|Full name||Desmond Lloyd Drummond|
17 June 1958 |
Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland, Jamaica
|Height||5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)|
Des was a legendary figure throughout the 1980s, where he won 24 Great Britain caps, the first against New Zealand in 1980, the last against France in 1988. Drummond signed for Leigh almost by accident, having travelled to watch his older brother Alva Drummond play for the reserve team. Leigh found themselves a player short due to injury, and Des was persuaded to play. He made such an impact that he was offered a professional contract within the week. Drummond quickly became a star player at the Lancashire club, particularly after a series of televised appearances during the club's run to the final of the 1976 BBC2 Floodlit trophy, a competition specifically created for television.
The arrival of Alex Murphy as coach in 1980 marked an upturn in fortunes for the club. In 1981, Drummond won his first silverware with Leigh, as the club defeated Widnes in the Lancashire Cup Final. Then, as the weather-disrupted season reached its end, Leigh needed only to defeat already-relegated [Whitehaven] to win their first league title since 1907. Despite trailing at half time, Drummond scored a try in a second half revival which made the unfashionable Lancashire club the National Champions.
Within three years, however, Leigh found themselves in a more familiar relegation battle, and were severely hampered when Drummond badly broke an ankle in an away fixture at Barrow. Although he recovered to return to the Great Britain team, he lost a little of his devastating speed. Even so, he recovered enough to score the BBC TV 'Try of the season' as a losing semi finalist for Leigh against Leeds in the 1985 John Player Cup Semi Final. Drummond left Leigh to join Warrington in 1987. He played his first game for "the Wires" (Warrington) on the 8 February 1987. He also scored Warrington's Try of The Season in 1987/88 against St Helens, (he was also the teams top try scorer for that season) Drummond was left out of the squad for the 1988 Great Britain Lions tour of Australasia after defending himself from a spectator who rushed onto the pitch shouting racial abuse. Drummond again scored Warrington's Try of the Season in 1988/89 against Hull KR. He was also part of the Lancashire Cup winning team of 1989. He made an appearance at Wembley in the Challenge Cup Final of 1990, where his Warrington team lost to Wigan. He captained Warrington to a Regal Trophy final win over Bradford Northern in 1991. He played his last game for Warrington and he finished his 182-game career on the 26 April 1992, having scored 69 tries.
His career enjoyed an Indian summer at Workington Town, where he returned to Old Trafford twice in the Divisional Premiership, losing to Featherstone Rovers in 1993 and beating London Crusaders in 1994, with Drummond scoring a try from a Tony Kay assist. In the 1994-95 season, Drummond helped Town to a credible ninth position out of 16 teams. In the Challenge Cup, Town reached the quarter-finals, beating Drummond's old club, Leigh RLFC along the way 94-4. Drummond left the club at the end of the season, and went on to play for Barrow and Chorley, where he lined up alongside Kurt Sorensen in the three-quarter line.
After retiring from the professional game, Drummond took up an amateur role as coach to the Bolton Rugby League Club. He still lives in the town.
All Round Athlete
Drummond's rise to celebrity status was precipitated by his performances in the televised all-around sports competition Superstars, finishing second in the 1983 Series final, and clocking a world competition record 10.85 seconds for the 100 metres (noted Great Britain rugby league speedster Martin Offiah was reported to have recorded a hand held 10.8 seconds for the 100, showing just how fast Drummond was).
An exceptional power-lifter and all-round athlete, Drummond's 'party trick' in the competition came in the Assault Course competition, which began with three hurdles, a vaulting horse and an 8 foot wall. Drummond took the hurdles in his stride, hurdled the vaulting horse, and would leap to the top of the wall without using the scrambling rope. He competed in the international event, but was hampered by a change in the scoring - whereas in the UK, points were awarded in the lifting events for performance against bodyweight, in the international competition the spoils were divided for the dead weight lifted, a disadvantage to the 5'7", 12 stone rugby man.
- "The J squad". Sky Sports. 2009-08-24.
- Ali, Arif (1988). Third World Impact. Hansib Pub. p. 333. ISBN 978-1-870518-04-8.
- Tony Collins (2006). Rugby League in Twentieth Century Britain: A Social and Cultural History. UK: Routledge. p. 160.
- "Superstars roll of honour". BBC. 2008-12-31. Retrieved 2009-01-01.
- "Superstars Records at a Glance". BBC. 2008-12-31. Retrieved 2010-04-01.