John Holmes (rugby league)

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John Holmes
Personal information
Born (1952-03-21)21 March 1952[1]
Kirkstall, Leeds, West Riding of Yorkshire, England
Died 26 September 2009(2009-09-26) (aged 57)[2]
Leeds, England
Playing information
Position Fullback, Stand-off
Club
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1968–90 Leeds 625 153 539 3 1554
Representative
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1971–82 Great Britain 20 3 20 2 51
1975–78 England 7 4 0 0 12
Yorkshire

John Holmes (21 March 1952 – 26 September 2009) was an English Rugby League World Cup winning footballer of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, playing at representative level for Great Britain, England, and Yorkshire, and at club level for Leeds (Heritage № 1022).

International honours[edit]

John Holmes won caps for England while at Leeds in the 1975 Rugby League World Cup against Wales, France, New Zealand, and Australia, in 1977 against Wales, and France (sub), in 1978 against France (sub),[3] and won caps for Great Britain while at Leeds in 1971 against New Zealand, in 1972 against France (2 matches), in the 1972 Rugby League World Cup against Australia (sub), New Zealand and Australia, in the 1977 Rugby League World Cup against France, New Zealand, Australia, and Australia (sub), in 1978 against Australia (sub) (3 matches), in 1979 against Australia (2 matches), Australia (sub), and New Zealand (3 matches), and in 1982 against Australia.[4]

Career at Leeds[edit]

In a career spanning from 1968 to 1989, Holmes made a club record 625 appearances for Leeds, starting his career as a full-back or centre and later switching to stand-off,[5] i.e. number 6. His debut was in a Lazenby Cup match against Hunslet where he scored a try and kicked 10 goals.[6] He played in nineteen major finals for Leeds winning all but five.[5] He played at the highest level representing Yorkshire, England and Great Britain. He made 20 appearances between 1971 and 1982 for Great Britain,[7] and was a World Cup winner for Great Britain in 1972 at the age of twenty.[8]

John Holmes played in Leeds' 26-11 victory over St. Helens in the 1975 Premiership Final during the 1974–75 season at Central Park, Wigan on Saturday 17 May 1975, and played in the 24-2 victory over Bradford Northern in the 1978 Premiership Final during the 1978–79 season at Fartown Ground, Huddersfield on Saturday 27 May 1979.

John Holmes played in Leeds' 7-24 defeat by Leigh in the 1971 Challenge Cup Final during the 1970–71 season at Wembley Stadium, London on Saturday 15 May 1971, in front of a crowd of 85,514, played Fullback in the 13-16 defeat by St. Helens in the 1972 Challenge Cup Final during the 1971–72 season at Wembley Stadium, London on Saturday 13 May 1972, in front of a crowd of 89,495, played Stand-off/Five-eighth in the 16-7 victory over Widnes in the 1977 Challenge Cup Final during the 1976–77 season at Wembley Stadium, London on Saturday 7 May 1977, in front of a crowd of 80,871, and played Stand-off/Five-eighth in the 14-12 victory over St. Helens in the 1978 Challenge Cup Final during the 1977–78 season at Wembley Stadium, London on Saturday 13 May 1978, in front of a crowd of 96,000.

John Holmes played Fullback in Leeds' 23-7 victory over Featherstone Rovers in the 1970 Yorkshire County Cup Final during the 1970–71 season at Odsal Stadium, Bradford on Saturday 21 November 1970, played Fullback, scored 3-tries, and was man of the match winning the White Rose Trophy in the 36-9 victory over Dewsbury in the 1972 Yorkshire County Cup Final during the 1972–73 season at Odsal Stadium, Bradford on Saturday 7 October 1972, played Fullback in the 7-2 victory over Wakefield Trinity in the 1973 Yorkshire County Cup Final during the 1973–74 season at Headingley Rugby Stadium, Leeds on Saturday 20 October 1973, played Stand-off/Five-eighth, scored 4-conversions and a drop goal in the 15-11 victory over Hull Kingston Rovers in the 1975 Yorkshire County Cup Final during the 1975–76 season at Headingley Rugby Stadium, Leeds on Saturday 15 November 1975, played Stand-off/Five-eighth in the 16-12 victory over Featherstone Rovers in the 1976 Yorkshire County Cup Final during the 1976–77 season at Headingley Rugby Stadium, Leeds on Saturday 16 October 1976, played Stand-off/Five-eighth (replaced by Interchange/Substitute Christopher Sanderson) in the 15-6 victory over Halifax in the 1979 Yorkshire County Cup Final during the 1979–80 season at Headingley Rugby Stadium, Leeds on Saturday 27 October 1979, and played Stand-off/Five-eighth in the 8-7 victory over Hull Kingston Rovers in the 1980 Yorkshire County Cup Final during the 1980–81 season at Fartown Ground, Huddersfield on Saturday 8 November 1980.

John Holmes played Fullback, and scored 2-conversions in Leeds' 9-5 victory over St. Helens in the 1970 BBC2 Floodlit Trophy Final during the 1970–71 season at Headingley Rugby Stadium, Leeds on Tuesday 15 December 1970.

John Holmes played Fullback, and scored a conversion in Leeds' 12-7 victory over Salford in the 1972–73 Player's No.6 Trophy Final during the 1972–73 season at Fartown Ground, Huddersfield on Saturday 24 March 1973, played Stand-off/Five-eighth in the 4-15 defeat by Wigan in the 1982–83 John Player Trophy Final during the 1982–83 season at Elland Road, Leeds on Saturday 22 January 1983,[9] played Stand-off/Five-eighth, and scored a try in the 18-10 victory over Widnes in the 1983–84 John Player Special Trophy Final during the 1983–84 season at Central Park, Wigan on Saturday 14 January 1984, and played in the 14-15 defeat by St. Helens in the 1987–88 John Player Special Trophy Final during the 1987–88 season at Central Park, Wigan on Saturday 9 January 1988.

John Holmes' Testimonial match at Leeds took place in 1989.

He died from cancer on 27 September 2009.[10] On 10 October, Leeds won the Super League Grand Final, captain Kevin Sinfield dedicated the victory to Holmes.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Daly, Phil (13 April 2014). "Burrow set to take his place amongst the greats". Leeds Rhinos. Retrieved 3 October 2014. 
  2. ^ Hadfield, Dave (3 October 2009). "John Holmes: Rugby league player celebrated as Leeds' greatest". The Independent. Retrieved 3 October 2014. 
  3. ^ "England Statistics at englandrl.co.uk". englandrl. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  4. ^ "Great Britain Statistics at englandrl.co.uk". englandrl. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "Fan plans Holmes tribute". Yorkshire Evening Post. 16 December 2008. Retrieved 30 May 2015. 
  6. ^ "John Holmes: Leeds Rugby League legend". BBC Sport. 7 July 2010. Retrieved 25 January 2017. 
  7. ^ "Ten Leeds RL greats". Yorkshire Evening Post. 23 February 2009. Retrieved 23 February 2009. [dead link]
  8. ^ Fletcher, Paul; Harlow, Phil (22 October 2008). "When Great Britain won the World Cup". BBC Sport. Retrieved 23 February 2009. 
  9. ^ "Classic Match: 1983 John Player Trophy Final". wigan.rlfans.com. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  10. ^ "Leeds legend Holmes dies". teletext.co.uk. 27 September 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-27. [dead link]

External links[edit]