Mal Reilly

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Mal Reilly
Personal information
Full name Malcolm John Reilly
Born (1948-01-19) 19 January 1948 (age 69)
Barkston Ash district, West Riding of Yorkshire, England
Playing information
Position Loose forward
Club
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1967–71 Castleford
1971–75 Manly-Warringah 89 13 1 0 41
1974–86 Castleford
Total 89 13 1 0 41
Representative
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1968 Yorkshire 3
1973–77 England 2+1 0 0 0 0
1970 Great Britain 9 1 0 0 3
Coaching information
Club
Years Team Gms W D L W%
1974–87 Castleford 513 276 25 212 54
19??–?? Leeds
19??–?? Halifax
1995–98 Newcastle Knights 98 62 3 33 63
1999–04 Huddersfield Giants 30 5 0 25 17
2004 Hull Kingston Rovers
Total 641 343 28 270 54
Representative
Years Team Gms W D L W%
1987–94 Great Britain 56 38 0 18 68
Source: RLP Yesterday's Hero

Malcolm J. Reilly (born 19 January 1948) is an English rugby league footballer of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, and coach of the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s, playing at representative level for Great Britain, England, and Yorkshire, and at club level for Castleford (twice) in England, and Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles in Australia, as a Loose forward/Lock, and coaching at representative level for Great Britain, and at club level for Castleford, Leeds, Halifax, Huddersfield Giants, and Hull Kingston Rovers in England, and Newcastle Knights in Australia taking them to their first premiership in 1997. In 2014 he was inaugurated into the British Rugby League Hall of Fame, making him one of the best 25 players in the history of Rugby League in the UK.

Playing career[edit]

International honours[edit]

Mal Reilly won caps for England while at Castleford in 1970 against Wales, and France, and in 1977 against Wales (sub),[1] and won caps for Great Britain while at Castleford in 1970 against Australia (3 matches), and New Zealand (3 matches), and in the 1970 Rugby League World Cup against Australia, France, and Australia.[2]

Mal Reily was part of the victorious Great Britain touring team that defeated Australia in the 1970 Ashes series. As of 2015 this remains the last time Great Britain or England has won The Ashes. Australia regained The Ashes during the 1973 Kangaroo tour and have not lost them since.

County honours[edit]

Mal Reilly represented Yorkshire while at Castleford in 1968 against Cumberland and Lancashire.[3]

Challenge Cup Final appearances[edit]

Mal Reilly played Loose forward/Lock, and was man of the match winning the Lance Todd Trophy in Castleford’s 11–6 victory over Salford in the 1969 Challenge Cup Final during the 1968–69 season at Wembley Stadium, London on Saturday 17 May 1969, in front of a crowd of 97,939,[4] and played Loose forward/Lock in the 7–2 victory over Wigan in the 1970 Challenge Cup Final during the 1969–70 season at Wembley Stadium, London on Saturday 9 May 1970, in front of a crowd of 95,255.[5] He later became a Tigers Hall Of Fame Inductee.[6]

County Cup Final appearances[edit]

Mal Reilly was born in Barkston Ash district, West Riding of Yorkshire.[7] He played Loose forward/Lock in Castleford's 11-22 defeat by Leeds in the 1968 Yorkshire County Cup Final during the 1968–69 season at Belle Vue, Wakefield, on Saturday 19 October 1968, played Right-Second-row, i.e. number 12, and was the coach in the 11-22 defeat by Leeds in the 1977 Yorkshire County Cup Final during the 1977–78 season at Headingley Rugby Stadium, Leeds on Saturday 15 October 1977, was the coach in the 10-5 victory over Bradford Northern in the 1981 Yorkshire County Cup Final during the 1981–82 season at Headingley Rugby Stadium, Leeds on Saturday 3 October 1981, and played Right-Prop, i.e. number 10, and was the coach in the 2-13 defeat by Hull F.C. in the 1983 Yorkshire County Cup Final during the 1983–84 season at Elland Road, Leeds on Saturday 15 October 1983.

BBC2 Floodlit Trophy Final appearances[edit]

Mal Reilly played Loose forward/Lock in Castleford's 8-5 victory over Leigh in the 1967 BBC2 Floodlit Trophy Final during the 1967–68 season at Headingley Rugby Stadium, Leeds on Saturday 16 January 1968, and played Left-Second-row, i.e. number 11, in the 4-12 defeat by Leigh in the 1976 BBC2 Floodlit Trophy Final during the 1976–77 season at Hilton Park, Leigh on Tuesday 14 December 1976.

Player's No.6 Trophy Final appearances[edit]

Sammy Lloyd played Left-Second-row, i.e. number 11, in Castleford's 25-15 victory over Blackpool Borough in the 1976–77 Player's No.6 Trophy Final during the 1976–77 season at The Willows, Salford on Saturday 22 January 1977.

Australian playing career[edit]

After Reilly had starred for Great Britain in their triumphant 1970 Australasian Tour in which they succeeded in winning The Ashes against Australia (the last time as of the end of 2016 that Great Britain or England has won The Ashes), he returned to England to play for Castleford and was again selected for Great Britain during the 1970 World Cup. Managing the Australian team in the World Cup was Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles club secretary Ken Arthurson who made it a priority to sign Reilly and bring him to Sydney to play for the Sea Eagles. His signing proved a boom for Manly as Reilly helped them to their first premiership in 1972 when they defeated the Eastern Suburbs Roosters 19-14. Manly would repeat as premiers in 1973. He thus became only the third Englishman to play in a grand final-winning team in Australia.[8]

Early in the 1973 Grand Final against the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks (playing their first Grand Final), a team which was captain-coached by Reilly's former Great Britain team mate Tommy Bishop and also included Lions prop Cliff Watson, Reilly was felled late by Sharks hooker Ron Turner after putting in a mid-field chip kick. Clearly hobbled with a badly bruised hip, Reilly went off for pain killing injections. As it was clear he would not last out the match, Manly coach Ron Willey gave the Englishman the instructions to go out and cause as much physical damage to the Sharks players as he could before he could go no further. After carrying out Willey's instructions, Reilly was replaced after 25 minutes by John Bucknell.

As for the match itself, the brilliance of Manly centre Bob Fulton was the difference between the two sides as the Sea Eagles won 10-7. The game has often been described as the roughest, dirtiest Grand Final in Sydney premiership history, with several all-in brawls (usually started by Bishop) causing referee Keith Page to caution both teams repeatedly, though strangely he did not send anyone from the field despite repeated warnings that he would do so (according to Bishop, at one stage Keith Page allegedly threatened to take Manly second rower Peter Peters out the back of the Sydney Cricket Ground after the game and 'sort him out' for calling him a cheat). Leading journalist Ian Heads described the match in the Sunday Telegraph the next day as: "It was a Grand Final as tough and dirty as any bar-room brawl".[9]

40 Years after that Grand Final, Sharks coach Tommy Bishop admitted that they did in fact target Reilly, knowing just how dangerous a player he was.[10]

Although Manly made the finals in both 1974 and 1975, they were unable to repeat their premiership success. Mal Reilly would return to Castleford after the 1975 Australian season. Ironically, Ken Arthurson then signed two more Great Britain back row forwards for 1976. Second rower Phil Lowe and lock forward Steve "Knocker" Norton who bore an uncanny resemblance to Reilly. Manly would win their 3rd Sydney premiership in 1976.[11]

During his time at Manly, Mal Reilly was team mates with players who themselves would go on to become legends of the game including Bob Fulton, Graham Eadie, Ray Branighan, Fred Jones, John O'Neill, Terry Randall and legendary try scoring winger Ken Irvine.[12]

Coaching career[edit]

After retiring from playing, Reilly went on to coach Castleford, Leeds, Halifax and Great Britain. He succeeded Maurice Bamford as the Great Britain team's head coach and opened his reign as with six wins, four against France and two over Papua New Guinea, in 1987. He was included in the 1991 Birthday Honours. He stood down as Great Britain's coach in 1994.

Mal Reilly was the coach in Castleford's 15-14 victory over Hull Kingston Rovers in the 1986 Challenge Cup Final during the 1985–86 season at Wembley Stadium, London on Saturday 3 May 1986, in front of a crowd of 82,134.[13]

Reilly then took over Australian side Newcastle Knights for the 1995 ARL season as coach and their results improved markedly. He later coached them to their first grand final at the end of the 1997 ARL season which they won.

In 2001 Reilly's book, Reilly: A Life in Rugby League was published. His coaching career continued but he had less success as head coach of the Huddersfield Giants, who finished bottom of Super League under his stewardship. He left Leeds at the end of the 2003 season following a major coaching re-structuring. In December 2004, Hull Kingston Rovers appointed Mal Reilly as director of rugby and first team coach. However, Reilly left the club midway through the season.

County Cup Final appearances[edit]

Mal Reilly was the coach in Castleford's 18-22 defeat by Hull Kingston Rovers in the 1985 Yorkshire County Cup Final during the 1985–86 season at Headingley Rugby Stadium, Leeds on Sunday 27 October 1985, was the coach in the 31-24 victory over Hull F.C. in the 1986 Yorkshire County Cup Final during the 1986–87 season at Headingley Rugby Stadium, Leeds on Saturday 11 October 1986, and was the coach in the 13-33 defeat by Leeds in the 1988 Yorkshire County Cup Final during the 1988–89 season at Elland Road, Leeds on Sunday 16 October 1988.

Outside of rugby league[edit]

Reilly used to work as a sales representative in the Newcastle, New South Wales area, but lives in England once again.

Honoured by Arriva Yorkshire[edit]

Arriva Yorkshire honoured 13 rugby league footballers on Thursday 20 August 2009, at a ceremony at The Jungle, the home of the Castleford Tigers. A fleet of new buses were named after the 'Arriva Yorkshire Rugby League Dream Team'. Members of the public nominated the best ever rugby league footballers to have played in West Yorkshire, supported by local rugby league journalists; James Deighton from BBC Leeds, and Tim Butcher, editor of Rugby League World. The 'Arriva Yorkshire Rugby League Dream Team' is; Trevor Foster MBE, Neil Fox MBE, Albert Goldthorpe, Alan Hardisty, Stan Kielty, Lewis Jones, Roger Millward MBE, Malcolm Reilly, Garry Schofield, Keith Senior, David Topliss, Dave Valentine, and Adrian Vowles.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "England Statistics at englandrl.co.uk". englandrl.co.uk. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  2. ^ "Great Britain Statistics at englandrl.co.uk". englandrl.co.uk. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  3. ^ "Statistics at thecastlefordtigers.co.uk". thecastlefordtigers.co.uk ℅ web.archive.org. 31 December 2013. Archived from the original on 16 February 2012. Retrieved 1 January 2014. 
  4. ^ "Sat 17th May 1969 – Challenge Cup – Neutral Ground – 97,939". thecastlefordtigers.co.uk ℅ web.archive.org. 31 December 2011. Archived from the original on 31 December 2015. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  5. ^ "Sat 9th May 1970 – Challenge Cup – Neutral Ground – 95,255". thecastlefordtigers.co.uk ℅ web.archive.org. 31 December 2011. Archived from the original on 31 December 2015. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  6. ^ "Hall of Fame at castigers.com". castigers. 31 December 2008. Retrieved 1 January 2009. 
  7. ^ "Birth details at freebmd.org.uk". freebmd.org.uk. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  8. ^ 1972 NSWRFL Grand Final at Rugby League Project
  9. ^ 1973 NSWRFL Grand Final at Rugby League Project
  10. ^ Tommy Bishop haunted by 1973 Grand Final loss
  11. ^ 1976 NSWRFL Grand Final at Rugby League Project
  12. ^ 1973 Grand Final - Manly players 40 Years Later
  13. ^ "Sat 3rd May 1986 - Challenge Cup - Neutral Ground - 82,134". thecastlefordtigers.co.uk ℅ web.archive.org. 31 December 2011. Archived from the original on 31 December 2015. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  14. ^ "Arriva Yorkshire Rugby League Dream Team". Arriva Yorkshire. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 

Further reading[edit]

Malcolm Reilly & Ian Heads (1998). Reilly: a life in rugby league. Ironbark. ISBN 9780330361200. 

External links[edit]

Achievements
Preceded by
Brian Shaw
Rugby League Transfer Record
Castleford to Manly-Warringah

1971–72
Succeeded by
Eric Prescott