honour of Roy Francis and Martyn Sadler suggested a Welsh Player of the Year Award named in honour of Francis. There may be other examples that I can't remember.

What he describes as proof is not proof, it appears to be an unsupported passage in Moorhouse's book. He cites no other source for the information. As I have said previously if passages such as those cited could be supported by reviewing the source material for the information and what was asserted was shown to be directly attributable to Roy Francis and it supported the claims made in any later sources and directly attributed the actions/attitudes to Harry Sunderland then it would verify the claims. We don't currently seem to have that though.

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It seems probable that Francis and Sunderland did not get on... but that initially that's were it can be left,  without corroboration all we have is hearsay and let's be blunt, that is not allowed in evidence.  And indeed allowing hearsay is a dangerous thing. 

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I have been consistent from my first post on page 1 on this. Namely that there needs to be more to go on than this to rename the award for any reasons to do with alleged racism. I have seen little to make me think that there is this wealth of evidence and as I said we need a lot more to go on.

However I have seen plenty of evidence and reasoning on why it should be renamed, and other awards reviewed to, related to whether he is the most worthy individual to have the award named after. Similarly this has reinforced my belief and MY idea that these awards should only be named after someone for a set period of time such as 10 years then renamed anyway to someone from a later generation. 

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15 minutes ago, Damien said:

I have been consistent from my first post on page 1 on this. Namely that there needs to be more to go on than this to rename the award for any reasons to do with alleged racism. I have seen little to make me think that there is this wealth of evidence and as I said we need a lot more to go on.

However I have seen plenty of evidence and reasoning on why it should be renamed, and other awards reviewed to, related to whether he is the most worthy individual to have the award named after. Similarly this has reinforced my belief and MY idea that these awards should only be named after someone for a set period of time such as 10 years then renamed anyway to someone from a later generation. 

I am in agreement with you on the first paragraph. I have also been one of the people suggesting that the emergence of a figure more directly connected to a particular award or the match it is connected to would be a better pretext for a review of award naming than the alleged (unverified) reason being suggested by some people in this instance. The reasons for such change could be explained in advance with the original name being re-assigned to an award with a closer connection to it.

As I have posted before I think the proposal of fixed periods of tenure for award naming has some merit but would sit better for awards not already associated with a past figure's name. The reason being that no such process was in place when these awards were inaugurated. For the naming protocol to be changed (particularly in light of the current conversation) after 55 years (in the case of Sunderland) to a rolling tenure would, whether it was the reason behind it or not, lead to people assuming that it had been changed due to the reason being alleged and that the rolling tenure was a cover story. This would cast a slur that may not be warranted (as we have no evidence of the allegations' veracity) on Sunderland and his family.

By instigating a rolling tenure protocol on the Coach of the Year Award or Top Try Scorer Award or Young Player of the Year Award for example we get to honour a greater number of people from our sport's history whilst not causing unnecessary misconceptions to arise.

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9 minutes ago, wiganermike said:

I am in agreement with you on the first paragraph. I have also been one of the people suggesting that the emergence of a figure more directly connected to a particular award or the match it is connected to would be a better pretext for a review of award naming than the alleged (unverified) reason being suggested by some people in this instance. The reasons for such change could be explained in advance with the original name being re-assigned to an award with a closer connection to it.

As I have posted before I think the proposal of fixed periods of tenure for award naming has some merit but would sit better for awards not already associated with a past figure's name. The reason being that no such process was in place when these awards were inaugurated. For the naming protocol to be changed (particularly in light of the current conversation) after 55 years (in the case of Sunderland) to a rolling tenure would, whether it was the reason behind it or not, lead to people assuming that it had been changed due to the reason being alleged and that the rolling tenure was a cover story. This would cast a slur that may not be warranted (as we have no evidence of the allegations' veracity) on Sunderland and his family.

By instigating a rolling tenure protocol on the Coach of the Year Award or Top Try Scorer Award or Young Player of the Year Award for example we get to honour a greater number of people from our sport's history whilst not causing unnecessary misconceptions to arise.

If the original award was linked to a particular name without a time limit being put on it, then in my view it shouldn't be renamed.

On the other hand, there is scope to create awards that carry someone's name for a limited time.

The problem is, however, that there would inevitably be some controversy about whose name should be attached to an award. Even constructing the qualification criteria would be potentially controversial. It's not like a company taking naming rights to a stadium for ten years or so.

Some posters on this forum have commented on the fact that modern players probably don't connect to the names Harry Sunderland or Lance Todd. But they have all heard of those awards and feel deeply honoured to win one of them. For them, Lance Todd or Harry Sunderland are actually the names of trophies probably more than they are historical figures.

In Australia the Dally M Medal was created in 1979, and was named after an old-time great player who had been dead for many years.

Similarly we inaugurated the Albert Goldthorpe Medal in 2008 and because we were naming it after one of the earliest greats of the game it was generally welcomed by the clubs and the players.

The idea that a name should change simply to make an award more relevant is a bogus one, in my view.

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12 minutes ago, Martyn Sadler said:

The idea that a name should change simply to make an award more relevant is a bogus one, in my view.

But that is a bogus argument in itself because no one has said that is the only reason. There have been many well reasoned and argued reasons given in this thread.

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53 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

This isn't a new concern

As I said in my response to the same posted in the Roy Francis thread the assertions made by the person posting the tweet aren't supported by the articles posted alongside them.

One mentions Francis being transfer listed and details his height, weight and age. The second describes Barrow being so pleased with his debut that they were puzzled as to why Wigan let him be transferred. The third is a letter from a disgruntled supporter unhappy that Francis got fewer chances than players the correspondent favoured less than Francis and cancellation of fixtures due to weather. None of those are unusual things to see in the context of any player having been transferred. They could easily be the opening three posts on a thread here about a player being sold.

There is no mention of the colour of Francis' skin or Harry Sunderland in any of them. Nor can Francis' departure be directly attributed to Harry Sunderland for any reason based on those three articles. I am not saying that evidence to support the assertions does not exist anywhere but it certainly cannot be found in the three articles posted alongside that tweet.

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16 minutes ago, wiganermike said:

As I said in my response to the same posted in the Roy Francis thread the assertions made by the person posting the tweet aren't supported by the articles posted alongside them.

One mentions Francis being transfer listed and details his height, weight and age. The second describes Barrow being so pleased with his debut that they were puzzled as to why Wigan let him be transferred. The third is a letter from a disgruntled supporter unhappy that Francis got fewer chances than players the correspondent favoured less than Francis and cancellation of fixtures due to weather. None of those are unusual things to see in the context of any player having been transferred. They could easily be the opening three posts on a thread here about a player being sold.

There is no mention of the colour of Francis' skin or Harry Sunderland in any of them. Nor can Francis' departure be directly attributed to Harry Sunderland for any reason based on those three articles. I am not saying that evidence to support the assertions does not exist anywhere but it certainly cannot be found in the three articles posted alongside that tweet.

It's also worth pointing out that George Bennett, the first black man to play representative Rugby League (in his case for Wales) was also playing for Wigan in the 1930s, playing for their Championship-winning team in 1934.

But he was dropped from the side and transferred to Bradford in December 1937, a full twelve months before Sunderland's arrival.

Again, there is absolutely no evidence that he was transferred away from Wigan because of racism, but those who are looking for conspiracy theories should perhaps also investigate his departure from the club.

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42 minutes ago, wiganermike said:

As I said in my response to the same posted in the Roy Francis thread the assertions made by the person posting the tweet aren't supported by the articles posted alongside them.

One mentions Francis being transfer listed and details his height, weight and age. The second describes Barrow being so pleased with his debut that they were puzzled as to why Wigan let him be transferred. The third is a letter from a disgruntled supporter unhappy that Francis got fewer chances than players the correspondent favoured less than Francis and cancellation of fixtures due to weather. None of those are unusual things to see in the context of any player having been transferred. They could easily be the opening three posts on a thread here about a player being sold.

There is no mention of the colour of Francis' skin or Harry Sunderland in any of them. Nor can Francis' departure be directly attributed to Harry Sunderland for any reason based on those three articles. I am not saying that evidence to support the assertions does not exist anywhere but it certainly cannot be found in the three articles posted alongside that tweet.

Was shared by Prof. Tony Collins on twitter. Like all historical evidence, it needs to be taken context of both itself and the other evidence. That is to say, these articles aren't conclusive evidence at all, but taken with other pieces of evidence, may swing the balance of probability, or not.

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17 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

Was shared by Prof. Tony Collins on twitter. Like all historical evidence, it needs to be taken context of both itself and the other evidence. That is to say, these articles aren't conclusive evidence at all, but taken with other pieces of evidence, may swing the balance of probability, or not.

As there is no reference in them to Francis' race, no mention at all of Harry Sunderland and no comment given on the hypothetical or otherwise reasons for Francis leaving Wigan they don't really have any bearing on the matter being discussed and the validity of claims being made. The only things they prove are that 1.Francis did play for Wigan and 2. was transferred to Barrow from there. Other than points 1 and 2 I just mentioned those articles provide no evidence of anything other than Barrow anecdotally being happy with Francis' playing ability when he joined them and one Wigan supporter being disappointed at Francis being transferred.

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11 minutes ago, wiganermike said:

As there is no reference in them to Francis' race, no mention at all of Harry Sunderland and no comment given on the hypothetical or otherwise reasons for Francis leaving Wigan they don't really have any bearing on the matter being discussed and the validity of claims being made. The only things they prove are that 1.Francis did play for Wigan and 2. was transferred to Barrow from there. Other than points 1 and 2 I just mentioned those articles provide no evidence of anything other than Barrow anecdotally being happy with Francis' playing ability when he joined them and one Wigan supporter being disappointed at Francis being transferred.

Mate as someone who spends over half my time dealing with historical records and accounts I can't emphasise how much you're missing the point here about further evidence and the context of that evidence.

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4 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

Mate as someone who spends over half my time dealing with historical records and accounts I can't emphasise how much you're missing the point here about further evidence and the context of that evidence.

There is no mention of Harry Sunderland in those articles though, not even his name. Nor is there a mention of the reasons for Francis leaving Wigan or any theory put forward on reasons for it. There is only mention that he was transferred and that his new club were puzzled as to why his old club were willing to "part with him" to paraphrase what it says in that article. That phrasing in the article could be construed as them seeking to move him on or them not fighting harder to stop him moving on. I understand that interpreting historical sources can and does often involve drawing hidden meaning out. However when a contemporary source does not even mention an individual concerned or even suggest any reason behind Francis leaving Wigan then I can't see how conclusions that this supports claims made years later from other sources can be drawn from that contemporary source, other than by people wanting to find such conclusions and adding their own biased inference.

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2 minutes ago, wiganermike said:

There is no mention of Harry Sunderland in those articles though, not even his name. Nor is there a mention of the reasons for Francis leaving Wigan or any theory put forward on reasons for it. There is only mention that he was transferred and that his new club were puzzled as to why his old club were willing to "part with him" to paraphrase what it says in that article. That phrasing in the article could be construed as them seeking to move him on or them not fighting harder to stop him moving on. I understand that interpreting historical sources can and does often involve drawing hidden meaning out. However when a contemporary source does not even mention an individual concerned or even suggest any reason behind Francis leaving Wigan then I can't see how conclusions that this supports claims made years later from other sources can be drawn from that contemporary source, other than by people wanting to find such conclusions and adding their own biased inference.

Ok then lets look at the sources: Newspapers from the interwar period. I must admit its not my particular area of historical expertise, but its unlikely that racism would even feature at all, either as illegitimate reason given for Francis' underusage, or much less likely to be called out as a negative. So expecting it to be openly described is probably expecting too much of the sources.

On top of that, we now have contemporary evidence that supports the assertation Francis was played significantly less than regularly and was sold/moved on in spite of being a quality player. A lot is circumstantial, but its unlikely that any smoking guns will be identified in this case (essentially what is accused of being a - potentially racially motivated - constructive bullying case from 90 years ago).

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On 16/07/2020 at 10:46, wiganermike said:

That is what we are doing. He also suggests naming another trophy/award in honour of Roy Francis, I have suggested naming the Coach of the Year Award in honour of Roy Francis and Martyn Sadler suggested a Welsh Player of the Year Award named in honour of Francis. There may be other examples that I can't remember.

Although I agreee with the principle of such suggestions, I think we should also consider the naming of any such awards be purely on their contributions to the game as a whole and not specifically because of any social influences they might or might not have had. To give an award because someone was of a specific colour might itself be deemed to be for racial reasons.

Contenders for naming a Coach of the Year trophy after them could include such as Jim Brough, Jim Challinor, Frank Myler, Mal Reily, Alex Murphy, Johnny Whiteley, while for Welsh Player of the Year there could be Billy Boston, Trevor Foster, Lewis Jones, Clive Sullivan, Gus Risman, David Watkins.

Edited by RL does what Sky says

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5 minutes ago, RL does what Sky says said:

Although I agreee with the principle of such suggestions, I think we should also consider the naming of any such awards be purely on their contributions to the game as a whole and not specifically because of any social influences they might or might not have had. To give an award because someone was of a specific colour might itself be deemed to be for racial reasons.

Contenders for naming a Coach of the Year trophy after them could include such as Jim Brough, Jim Challinor, Frank Myler, Mal Reily, Alex Murphy, Johnny Whiteley, while for Welsh Player of the Year there could be Billy Boston, Trevor Foster, Lewis Jones, Clive Sullivan, Gus Risman, David Watkins.

Roy Francis wasn't the only person I suggested could have their name associated with an award. Of those you list I also suggested honouring Reilly, Whiteley, Boston and Sullivan (and others you didn't name) by attaching their names to awards. There are many figures from the history of the sport we could honour for their contribution. The post you quoted a portion of was my response to a link someone posted to a Phil Caplan article relating to things Caplan had suggested (or were attributed to him) in the article.

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14 minutes ago, RL does what Sky says said:

Although I agreee with the principle of such suggestions, I think we should also consider the naming of any such awards be purely on their contributions to the game as a whole and not specifically because of any social influences they might or might not have had. To give an award because someone was of a specific colour might itself be deemed to be for racial reasons.

Contenders for naming a Coach of the Year trophy after them could include such as Jim Brough, Jim Challinor, Frank Myler, Mal Reily, Alex Murphy, Johnny Whiteley, while for Welsh Player of the Year there could be Billy Boston, Trevor Foster, Lewis Jones, Clive Sullivan, Gus Risman, David Watkins.

You seem rather concerned for reasons not to have an award named after Roy Francis for potential "racial issues" whilst having defended a man accused of racism having an actual award named after him. Surely, you'll see the major discrepancy in logic there?

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