George Fairbairn (rugby league)

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George Fairbairn
Personal information
Full name George Alexander Fairbairn[1]
Born Peebles, Scotland
Playing information
Rugby union
Position Full-back
Club
Years Team Pld T G FG P
197?–74 Kelso
Representative
Years Team Pld T G FG P
197?–7? Borders
Rugby league
Position Fullback, Wing
Club
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1974–81 Wigan 207 30 583 11 1267
1981–89 Hull KR 269 49 549 19 1290
Total 476 79 1132 30 2557
Representative
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1975–81 England 16 5 51 1 118
1977–82 Great Britain 17 1 44 0 91
Coaching information
Club
Years Team Gms W D L W%
1980–81 Wigan
1991–94 Hull KR
1994–95 Huddersfield
Total 0 0 0 0
Representative
Years Team Gms W D L W%
1995–97 Scotland
Source: [1], [2], [3]

George Fairbairn (born in Peebles) is a Scottish former professional rugby league footballer of the 1970s and '80s, and coach of the 1980s through to the 2010s. He played at representative level for Great Britain, and England, and at club level for Wigan, winning the Man of Steel Award in 1980, and Hull Kingston Rovers, as a fullback or winger. Fairbairn then coached at representative level for Scotland, and at club level for Wigan, Hull Kingston Rovers, and Huddersfield. He retired as the England national rugby league team's top point scorer.[2] In September 2012, he was named in Hull KR's greatest ever team.[3]

Background[edit]

Born in Peebles, Scotland, Fairbairn started his career playing rugby union for Kelso RFC.

Professional playing career[edit]

Wigan[edit]

In 1974, he moved to England to play rugby league for Wigan. Fairbairn became only the second Scottish-born person after Andrew Hogg to play for the England national rugby league team. Fairbairn won caps for England while at Wigan in the 1975 Rugby League World Cup against Wales (2 matches), New Zealand (2 matches), Australia (2 matches), and France, and in 1975 against Papua New Guinea. He won caps for Great Britain while at Wigan in 1977 Rugby League World Cup against France, New Zealand, and Australia (2 matches). He also played for England in 1977 against Wales, and France. Fairbairn played for Great Britain in 1978 against Australia (3 matches). He also played for England in 1978 against France. He played for Great Britain in 1979 against Australia (2 matches), and New Zealand (3 matches).

At the end of the 1979–80 Northern Rugby Football League season, despite Wigan's relegation to the second division, Fairbairn received the Man of Steel Award for player of the season. Fairbairn played for England in 1980 against Wales, and France, and for Great Britain in 1980 against New Zealand (2 matches). Fairbairn was appointed as a player-coach at Wigan for the 1980-81 season, helping the club win promotion back to the first division. After the club's coaching duties were given to Maurice Bamford at the end of the season, Fairbairn requested a transfer, and was sold to Hull Kingston Rovers for a record fee of £72,500.

Hull Kingston Rovers[edit]

While at Hull Kingston Rovers Fairbairn played for England in 1981 against France, and Wales. He also played for Great Britain in 1981 against France. He also played for Great Britain in 1982 against Australia (2 matches).[4] Fairbairn played Fullback, i.e. number 1 in Great Britain's 7-8 defeat by France in the friendly at Stadio Pierluigi Penzo, Venice on Saturday 31 July 1982.[5] With 52 goals, Fairbairn is second in the list of England's all-time goal scorers and with 118 points he is also second (behind Kevin Sinfield) in the list of England's all-time point scorers.

Coaching career[edit]

George Fairbairn's Testimonial match at Hull Kingston Rovers took place in 1992. Fairbairn also became coach of the Scotland national rugby league team from 1995 to 1997.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Morris, Graham (2005). Wigan Rugby League Football Club: 100 Greats. Stroud: Tempus Publishing. p. 49. ISBN 978-0-7524-3470-4. 
  2. ^ Willacy, Gavin (26 October 2012). "The Borders full-back who moved south to take rugby league by storm". Herald Scotland. Retrieved 31 October 2012. 
  3. ^ "Fairbairn named as greatest ever fullback". Hull Kingston Rovers RLFC. 19 September 2012. Retrieved 24 December 2013. 
  4. ^ "England Statistics at englandrl.co.uk". englandrl. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  5. ^ "Great Britain Statistics at englandrl.co.uk". englandrl. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 

External links[edit]

Achievements
Preceded by
Trevor Skerrett
Rugby League Transfer Record
Wigan to Hull Kingston Rovers

1981-1985
Succeeded by
Ellery Hanley