Neil Fox (rugby league)
4 May 1939 |
Sharlston, West Riding of Yorkshire, England
|Height||6 ft 0 in (183 cm)|
|Weight||13 st 7 lb (86 kg; 189 lb)|
Neil Fox MBE (born 4 May 1939) is an English former professional rugby league footballer and player-coach of the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. A goal-kicking three-quarter back, he set the all-time points record, scoring 6,220 points during his career. The brother of fellow rugby league players, Peter and Don Fox, Neil played for Yorkshire sides such as; Wakefield Trinity (twice) (captain) (Heritage № 629), Bradford Northern (twice), Hull Kingston Rovers, York, Bramley and Huddersfield.
Born in Wakefield, West Riding of Yorkshire Fox grew in up a small town called Sharlston, based in West Yorkshire. He grew up supporting Huddersfield and went on to sign for Wakefield Trinity at 16 years of age. Many believed he would follow in his elder brother Don's footsteps and sign for Featherstone Rovers.
In 1956 Neil Fox became the joint fifth youngest player to make his début for Wakefield Trinity aged 16 years and 3 months. Fox was selected for Yorkshire County XIII whilst at Wakefield Trinity during the 1958/59 and 1959/60 seasons, Fox played Centre, i.e. number 3 in Wakefield Trinity’s 17–12 victory over Australia in the tour match at Belle Vue, Wakefield on Monday 10 December 1956. Fox played Centre, i.e. number 4, and scored 2-conversions in Wakefield Trinity's 20-24 defeat by Leeds in the 1958 Yorkshire County Cup Final during the 1958–59 season at Odsal Stadium, Bradford on Saturday 18 October 1958.
Neil Fox played Centre, i.e. number 4, in Wakefield Trinity's 3-27 defeat by Wigan in the Championship Final during the 1959–60 season at Odsal Stadium, Bradford on Saturday 21 May 1960. Fox played Centre, i.e. number 4, and scored 20-points (2-tries and 7-conversions) in Wakefield Trinity's 38-5 victory over Hull F.C. in the 1960 Challenge Cup Final during the 1959–60 at Wembley Stadium, London on 14 May 1960, in front of a crowd of 79,773, setting a new record for most points in a Challenge Cup Final. This feat was equalled by Iestyn Harris (1 try and 8 goals) in Leeds Rhinos' victory over the London Broncos in the 1999 Challenge Cup Final. Fox played Centre and scored 2-tries and 2-conversions in the 16-10 victory over Huddersfield in the 1960 Yorkshire County Cup Final during the 1960–61 season at Headingley Rugby Stadium, Leeds on Saturday 29 October 1960, and played Centre, i.e. number 4, and scored 5-conversions in the 19-9 victory over Leeds in the 1961 Yorkshire County Cup Final during the 1961–62 season at Odsal Stadium, Bradford on Saturday 11 November 1961. Fox played Centre, i.e. number 4, and scored a try and 3-Drop goals, and was man of the match winning the Lance Todd Trophy in the 12-6 victory over Huddersfield in the 1962 Challenge Cup Final during the 1961–62 season at Wembley Stadium, London on Saturday 12 May 1962, in front of a crowd of 81,263.
Fox played Centre, i.e. number 4, and scored 5-conversions in the 25-10 victory over Wigan in the 1963 Challenge Cup Final During the 1962–63 season at Wembley Stadium, London on Saturday 11 May 1963, in front of a crowd of 84,492. Fox played Centre and scored 2-tries and 3-conversions in the 18-2 victory over Leeds in the 1964 Yorkshire County Cup Final during the 1964–65 season at Fartown, Huddersfield on Saturday 31 October 1964. Fox played Centre and scored 3-conversions in the 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, scored a try and 2-conversions the 17-10 victory over Hull Kingston Rovers in the Championship Final during the 1967-68 season at Headingley, Leeds on Saturday 4 May 1968.
Neil Fox played Loose forward/Lock, was the coach and scored a conversion in Wakefield Trinity's 11-22 defeat by Halifax in the 1971–72 Player's No.6 Trophy Final during the 1971–72 season at Odsal Stadium, Bradford on Saturday 22 January 1972. Neil Fox was the coach in Wakefield Trinity's 2-7 defeat by Leeds in the 1973 Yorkshire County Cup Final during the 1973–74 season at Odsal Stadium, Bradford on Saturday 20 October 1973, played Right-Second-row, i.e. number 12, (replaced by Interchange/Substitute, Ian Madley) and scored 2-conversions in Hull Kingston Rovers' 16-13 victory over Wakefield Trinity in the 1974 Yorkshire County Cup Final during the 1974–75 season at Headingley Rugby Stadium, Leeds on Saturday 26 October 1974, played Right-Second-row, was man of the match winning the White Rose Trophy, and scored 1-tries and 2-conversions in the 11-15 defeat by Leeds in the 1975 Yorkshire County Cup Final during the 1975–76 season at Odsal Stadium, Bradford on Saturday 15 November 1975.
During the 1978–79 season Fox played at second-row forward and scored 3 conversions in Bradford Northern's 18-8 victory over York in the 1978 Yorkshire Cup Final at Headingley Rugby Stadium, Leeds on Saturday 28 October 1978. Fox holds the most conversions in Yorkshire County Cup Finals with 19-conversions, and the most points in Yorkshire County Cup Finals with 53-points. Fox, Alex Murphy, and Mark Forster are the only British rugby league footballers to have had two Testimonial matches. Fox's were both at Wakefield Trinity in 1966, and 1979. Circa-1968 Fox owned a Turf accountant's business in Goldthorpe. He was player - coach of Underbank Rangers (in Huddersfield) and achieved a Holliday Cup and promotion double in 1981/82. Fox retired with the record for most points scored in Anglo-Australian test match history until overtaken by Mal Meninga in 1992.
Arriva Yorkshire honoured 13 rugby league footballers on Thursday 20 August 2009, at a ceremony at Wheldon Road, the home of Castleford. 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.
In 2005 his autobiography was published by London League Publications Ltd.
- Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for his services to rugby league
- Inducted into Rugby League Hall of Fame in 1989
- In 2010 awarded Freedom of the City of Wakefield
- Record Points scorer in the history of the game
- Highest points total by a single player in a Challenge Cup Final only equalled by Iestyn Harris in 1999.
- Record points scorer for Great Britain national rugby league team
- Most Goals In A Season, Points In A Season, Tries In A Career, Goals In A Career, & Points In A Career For Wakefield Trinity
- "Rugby League Hall of Fame - Neil Fox". RLHallofFame.org.uk. 25 October 2007.
- "Birth details at freebmd.org.uk". freebmd.org.uk. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
- Lindley, John (1960). Dreadnoughts - A HISTORY OF Wakefield Trinity F. C. 1873 - 1960 [Page118]. John Lindley Son & Co Ltd. ISBN n/a
- Briggs, Cyril & Edwards, Barry (12 May 1962). The Rugby League Challenge Cup Competition - Final Tie - Huddersfield v Wakefield Trinity - Match Programme. Wembley Stadium Ltd. ISBN n/a
- "1959-1960 Championship Final". wigan.rlfans.com. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
- Hoole, Les (2004). Wakefield Trinity RLFC - FIFTY GREAT GAMES. Breedon Books. ISBN 1-85983-429-9
- Gallaway, Jack (2003). Origin: Rugby League's Greatest Contest 1980 - 2002. Australia: University of Queensland Press. pp. 177–78. ISBN 0-7022-3383-8.
- "Arriva Yorkshire Rugby League Dream Team". Arriva Yorkshire. 20 August 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-20.