Ogden's Cigarette card featuring Gus Risman
|Full name||Augustus John Ferdinand Risman|
21 March 1911|
Cardiff, Glamorgan, Wales
|Died||17 October 1994
|Position||Fullback, Centre, Stand-off|
A devastating three-quarter who also played at Fullback and Stand-off, Risman was born in Cardiff, brought up in Barry where he went to Barry County School, and played rugby union in South Wales as a schoolboy before being offered a trial by Salford.
He made his début for Salford on 31 August 1929 and went on to enjoy great success with the club. He won 17 caps for Great Britain and finished his career at Workington Town, remarkably leading them to Rugby League Challenge Cup glory as player-coach at the age of 41 in 1952. He retired as a player in 1954 after a career spanning 25 years. Risman captained the 1946 "Indomitable" tourists of Australia.
Risman later coached Whitehaven, Oldham and Bradford Northern and was inducted into the Rugby League Hall of Fame in 1988. Gus Risman's son, Bev Risman also became an accomplished rugby league footballer. As a tribute, one of the newly created streets in Workington's regenerated town centre is named Risman Place.
During the period before signing for Salford, Gus Risman was also courted by association football clubs. Tottenham Hotspur offered Risman terms. However, in those days football did not have the huge initial gravitas it enjoys today. During the 1920s, signing for a rugby league club was more financially rewarding. Signing-on fees were restricted or capped in football, whereas in rugby league such fees could be a year's worth of work and playing wages combined.
Les Diables Rouges
Gus Risman was one of the players who successfully toured in France with Salford in 1934, during which the Salford team earned the name "Les Diables Rouges", the seventeen players were; Joe Bradbury, Bob Brown, Aubrey Casewell, Paddy Dalton, Bert Day, Cliff Evans, Jack Feetham, George Harris, Barney Hudson, Emlyn Jenkins, Alf Middleton, Sammy Miller, Harold Osbaldestin, Les Pearson, Gus Risman, Billy Watkins, and Billy Williams.
Gus Risman won caps for Wales while at Salford 1931…1945 18-caps, won a cap for England while at Salford in 1934 against France, and won caps for Great Britain while at Salford in 1932 against Australia, New Zealand (3 matches), in 1933 against Australia (3 matches), in 1936 against Australia (2 matches), New Zealand (2 matches), in 1937 against Australia (3 matches), and in 1946 against Australia (3 matches).
Wales and England
Championship Final appearances
County Cup Final appearances
About Gus Risman's time, there was Salford's 2–15 defeat by Warrington in the 1929 Lancashire County Cup Final during the 1929–30 season at Central Park, Wigan on Saturday 23 November 1929, the 10–8 victory over Swinton in the 1931 Lancashire County Cup Final during the 1931–32 season at the Cliff, Broughton, Salford on Saturday 21 November 1931, the 21–12 victory over Wigan in the 1934 Lancashire County Cup Final during the 1934–35 season at Station Road, Swinton on Saturday 20 October 1934, the 15–7 victory over Wigan in the 1935 Lancashire County Cup Final during the 1935–36 season at Wilderspool, Warrington on Saturday 19 October 1935, the 5–2 victory over Wigan in the 1936 Lancashire County Cup Final during the 1936–37 season at Wilderspool, Warrington on Saturday 17 October 1936, and he played Stand-off/Five-eighth in the 7–10 defeat by Wigan in the 1938 Lancashire County Cup Final during the 1938–39 season at Station Road, Swinton on Saturday 22 October 1938.
Other notable games
Gus Risman played Centre for a Rugby League XIII against Northern Command XIII at Thrum Hall, Halifax on Saturday 21 March 1942. Despite turning professional, Risman was part of the 1945 British Empire Forces rugby union team that played France, during a period when the strict guideline between amateur and professional were relaxed. Risman, playing at centre, scored two tries and three conversions in that game helping the British to a 27–6 victory.
Gus Risman holds Workington Town's "Appearances in a Season" record (with 45-appearances in the 1953–54 season), and with 4,050-points is third on British rugby league's "most points in a career" record list behind Neil Fox, and Jim Sullivan.
Gus Risman is one of less than ten Welshmen to have scored more than 2,000-points in their rugby league career, and is one of less than twenty Welshmen to have scored more than 200-tries in their rugby league career.
Honoured in Workington
- Risman Place in Workington is named after Gus Risman.
- Risman House at Workington Academy is also named after Gus Risman.
- Gate, Robert (2003). Rugby League Hall of Fame. Stroud: Tempus. p. 147. ISBN 978-0-7524-2693-8.
- news.bbc.co.uk (11 May 2004). "Cup final facts". BBC Sport. UK: BBC. Retrieved 6 March 2011.
- Baker, Andrew (20 August 1995). "100 years of rugby league: From the great divide to the Super era". Independent, The. independent.co.uk. Retrieved 25 September 2009.
- "The story of The Original Red Devils". reds.co.uk. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
- "England Statistics at englandrl.co.uk". englandrl. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
- "Great Britain Statistics at englandrl.co.uk". englandrl. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
- "1933–1934 Championship Final". wigan.rlfans.com. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
- "22nd October 1938: Salford 7 Wigan 10 (Lancashire Cup Final)". wigan.rlfans.com. 31 December 2014. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
- "inside programme, Northern Command v. A Rugby League XIII, 1942". rugbyleagueoralhistory.co.uk. 31 December 2010. Retrieved 1 January 2011.
- "France tour – Richmond, 28 April 1945: British Empire Forces 27 – 6 France". espnscrum.com. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
- "Workington Town → Player records". sandylonning.u-net.com. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
- "Sinfield close to moving up all-time points list". loverugbyleague.com. 31 December 2012. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
- Robert Gate (1988). "Gone North – Volume 2". R. E. Gate. ISBN 0-9511190-3-6
- "New town centre places with some famous old West Cumbrian names". timesandstar.co.uk. 24 February 2006. Retrieved 1 January 2009.
- England Statistics at englandrl.co.uk
- Great Britain Statistics at englandrl.co.uk
- Gus Risman at wales.rleague.com
- Player statistics at rugbyleagueproject.org
- Coach statistics at rugbyleagueproject.org
- » Legends Evening 50's
- Gus in Hall of Fame
- Big Geoff was star of No 13 shirt
- Photos from 1936–37 season