15 October 1935|
Sharlston, West Riding of Yorkshire, England
|Died||21 August 2008
Wakefield, West Yorkshire, England
|Position||Scrum-half, Loose forward|
He was born in Sharlston, near Wakefield, West Riding of Yorkshire. He was the brother of Peter and Neil Fox, and together they formed one of the legendary rugby league families. Don holds the Featherstone Rovers record for tries scored (162) and is third on their all-time goal-kicking charts with 503 in 369 appearances, itself the 7th most in Featherstone Rovers' history, having enjoyed 13 years at Featherstone Rovers (Captain) (Heritage № 348), before joining Wakefield Trinity (Heritage № 710) in 1965 for £3,000 (based on increases in average earnings, this would be approximately £98,750 in 2013). Don Fox earned his début for Featherstone Rovers as a Scrum-half/Halfback in 1953. A gifted player, he broke the Featherstone Rovers' record points scored in a season the next winter and was called up for England's game against France. He was an outstanding kicker, scoring 12 goals in a Challenge Cup victory against Stanningley in 1964. He was understudy to Alex Murphy on the 1962 Lions tour of Australasia and then moved to Loose forward/Lock where he earned his sole Test cap for Great Britain against Australia in 1963. He joined Wakefield in 1965, linking up with his young brother Neil and they enjoyed great success with Trinity. After he retired from playing the game in 1970, he coached Batley before becoming a safety joiner in the South Yorkshire coalfield.
Don Fox won cap(s) for Yorkshire while at Wakefield Trinity.
Championship Final appearances
Don Fox played Loose forward/Lock in Wakefield Trinity's 21-9 victory over St. Helens in the Championship Final replay during the 1966–67 season at Station Road, Swinton on Wednesday 10 May 1967, and played Right-Prop, i.e. number 10, and scored a goal in the 17-10 victory over Hull Kingston Rovers in the Championship Final during the 1967–68 season at Headingley Rugby Stadium, Leeds on Saturday 4 May 1968.
Challenge Cup Final appearances
Don Fox played Right-Prop, i.e. number 10, and scored 2-conversions in Wakefield Trinity's 10-11 defeat by Leeds in the 1968 Challenge Cup "Watersplash" Final during the 1967–68 season at Wembley Stadium, London on Saturday 11 May 1968, in front of a crowd of 87,100. The 1968 Challenge Cup Final was played on a waterlogged pitch, the score was 11-7 to Leeds when Ken Hirst scored a try under the posts for Wakefield Trinity with the final play of the game. Tries were worth three points at that time, making the score 11-10, but a simple 2-point conversion was all that was needed to give Wakefield an unassailable one-point lead, and win the game. Wakefield Trinity fans were jubilant as the conversion from in front of the posts is by far the easiest kick in rugby league, he had already scored two more difficult conversions in the game, and he was such a prolific kicker that it realistically should have presented no problem. However, the waterlogged state of the pitch made this a more difficult proposition, and Fox lost his footing and sliced the ball wide of the posts. The final whistle was blown immediately afterwards, giving Leeds a dramatic one-point victory. Commentator Eddie Waring said of Fox, 'He's a poor lad', a remark which became a widely quoted piece of commentary. Fox had already been chosen to win the Lance Todd Trophy for his performance in the match, but he was disconsolate and trudged off the pitch. Interviewed by David Coleman on television later, he was asked if the trophy was any consolation and replied "not really, no". The boots he was wearing during the game are now on display at Wakefield Museum.
County Cup Final appearances
- "Btinternet.com". Archived from the original on 18 March 2005.
- "Sporting Bygones: Golden days of the Sixties when Wakefield ruled the roost…". Yorkshire Post. 25 July 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
- "Measuring Worth – Relative Value of UK Pounds". Measuring Worth. 31 December 2014. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
- "Statistics at rugbyleagueproject.org". rugbyleagueproject.org. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
- Edgar, Harry (2007). Rugby League Journal Annual 2008 Page-110. Rugby League Journal Publishing. ISBN 0-9548355-3-0
- "Representative Players". featherstonerovers.net. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
- Hoole, Les (2004). Wakefield Trinity RLFC – FIFTY GREAT GAMES. Breedon Books. ISBN 1-85983-429-9
- BBC News
- England Statistics at englandrl.co.uk
- Great Britain Statistics at englandrl.co.uk
- Statistics at rugbyleagueproject.org
- SportsFile: Caught in Time: Leeds win the Challenge Cup, 1968
- Obituary in The Telegraph
- Obituary in The Times
- Obituary in The Independent
- Obituary in The Guardian
- Rugby League Final 1968