Robert Irving (rugby league)

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For other people of the same name, see Robert Irving.
Robert Irving
Personal information
Full name Robert A. Irving
Nickname Bob
Born 15 February 1948
Huddersfield, England
Died 18 April 1999 (aged 51)
Blackpool, England
Playing information
Position Second-row
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1965–73 Oldham 296 80 0 0 240
1973–77 Wigan 142 37 0 0 111
1977–≥77 Salford
Total 438 117 0 0 351
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1975 England 3 0 0 0 0
1967–72 Great Britain 11 0 0 0 0

Robert "Bob" A. Irving (15 February 1948 — 18 April 1999) born in Castle Hill, Huddersfield, was an English professional Rugby League World Cup winning footballer of the 1960s and '70s. A Great Britain and England international, and Yorkshire representative Second-row, he played at club level for Oldham, Wigan, Salford, Barrow, Blackpool Borough, and Swinton during the era of contested scrums, he died in Blackpool.

Irving was signed by Oldham from Huddersfield's amateur side St. Joseph's at 16 years of age and within weeks was playing in the first team.[1]

Playing career[edit]

International honours[edit]

Irving won caps for England while at Wigan in the 1975 Rugby League World Cup against Wales, France, and Australia,[2] and won caps for Great Britain while at Oldham in 1967 against France (2 matches), and Australia (3 matches), in 1970 against Australia (sub), and New Zealand, in 1971 against New Zealand, in 1972 against France (sub), and in the 1972 Rugby League World Cup against New Zealand, and Australia (sub).[3]

County Cup final appearances[edit]

Irving played in Wigan's 19-9 victory over Salford in the 1973–74 Lancashire Cup final.

Honoured at Oldham[edit]

Robert Irving is an Oldham Hall Of Fame Inductee.[4]

Outside of rugby league[edit]

Irving was a hotelier in Blackpool, and studied for a degree, becoming a senior lecturer in business studies at Blackpool and The Fylde College. He was active in the Catholic Church, and undertook charity work in his spare time, regularly manning a soup kitchen for homeless and displaced people. He died aged 51, in 1999, following a heart attack.[5]


The "Tracking down the heroes of 1972" reference misstates his year of death as 2002, it was 1999.[5] The "Obituary: Bob Irving at" reference misstates his month of birth as December, it was February.[6]


  1. ^ Hughes, Ed (31 October 2004). "Caught in Time: Great Britain prepare for 1972 rugby league World Cup final". The Sunday Times (UK: Times Newspapers Ltd). Retrieved 18 October 2010. 
  2. ^ "England Statistics at". englandrl. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  3. ^ "Great Britain Statistics at". englandrl. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  4. ^ "Oldham Hall of Fame". 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "Tracking down the heroes of 1972". bbc. 22 October 2008. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  6. ^ "Obituary: Bob Irving at". 27 April 1999. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 

External links[edit]