Nealy Crosland

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Arthur Crosland
Personal information
Full name Arthur Kenealy Crosland
Born April→June 1880
Wakefield district, England
Died January→March 1929 (aged 49)
Doncaster district, England
Playing information
Position Prop, Hooker
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1900–22 Wakefield Trinity 533 22 14 0 94
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1905–19 Yorkshire 7

Arthur Kenealy "Nealy" Crosland (April→June 1880[1] – January→March 1929 (aged 49)[2]) birth registered in Wakefield district, was an English professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1900s, 1910s, and 1920s. He played at representative level for Yorkshire, and at club level for Wakefield Trinity (captain) (Heritage № 85), as a prop, or hooker, i.e. number 8 or 10, or 9, during the era of contested scrums, his death was registered in Doncaster district.

Playing career[edit]

Wakefield Trinity career[edit]

Arthur Kenealy Crosland, known to all as 'Nealy' is the oldest ever player to represent Wakefield Trinity and also holds the record for the longest Trinity career spanning twenty two years. He was a tough, robust forward in the early 1900s, gaining county honours and a Challenge Cup winners medal.

'Nealy' was a Westgate born local who joined his brother, Charles, at Trinity in 1900, making his début in September 1900 in a 15–0 victory at Liversedge, the first of 533 first team appearances. His durability saw him break the Trinity appearance record in 1913, passing Jimmy Metcalfe's 375 games, became the first player to play 400 first team games in 1914 and passed the 500 mark in 1920. He remains one of only three players in the club's history to play over 500 games, with Harry Wilkinson and Neil Fox. He also missed three full season's due to the First World War.

He was a Yorkshire county forward, gaining six Yorkshire trial games between 1905 and 1910, a big honour in the early 1900s, making his full début in 1905 against Lancashire at Hull. His seven county caps spanned fourteen years with his last appearance coming in 1919 against Cumberland at Hunslet. He was selected for England in 1909 but the week before he suffered a serious injury at Hull Kingston Rovers causing him to miss four months. He returned for the 1910 tour trial, another big honour in the early 1900s, but he failed to gain a place on the boat 'Down Under'.

He was part of the powerful Trinity forward pack that won the 1909 RL Challenge Cup, and the Yorkshire Cup in 1910 and his medals also included two Yorkshire League Championships (1910 & 1911).

Nealy Crosland played hooker in Wakefield Trinity's 0–6 defeat by Hull F.C. in the 1914 Challenge Cup Final during the 1913–14 season at Thrum Hall, Halifax, in front of a crowd of 19,000.[3]

He played his last Trinity game, at the age of 41 (and nine months) at Rochdale in February 1922, scoring 22 tries and kicking 19 goals in his full career, gaining a heritage number of 85.

On the field he was known as a great ball handler, known for his one-handed, overhead passes from the scrum, 'NFL quarter back style', setting up the star backs of the early 1900s. He was club captain after the war years and gained a loyalty club testimonial in 1910. Off the field he lived and worked in the Westgate area most of his life, working as a taxi driver, being a single parent to his two daughters after the passing of his wife, passing away at the age of 50 in 1929

Note: An interesting note regarding 'Nealy' Crosland is that many of his records have gone unnoticed over the last one hundred years. Much of Trinity's history only started after the First World War so many years of Crosland's career was unknown until recent research showed his 533 appearances. He was inducted into Trinity's Hall of Fame in 2015

International honours[edit]

Nealy was selected for England in 1909 for the international against Wales, at Wakefield; but a week before the international, he suffered a serious injury at Hull KR (internal haemorrhaging) causing him to miss the next four months. He returned for the 1910 Tour Trial. Nealy Crosland was considered a "Probable" for the 1910 Great Britain Lions tour of Australia and New Zealand, but ultimately he was not selected for the tour.[4]

County honours[edit]

Nealy Crosland won seven caps for Yorkshire while at Wakefield Trinity.

County Appearances:

1905 (Nov): v Lancashire at Hull

1906 (Jan): v Cumberland at Whitehaven

1909 (Oct): v Cumberland at Maryport

1909 (Nov): v Lancashire at Hull

1913 (Dec): v Lancashire at Huddersfield

1919 (Sep): v Lancashire at Broughton

1919 (Oct): v Cumberland at Hunslet

County League appearances[edit]

Nealy Crosland played in Wakefield Trinity's victories in the Yorkshire County League during the 1909–10 season, and 1910–11 season.

Challenge Cup Final appearances[edit]

Nealy Crosland played left-prop, i.e. number 8, and scored a try in Wakefield Trinity's 17–0 victory over Hull F.C. in the 1909 Challenge Cup Final during the 1908–09 season at Headingley Rugby Stadium, Leeds on Tuesday 20 April 1909, in front of a crowd of 23,587.[5]

County Cup Final appearances[edit]

Nealy Crosland played hooker in Wakefield Trinity's 8–2 victory over Huddersfield in the 1910 Yorkshire County Cup Final during the 1910–11 season at Headingley Rugby Stadium, Leeds on Saturday 3 December 1910.[5]

Notable tour matches[edit]

Nealy Crosland played right-prop, i.e. number 10, in Wakefield Trinity's 20–13 victory over Australia in the 1908–09 Kangaroo tour of Great Britain match at Belle Vue, Wakefield on Saturday 19 December 1908.

Drop-goals (field-goals)[edit]

Nealy Crosland appears to have scored no drop-goals (or field-goals as they are currently known in Australasia), but prior to the 1974–75 season all goals, whether; conversions, penalties, or drop-goals, scored 2-points, consequently prior to this date drop-goals were often not explicitly documented, therefore '0' drop-goals may indicate drop-goals not recorded, rather than no drop-goals scored. In addition, prior to the 1949–50 season, the archaic field-goal was also still a valid means of scoring points.

Testimonial match[edit]

Nealy Crosland's Testimonial match at Wakefield Trinity was joint testimonial for; Arthur Burton, Arthur Kenealy "Nealy" Crosland, William "Billy" Lynch, and Thomas "Tommy" Poynton, and took place against Yorkshire at Belle Vue, Wakefield on Wednesday 27 April 1922.[6]

Genealogical information[edit]

Nealy Crosland's marriage was registered during October→December 1907 in Wakefield district.[7]


  1. ^ "Birth details at". 31 December 2012. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  2. ^ "Death details at". 31 December 2012. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  3. ^ "A complete history of Hull FC's Challenge Cup finals". Hull Daily Mail. 22 August 2013. Archived from the original on 3 February 2014. Retrieved 1 January 2014. 
  4. ^ "Northern Union → The Colonial Football Tour → Probable Players". 31 December 2012. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Hoole, Les (2004). Wakefield Trinity RLFC – FIFTY GREAT GAMES. Breedon Books. ISBN 1-85983-429-9
  6. ^ "Wakefield Trinity v Dewsbury Match Programme". Wakefield Trinity. 31 December 2012. Retrieved 1 January 2013. [permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "Marriage details at". 31 December 2012. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 

External links[edit]