ST HELENS and Warrington Wolves have paid tribute to former player Bobby Wanbon following his death aged 78.
Born in Port Talbot on 16th November 1943, Wanbon went to St Joseph’s School in Aberavon, starting out at Aberavon Greenstars before playing for the main club in the area, Aberavon RFC.
Wanbon was finally picked to play for Wales against England at Twickenham, scoring a try in an 11-11 draw in January 1968. He was dropped for Wales’s next match, against Scotland, and so decided to switch to rugby league.
He signed for St. Helens from Aberavon, just nine days after appearing for Wales, for a signing-on fee of £4,500. Later that year, he became a dual-code international, as he was one of 12 debutants in the Welsh side that beat England in the return of the European Championships.
At Knowsley Road, Wanbon made 79 appearances, scoring 18 tries before moving to Warrington for a £2,000 transfer fee in September 1971.
He made 40 appearances during the 1972/73 season, scoring 12 tries, when Warrington won the League Leaders’ Rose Bowl.
The following season Warrington won four cups – the Captain Morgan Trophy, the Player’s No6 Trophy, the Challenge Cup and the Club Championship – and Wanbon played in all four finals.
He made his 163rd and final appearance for Warrington at Castleford, aged 34, in February 1978, having scored 22 tries for the club.
Following his rugby league career, Wanbon settled in the North West and became a publican in the Warrington area, from 1977-1999.
Some of those public houses include The Prince of Wales, Old Ball, The Howley, The King and Queen, before finishing at the Red Lion in Stockton Heath.