Ken Roberts (rugby league)
|Full name||Kenneth Roberts|
|Born||Atherton, Lancashire, England|
|Height||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Weight||16 st 00 lb (101.6 kg; 224.0 lb)|
|1955–24 Aug 1963||Swinton||202||30||19||128|
|24 Aug 1963–27 Jan 1967||Halifax||127||6||0||0||18|
|Source: rugbyleagueproject.org englandrl.co.uk
"A Record of Ken Roberts" by Robert Gate 07.11.90
Kenneth "Ken" Roberts (born in Atherton, Lancashire) is an English professional rugby league footballer of the 1950s, '60s and '70s, playing at representative level for Great Britain and Lancashire, and at club level for Swinton, Halifax, Bradford Northern, Rochdale Hornets and Salford, as a Prop, or Second-row, i.e. number 8 or 10, or, 11 or 12, during the era of contested scrums. Ken was one of a rare breed of forwards with an ability to dominate games with sheer physical power and incredible ball-handling skills. At 6' 1" and over sixteen stones Ken was a towering figure, quick runner and a damaging defender who always took the game to the opposition. He was an intimidating scrummager, inspiring pack leader and a player to be feared, respected and admired.
Ken Roberts won caps for Great Britain whilst at Halifax, in 1963, against Australia where his debut helped secure a 16-5 victory. He was also capped in 1964 against France (2 matches), in 1965 against France, and New Zealand (3 matches), and in 1966 against France, and New Zealand (2 matches). In 1966, he also toured Australasia with Great Britain, playing in 19 matches, scoring 4 tries and captaining the touring side against Central Queensland, Newcastle, Southern New South Wales, Northern Division and Monaro. Ken remains a committee member of the British Rugby League Lions Association
Ken Roberts won 5 caps for Lancashire throughout his career against Yorkshire, Cumberland and New Zealand.
Combined Salford-Swinton - 1 appearance
County Cup final appearances
Ken Roberts made his debut for Swinton on March 10, 1956, scoring a try and a goal from the second-row in a 25-7 victory at Blackpool Borough. He would go on to amass 128 points throughout his seven year spell at the club. In 1960, 1961 and 1962 he played in three consecutive Lancashire Cup Finals for Swinton and was a member of their 1960-61 Lancashire League Championship winning team. Ken won the First Division Championship with Swinton in 1962-63 and on April 23, 1963, played his 202nd and final game for Swinton, a 17-4 victory over Oldham at Watersheddings.
In 1963, Ken was transferred across the Pennines, for a huge £5,000, to Halifax where, on August 24, he made his debut at Thrum Hall against Featherstone Rovers. The same year, Halifax would win the Yorkshire Cup, beating Featherstone Rovers in the Final. 1964 saw Ken elected as vice-captain at Halifax, then soon after, captain. He was also a member of the team which beat Castleford 20-12 at Fartown to win the Eastern Division Championship that same year. Ken's leadership of a magnificent pack of forwards was a major factor in Halifax's charge towards the Rugby League Championship in 1965. It was their dominance which allowed Halifax to overcome St. Helens 15-7 and Ken had a momentous season himself, making 39 appearances. The following season saw Halifax lose to St Helens in a repeat Championship final at Swinton, and saw Ken make another incredible 36 appearances, including the fixture against New Zealand. On January 27, 1967, Ken played his final game for Halifax, against Leeds at Headingley.
The following week he walked out at Odsal in the Challenge Cup for Bradford Northern against Featherstone Rovers. Ken would play a total of 39 matches for Bradford before making his debut for a victorious Rochdale Hornets, against York, including a try, on August 17, 1968.
In October 1969, Ken moved to his final club, Salford and made his debut on October 29 with a win against St. Helens, at the Willows. Ken played his 475th and final first-class game on October 20, 1970 for Salford against Widnes in the BBC2 Floodlit Trophy.
Honoured at Halifax
Prior to, and throughout his career, Ken Roberts remained Halifax's most capped Test player and the only player to have captained a Great Britain XIII. Ken Roberts is a Halifax Hall Of Fame Inductee.
"A Record of Ken Roberts" Robert Gate 1990
- Great Britain Statistics at englandrl.co.uk
- Statistics at rugbyleagueproject.org
- Photpgraph "A flying tackle" at rugbyleagueheritageproject.com
- Photograph "Ken Roberts covers" at rugbyleagueheritageproject.com
- Photograph "A tired looking Ken Roberts" at rugbyleagueheritageproject.com
- Photograph "Ken Roberts pulled down" at rugbyleagueheritageproject.com
- Photograph "Roberts on the charge" at rugbyleagueheritageproject.com