Bill Shankland

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Bill Shankland
William Shankland - Warrington.jpeg
Personal information
Full nameWilliam Shankland
Born25 July 1907
Bondi, New South Wales, Australia
Died8 September 1998(1998-09-08) (aged 91)[1]
Warrington, England
Playing information
Height5 ft 10 in (178 cm)
Weight12 st 8 lb (80 kg)
PositionWing, Centre
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1927–28 Glebe 13 2 1 0 18
1929 Easts (Sydney) 9 10 2 0 34
1930 Leeton
1931–38 Warrington 231 74 70
Total 253 86 73 0 52
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1928–30 New South Wales 5 3 0 0 9
1929 City NSW 1 1 0 0 3
1929–30 Australia 4 3 0 0 9
1930 Country NSW 1 1 0 0 3
1936–37 Dominion XIII 2 0 0 0 0
Source: [2]

William Shankland (25 July 1907 – 8 September 1998) was one of Australia's great all-round sportsmen.[2] An Australia national and New South Wales state representative three-quarter back, he played his club football in Sydney, country New South Wales and then in England, where he became a Warrington Hall of Fame inductee.[3] Shankland remained in England and became a renowned golfer and golf teacher.

Early life[edit]

Shankland was born in Sydney, New South Wales. He is said to have been an accomplished swimmer, boxer and cricketer, as well as footballer.

Rugby league career[edit]

Kangaroos 1st Test 1929.

Shankland played for the Glebe and Eastern Suburbs clubs in rugby league. While playing for Glebe in 1928, the 21-year-old was selected to make his state debut, the following year, moving to the Eastern Suburbs club, Shankland was selected for the 1929–30 Kangaroo tour of Great Britain. The winger played in all 4 test matches and was the leading try scorer on the tour with 24.

On tour, Shankland was pursued by English clubs but returned to Australia, captain-coaching Leeton's club in the Riverina.[2]

In 1931 Shankland signed for Warrington. The 'fleet of foot' wing-three-quarter made 231 appearances for that club, scoring 74 tries and 70 goals. He led Warrington in 2 Wembley cup finals, becoming the first Australian to do so, as well as captaining the side in 2 English Championship finals.

Bill Shankland played in Warrington's 10-9 victory over St.Helens in the 1932–33 Lancashire County Cup Final during the 1932–33 season at Central Park, Wigan on Saturday 19 November 1932, and played right wing, scored a conversion and was captain in the 8-4 victory over Barrow in the 1937–38 Lancashire County Cup Final during the 1937–38 season at Central Park, Wigan on Saturday 23 October 1937.

The 1937 season saw him lead Warrington to victory over Barrow in the Lancashire cup final. The 1937 was his last in rugby league, his retirement allowed him to concentrate on his other sporting passion – golf.

Golf career[edit]

In the years 1937 to 1956 Shankland appeared in every Open Championship except 1948 when he failed to qualify. His best finishes were third, fourth and sixth. His best chance of winning was at Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake in 1947. Although four strokes behind after three rounds he took 34 for the first 9 holes and then scored 3-3-3-3 to be in a very strong position but finished 5-6-5-3-5 for the last five holes to finish with a 70. Shankland was one of the early starters and his score of 295 was the leading score at the time. His 70 turned out to be the best round of the day but left him two shots behind the eventual winner, Fred Daly.

From golfing exhibitions, Shankland raised almost a million pounds for charity.[citation needed]

Tournament wins[edit]

This list may be incomplete

Results in major championships[edit]

Tournament 1937 1938 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956
The Open Championship T42 18 T3 NT NT NT NT NT NT 13 4 T11 CUT T6 CUT 41 41 T37 T40

Note: Shankland only played in The Open Championship.

  Top 10
  Did not play

NT = No tournament
CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place


Shankland died aged 91 of heart failure in Warrington, Cheshire.


  1. ^ Hadfield, Dave (15 September 1998). "Obituary: Bill Shankland". The Independent. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  2. ^ a b c "Statistics at". 31 December 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  3. ^ "Hall of Fame at". 31 December 2011. Archived from the original on 24 February 2012. Retrieved 1 January 2012.

External links[edit]

  • The Encyclopedia Of Rugby League Players; Alan Whiticker & Glen Hudson
  • The Guardian (Warrington newspaper)