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Rugby League Heroes: Robin Whitfield


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I don't remember much about Robin, but his brother Colin was a decent goal kicker. The first RL game I saw was Boxing Day 1983 and Colin scored all of Wigan's 12 points (1 T 4G) in a 12-8 win against St Helens.

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Remember him well- both as a bit of an er .. " stiff arm specialist" and a referee. I was covering the game when he sin-binned Ellery and then changed it to a sending-off during the half-time break.  Best line, though, is the chat with Alex Murphy. 

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42 minutes ago, Morris Wanchuk said:

I just remember the try he gave for Northern at Belle Vue in the Challenge Cup where the ball was grounded at least a yard short of the try line but he gave it from his position half way down the field.! 

Yeah me too.  Neil Summers wasn't it.  Was it the Yorkshire Post that ran the report under the "Robbing Wakefield" headline?

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Wakefield Trinity RLFC
2012 - 2014 "The wasted years"

2013, 2014 & 2015 Official Magic Weekend "Whipping Boys"

2017 - The year the dream disappeared under Grix's left foot.

2018 - The FinniChezz Bromance 

2019 - The Return of the Prodigal Son

 

 

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I ran the line for him when I first started officiating “I don’t care what you see, you don’t come on my pitch waving that effing flag” he said.

30 minutes into the first half and a player is taken out late and high right in front of the dug out.

 I went on and basically chased him all over the pitch until he finally stopped the game. I then said in a voice loud enough to be heard “number 12 took number 6 out late and high, it has to be a red”

After the game he said to me “I’ll make sure you never do another professional match”

”Suits me fine” I replied “if it means I’m not party to that level of cheating”

 I carried on in the pro game but never ran a line for him again. 

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The way he used to wave at the South Stand at Leeds was incredibly aggravating to a younger me so I'm glad that he mentions it!

Just had a quick look at youtube to see if it's been documented anywhere amongst the vintage games but can't find one. He'd run out from the dressing rooms in the North East Corner, all the way to the centre of the field and then do this little trot from there to the South Stand touchline and back with the ball, raising the ball up and waving it at the fans as he went. Talk about winding the crowd up!

I would say we could do with more stuff like that today although the RFL referee dept would have a fit I think.

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a good and entertaining read.  Triggered one or two memories,  too, particularly about Keith Jarrett, though no mention of him being inducted into the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame in the magazine's 73rd Annual Readers' Poll in 2008.

 

And who on earth was Spanky McFarlane?  🤔

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4 hours ago, Anita Bath said:

I did things my own way….what an arrogant thing to do (and to say). He didnt think the laws of the game were working so he introduced his own.

 

I have great respect for referees in all eras but this sort of attitude does nobody any good.

Correct. I want the refferees to be invisible. To be unnoticeable. 

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4 hours ago, JohnM said:

a good and entertaining read.  Triggered one or two memories,  too, particularly about Keith Jarrett, though no mention of him being inducted into the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame in the magazine's 73rd Annual Readers' Poll in 2008.

 

And who on earth was Spanky McFarlane?  🤔

Spanky was a great cumbrian in the strong Workington team of 60s. Also played for Whitehaven and Barrow  (and I expect Cumberland).

 

No idea how he got the nickname, but could be an interesting story in there!

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