David Ward (rugby league)

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David J. Ward is an English rugby league footballer of the 1970s and '80s, and coach of the 1980s and '90s, playing at representative level for Great Britain, and England, and at club level for Leeds, as a Hooker, and coaching at club level for Hunslet, Leeds, Batley, and Featherstone Rovers. He won a total of 12 Great Britain caps.

Playing career[edit]

One of the more notable signings of his coaching career was when Ward brought John Gallagher to Leeds, converting the player from rugby union, but Ward was ultimately unsuccessful at Leeds, despite being in charge of one of only two full-time squads in the league at the time,[1] Ward played Hooker, i.e. number 9 in Leeds' 16-7 victory over Widnes in the 1976–77 Northern Rugby Football League season's Challenge Cup final at Wembley Stadium on Saturday 7 May 1977, and won the inaugural Man of Steel Award that year.

Ward played in the 14-12 victory over St. Helens in the 1977–78 Northern Rugby Football League season's Challenge Cup final at Wembley Stadium on Saturday 13 May 1978. Possibly the greatest moment of his playing career was his performance during the 1978 Challenge Cup final at Wembley Stadium against St Helens, where he gave a commanding performance marshalling the Leeds team, and kicked two late drop-goals to complete what was then a record comeback. Ward's Testimonial match at Leeds took place in 1982. In addition to the above Test Matches, David Ward played Hooker, i.e. number 9 in Great Britain’s 7-8 defeat by France in the friendly at Stadio Pierluigi Penzo, Venice on Saturday 31 July 1982.

Post playing[edit]

Ward currently[specify] runs Birstall Squash Club, and has done for many years. His son Danny is a rugby league player, with one Great Britain cap; he signed for Harlequins Rugby League in 2008. Ward also runs Birstall Victoria Rugby Club which had seen little success until May 2011 when the Under-12's team were the first Birstall team to lift the Continuation cup beating York Acorn 40-4. Ward watched the match from the players bar, when the match was over he said one word: "awesome". David is also well known locally for his impersonation of the legendary singer Frank Sinatra.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ the other being Wigan