Thomas Dobson (rugby)

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Thomas Hyde Dobson
Tommy Dobson - England.jpg
Tommy Dobson wearing his England (RU) shirt, and cap
Personal information
Full nameThomas Hyde Dobson
BornFebruary 1872
Bradford, England
Died12 November 1902 (aged 30)
Bradford, West Riding of Yorkshire, England
Playing information
Rugby union
Years Team Pld T G FG P
≤1895–95 Bradford FC
Years Team Pld T G FG P
≤1893/94–≥93/94 Yorkshire ≥1
1895 England 1 0 0 0 0
Rugby league
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1895–≥98 Bradford FC
Source: [1]

Thomas "Tommy" Hyde Dobson (February 1872 – 12 November 1902) was an English rugby union footballer, professional sprinter, and professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1890s. He played representative level rugby union (RU) for England and Yorkshire, and at club level for Undercliffe RFC, Laisterdyke RFC, Bowling RFC, and Bradford FC,[2] as a centre, i.e. number 12, or 13, and club level rugby league (RL) for Bradford FC, as a wing. As a sprinter, primarily in Northern England, he won over £200 in prizes (based on increases in average earnings, this would be approximately £81,950 in 2015),[3] Prior to Tuesday 27 August 1895, Bradford FC was a rugby union club, it then became a rugby league club, and since 1907 it has been the association football (soccer) club Bradford Park Avenue.


Tommy Dobson was born in Bradford, West Riding of Yorkshire, England, and he died age 30 in Bradford, West Riding of Yorkshire, from food poisoning after eating raw mussels.[4]

Playing career[edit]

International honours[edit]

Tommy Dobson won a cap for England (RU) while at Bradford FC in 1895 against Scotland.[1]

County honours[edit]

Tommy Dobson won cap(s) for Yorkshire (RU) while at Bradford FC,[5] in William Barnes Wollen's painting of Yorkshire's 11–3 victory over Lancashire during the 1893/94 season, a painting that is now held at the Rugby Football Union headquarters in the Twickenham Stadium, Alfred "Alf" Barraclough can be seen being tackled, and passing the ball to Jack Toothill, with Tommy Dobson on the outside, although Tommy Dobson did not actually participate in this particular match.[6]

Challenge Cup Final appearances[edit]

Tommy Dobson played right wing, i.e. number 2, in Bradford FC's 0-7 defeat by Batley in the 1898 Challenge Cup Final during the 1897–98 season at Headingley Rugby Stadium, Leeds on Saturday 23 April 1898, in front of a crowd of 27,941.

Change of Code[edit]

When Bradford FC converted from the rugby union code to the rugby league code on Tuesday 27 August 1895, Tommy Dobson would have been approximately 23. Consequently, he was both a rugby union and rugby league footballer for Bradford FC[7]

Club career[edit]

Tommy Dobson scored Bradford FC's first ever try in the Challenge Cup in the 7-3 victory over Oldham in the 1897 Challenge Cup during the 1896–97 season at Park Avenue, Bradford on Saturday 20 March 1897.

Genealogical information[edit]

Tommy Dobson was the son of the professional sprinter, Harry Dobson, winner of the Sheffield Handicap, then the world's foremost sprint event which was run over a turf course and attracted "the fastest sprinters in the world".[8] Tommy Dobson's marriage to Jane Elizabeth (née Jagger) was registered during first ¼ 1895 in Bradford district.[9]


  1. ^ a b "Statistics at". 31 December 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  2. ^ Williams, Graham; Lush, Peter; Farrar, David (2009). The British Rugby League Records Book. London League. p. 178. ISBN 978-1-903659-49-6.
  3. ^ "Measuring Worth - Relative Value of UK Pounds". Measuring Worth. 31 December 2016. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
  4. ^ Death Of A Bradford Footballer - Poisoned By Eating Mussels (Saturday 15 November 1902). Telegraph & Argus. ISBN n/a
  5. ^ "Roses match". 31 December 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  6. ^ "The Ghost in the Painting - The Roses Match". 31 December 2016. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
  7. ^ "Photograph Thomas Hyde Dobson at". 31 December 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  8. ^ Walter Eckersall (19 December 1926). "Michigan Track Coach Star of Years Gone by". Los Angeles Times.
  9. ^ "Marriage details at". 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012.

External links[edit]