8th July 2020, 09:20 | therfl

The RFL pays tribute to lost loved ones

The RFL pays tribute to lost loved ones

The RFL pays tribute to four former players who have passed away in recent days. We send condolences to their families, friends and former team-mates, and our appreciation for their contribution to the sport.

Bill Ramsey (pictured above - image courtesy of Varley Archive)

A formidable forward who won trophies with four clubs in a career which saw him achieve the unusual distinction of making Lions tours which were eight years apart in 1966 and 1974, and playing in five Challenge Cup Finals spread across 13 seasons from 1965 to 1977.

Bill Ramsey began his career with Hunslet, making the first of 127 senior appearances for the club in April 1962. He was a member of their Division Two championship winning team in the 1962-63 season, and well-established by the time they played Wigan in the 1965 Challenge Cup Final, losing 20-16 in a game widely regarded as one of Wembley’s finest.

Later that year he made his first two Great Britain appearances in the home series against New Zealand, and after winning a third cap at home to France the following March, he was selected for the 1966 Lions tour, playing in the second and third Test defeats against Australia in Brisbane and Sydney, and then in the first Test victory against New Zealand which followed in Auckland. In total he played 15 matches on the tour, scoring five tries.

In December 1967 he was transferred to Leeds for a fee of around £10,000, and he made 197 senior appearances for the Loiners, including a winning Wembley appearance in the famous 1968 Challenge Cup Final against Wakefield Trinity – although he also suffered two more Wembley defeats, against Leigh in 1971 and St Helens in 1972.

He kicked a goal in the 16-14 victory over Castleford in the Championship Final of 1969, and was also a member of the team beaten 24-12 by St Helens the following season, while his Leeds career included four Yorkshire Cup wins and victory in the BBC Floodlit Trophy of 1970-71.

In January 1974 he moved on to Bradford Northern, helping them secure the Division Two title and promotion, and at the end of that season he was selected for his second Lions tour – winning his last cap as a substitute in the third Test win against New Zealand in Auckland.

He then moved to Hull with whom he suffered a defeat by Widnes in the Player’s No6 Trophy Final in 1976.

His final move was across the Pennines to Widnes, and included a Lancashire Cup Final win against Workington Town, and a fourth Wembley defeat with a third different club, this time in the 1977 Challenge Cup Final against one of his previous clubs, Leeds.

In retirement, he returned to Hunslet as coach, and David Hinchliffe, one of the founders of the All Party Parliamentary Rugby League Group and the author of They Walked On Water, a book based around the 1968 Challenge Cup Final, recalled: “I got to know Bill as the manager of Comet in Wakefield. He was very helpful when I did the book. I remember him as a hardman on the field, the sort you wouldn’t want to mess with – but off it, you couldn’t meet a nicer bloke. And when you look at the details, and longevity, of his career, you’d have to say he hasn’t had the recognition he deserves.”

Garry Schofield OBE paid tribute in the Yorkshire Evening Post, saying: "I knew Bill very, very well. They don't make forwards like him any more - he was up there will the best forwards the game has produced."


Ted Barnard

Originally from the York amateur club Heworth, Ted Barnard made 45 senior appearances between 1966 and 1972, and was a team-mate of Bill Ramsey in three finals in the 1970-71 season - victories over Featherstone Rovers in the Yorkshire Cup Final, and against St Helens in the BBC Floodlit Trophy Final, followed by the surprise defeat against Alex Murphy’s Leigh in the Challenge Cup Final at Wembley. He then signed for Hull KR, making a total of 31 senior appearances.


Ian Orum

Castleford signed Ian Orum in 1979 after a successful rugby union career with the Bridlington and Roundhay clubs in which he also played for Yorkshire, England Under-23s and attracted the attention of the senior England selectors, with inclusion on their first tour of Australia in 1975, and then in their squad for the Five Nations Championship of 1978 – although he remained tantalisingly uncapped.

He made more than 100 appearances for the Tigers through the 1980s, but often missed out on selection for major finals, with the Beardmore brothers Bob and Kevin established in the half-back and hooker roles.

He was a popular member of staff at a number of schools, including South Leeds High School and Carr Manor Community School.


Alan Taylor

Originally from Widnes, Alan Taylor played his best rugby for a fellow Widnesian who also died recently after a long illness – the former Great Britain captain and coach, Frank Myler.

He had started his professional career with Wigan, signing for them from Widnes RUFC in 1973 and making 71 appearances in either half-back position, including a Lancashire Cup Final defeat by Workington Town at Wilderspool in 1977.

A couple of years later, Myler signed him for Swinton and appointed him captain. After a successful season for the Lions, Taylor followed Myler to the Watersheddings where he became a crucial figure at full-back in an Oldham team who won promotion from the Second Division, then established themselves in the top half of the First.

Taylor’s intelligence and organisation was much missed when he left to take up a teaching post in the Bahamas, and Oldham supporters were therefore delighted when he returned – Myler appointing him captain again, and increasingly using him in a half-back role.

He has died at the age of 68 after a long illness.


Peter Bateson

The former Hull FC full-back, a regular through the late 1950s and early 1960s, passed away at the age of 87 recently.

Bateson, one of Hull FC's most successful goal-kickers of all-time, joined the club in the summer of 1957 and established himself as the first-choice for the number one jersey.

Born in East Hull, Peter took up rugby league at Southcoates School and played in junior football before being signed by Batley in 1952, making his professional debut in the Boxing Day Derby against Dewsbury that same year.

Peter was a member of the 1958 Rugby League Championship winning side, captained by Johnny Whiteley MBE. Hull beat Workington 20-3 at Odsal; a game in which Peter kicked all four conversions after tries from Brian Cooper, Johnny Whiteley, Mick Scott and Tommy Finn.

In all, Peter made 138 appearances for Hull over the course of five seasons, scoring five tries and landing 542 goals, standing seventh in the club all-time goal-kicking chart, and tenth in the point-scoring chart with 1099.

He shares a record with Jim Kennedy of the 1920s as being the only players to have kicked ten or more goals in a match on five occasions. Only two more players have managed the feat even twice; Paul Cooke and Sammy Lloyd.

Peter ended his career at Hull in January 1962, but returned to Batley for a short time in 1963-64 and 1964-65, making a further 22 appearances in total and adding another 45 successful goal-kicks. He then continued in the game by turning out for BOCM and played in their Challenge Cup-tie against Liverpool City in February 1967.