|Full name||Adrian Tremain Shelford|
|Born||4 January 1964
Christchurch, New Zealand
|Died||19 September 2003
|1990||Manly Sea Eagles||11||0||0||0||0|
|1986||New Zealand Māori|
|1988||Rest of the World||1||0||0||0||0|
Adrian Tremain Shelford (1964 – 19 September 2003), born in New Zealand, was a rugby league player who represented his country. Shelford played for Wigan and Wakefield Trinity (Heritage #984) in the Rugby League Premiership as well as the Newcastle Knights and Manly Sea Eagles in the NSWRL Premiership as a prop.
Shelford played for Hornby and Canterbury before moving to Wellington to advance his career. He was named the Canterbury Rugby League Player of the Year in 1984. He made the Junior Kiwis in 1982 and 1983.
In Wellington, Shelford joined the Upper Hutt Tigers.
Shelford moved to England in 1987 with both St Helens RLFC and Wigan claiming to have secured his signature. Shelford eventually joined Wigan after it was ruled by the High Court that he had not entered into a binding commitment to play for Saints. He appeared in 21 matches for Wigan and was part of the Challenge Cup winning side that beat Halifax 32-12 before 94,273 spectators at Wembley Stadium.
After a short stint with the Newcastle Knights during the 1988 season, he was back at Wigan. He played in 40 games during the 1988/89 season, the most number of matches by any player at the club. Shelford featured in the Challenge Cup Final win over St. Helens by 27-0 in front of a crowd of 78,000 spectators. He was also part of Wigan’s 12-6 John Player Special Trophy win over Widnes at Bolton. And he scored a try in the cherry and white’s 22-17 victory against Salford in the Lancashire Cup final at Knowsley Road.
Shelford played 22 matches for the Wigan club in the 1989/90 season, and was back again at Wembley Stadium to help Wigan to a win over Warrington. "He was someone that would do the hard yards and lay the platform for the backs,” said former team-mate Kevin Iro. Shelford had a stint with Manly in the Australian competition in 1990, appearing in 11 matches, with most of those coming off the bench.
Shelford headed over to Wakefield Trinity in 1990/91, playing 28 games. He was involved in eight games in 1991/92 with the Belle Vue outfit before finishing the season with four games for the Sheffield Eagles.
Shelford represented the New Zealand Under 17’s in 1981 and was a Junior Kiwi the following year while playing for Christchurch club Hornby. In 1984, his first full senior year, he made his debut for South Island. He played 11 provincial games for Canterbury before being chosen to tour Great Britain and France with the New Zealand Kiwis in 1985. He was involved in 11 games on that tour but did not feature in any of the Test matches.
He made his Test debut in 1987 against Papua New Guinea at Goroka and Port Moresby before taking on the Australians in 1987 in which the Kiwis scored a famous 13-6 win over the world champions at Lang Park.
“We were confident of beating the Aussies. We have a side that I believe is the best in the world, which is good for the game in New Zealand,” Shelford said at the time.
He played just four games, including one Test, on the 1989 tour of Great Britain before being injured. Overall, he appeared in eight Test matches as well as representing the Rest of the World in 1988 against Australia at the Sydney Football Stadium.
Shelford's league career was ended by a knee injury at the age of 27.
He planned for life after rugby league by graduating with honours from Edge Hill University. He was teaching at a local high school and had just gained promotion when he died.
- SHELFORD, Adrian Tremain 1985 - 89 - Kiwi #585 nzleague.co.nz
- Coffey, John. Canterbury XIII, Christchurch, 1987.
- John Coffey, Bernie Wood (2008). 100 years: Māori rugby league, 1908-2008. Huia Publishers. pp. 224–226. ISBN 978-1-86969-331-2.
- Team of the Century - Week 6 Wellington Rugby League
- "Ex-NZ prop Shelford dies". BBC. 2003-09-20. Retrieved 2008-05-12.
- Adrian Shelford Wigan Playing Career Page on the Wigan RL Fansite.
- Wigan profile
- Adrian Shelford's obituary in The Independent
- Ex-NZ prop Shelford dies