Albert Goldthorpe

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Goldthorpe in 1908

Albert Goldthorpe (born 3 November 1871 in Hunslet, West Riding of Yorkshire, died 8 January 1943) was an English rugby footballer from the period around 1895's schism in English rugby, which led to the formation of rugby league football around the turn of the century.

One of five brothers (four of whom at one period played together in the same Hunslet team), Goldthorpe made his first team debut with Hunslet, at fullback, as a 16-year-old in October, 1888. He went on to become one of the best known figures in English rugby, both before and after the split, and he was one of the finest individual talents in the game at the time of the Northern Union's formation in 1895. He was also a successful cricketer.

Goldthorpe was still playing for Hunslet twenty years after his debut, when in the 1907-08 season he led the club to unprecedented success, winning all four cups (the Challenge Cup, the Championship, the Yorkshire Cup and the Yorkshire League). Hunslet were the first team to achieve that feat.

When he finally retired in 1910, Goldthorpe had scored more goals and points than any player in the game's history at that time. After his playing career ended he served on the Hunslet committee until, in 1924, he was appointed as the club's second full-time secretary-manager, a post he held for seven years.

Goldthorpe died in 1942 aged 72.

In 1988 an Australian television movie, The First Kangaroos actor Dennis Waterman's villainous depiction of Goldthorpe drew formal complaints from his granddaughter.[1]

In 2008, the Albert Goldthorpe Medal was created by British rugby league newspaper Rugby Leaguer & League Express to honour the leading players in Super League.

On 20 August 2009, transport company Arriva Yorkshire honoured 13 rugby league footballers at a ceremony at The Jungle, the home of the Castleford Tigers. A fleet of new buses were named after the 'Arriva Yorkshire Rugby League Dream Team'. Members of the public nominated the best ever rugby league footballers to have played in West Yorkshire, supported by local rugby league journalists; James Deighton from BBC Leeds, and Tim Butcher, editor of Rugby League World. The 'Arriva Yorkshire Rugby League Dream Team' is; Trevor Foster MBE, Neil Fox MBE, Albert Goldthorpe, Alan Hardisty, Stan Kielty, Lewis Jones, Roger Millward MBE, Malcolm Reilly, Garry Schofield, Keith Senior, David Topliss, Dave Valentine, and Adrian Vowles.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ John Robinson and Garrett Jones (8 June 1988). "Family fights to clear League Hero's Name". The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia). p. 74. Retrieved 20 February 2011. 
  2. ^ "Arriva Yorkshire Rugby League Dream Team". Arriva Yorkshire. 2009-08-20. Retrieved 2009-08-20. 

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