Thomas C. Askin was an English professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1920s and 1930s. He competed at representative level for Great Britain and Yorkshire, and at club level for Featherstone Rovers, Leeds, Castleford and Newcastle. He usually played as a wing or centre.
Tom Askin, who came from Knottingley, made his debut for Featherstone Rovers on 21 March 1925,[page needed] after the club had spotted him playing for Knottingley Rovers. He was suspended from playing for three matches in early 1927 following an ill-tempered December game against Wakefield Trinity in which he and three other players were sent off. He played left-centre in Featherstone Rovers' 0–5 defeat by Leeds in the 1928 Yorkshire Cup final at Belle Vue, Wakefield, on 24 November 1928.
Soon after this, and hours before the midnight, 1 February 1929 cut-off time for players to be registered for the Rugby League Cup, Askin was transferred to Leeds. This was despite both clubs only days earlier scotching rumours of such a transfer, and despite rumoured interest in him from other clubs such as Oldham, Salford and Halifax. Although he had recovered from a leg injury,[a] the 12-stone, 22-year old Askin had not played for Featherstone for a few weeks due to a disagreement with the club's board, and they now felt that they had no option but to list him. Featherstone had wanted £1000 for the player but accepted Leeds' offer of £800.
Askin played for his new club against Hull on 2 February and then injured his leg during Leeds' defeat by Warrington in the first round of the Cup a week later. He had to have an operation in Liverpool and was out of the team for almost all that remained of the 1928–29 season. Although signed by Leeds to strengthen their left wing, he returned to his more familiar position in the centre for the 1929–30 season and scored 15 tries before being put on the transfer market with an asking price of £500.
Askin transferred to Castleford on 13 November 1930, with The Leeds Mercury commenting that he had "rarely touched his best form in Leeds colours and it may be that now he is nearer the district in which he learned his football he will display the ability which gained him a place in the last tour team". He played for the club from then until the 1936–37 season, scoring his first try for the club in the 22–3 defeat of Bramley in very bad conditions on 29 November 1930. He was joined at Castleford by his brother, Ambrose, who made his debut against Hull on 26 March 1932, a match in which Tom was unable to play due to injury.
Tom Askin was listed for transfer by Castleford at a fee of £250 in July 1932. However, he was a part of the Castleford team that won the Yorkshire County League during the 1932–33 season. He played left wing and scored a try in Castleford's 11–8 victory over Huddersfield in the 1935 Challenge Cup final at Wembley Stadium, London, on 4 May 1935, in front of a crowd of 39,000. Later that year, in November, he broke his leg in the last minutes of a match against the same club. Although there were fears that the injury might signal the end of his career, he appeared to be training well in the subsequent close season.
In March 1937, an exchange deal between Castleford and Newcastle saw Askin move to North East England while G. L. Taylor travelled in the opposite direction. Newcastle were at that time attempting to establish the sport in the Tyneside region and the Yorkshire Evening Post commented that his loyalty and experience could be of much benefit in that regard.
In September 1938, Askin returned to Featherstone on loan from Castleford.
International and County honours
Askin won caps for Great Britain in 1928, when he played three matches against Australia and a further three against New Zealand.
Askin won caps for Yorkshire during the 1927–28 season against Cumberland, Lancashire, and Glamorgan & Monmouthshire.[b] He played again for the county during the 1928–29 season against Lancashire. In September 1930, he played once more for Yorkshire against Cumberland at Whitehaven when George Whittaker of Swinton was moved from the wing to cover for the injured Castleford international Arthur Atkinson, thus opening up a spot for Askin. However, he was dropped from the squad in favour of George Bateman of Hull for the October match against Lancashire at Wakefield.
Askin married A. Stephenson of Whitley Bridge at Kellington Parish Church on 16 August 1933. He was elected to Knottingley council as an Independent Municipal Association candidate in May 1954.
- Askin had twisted his knee at the start of October in his first match for Featherstone after returning from the 1928 Great Britain tour of Australasia. He then injured himself again in a County match against Lancashire, without having played for Featherstone in the intervening period.
- Askin suffered an eye injury during the September 1927 match against Glamorgan & Monmouthshire. This resulted in him being hospitalised after playing about a quarter of the game.
- "Thomas C. Askin". thecastlefordtigers.co.uk. 31 December 2014. Archived from the original on February 16, 2012. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
- "Custom Match List". rugbyleagueproject.org. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
- "£200 Asked for Askin". The Leeds Mercury. 19 November 1936. p. 9.
- Bailey, Ron (20 September 2001). Images of Sport – Featherstone Rovers Rugby League Football Club. The History Press. ISBN 0752422952.
- "A Featherstone Recruit". The Leeds Mercury. 14 February 1925. p. 8.
- "Keen Match At Belle Vue". Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer. 28 December 1926. p. 4.
- "Players Suspended". The Leeds Mercury. 13 January 1927. p. 8.
- "Leeds Team Changes". Yorkshire Evening Post. 24 January 1929. p. 10.
- "Askin Rumour Denied". Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer. 17 January 1929. p. 17.
- "Leeds F.C. Capture". Yorkshire Evening Post. 1 February 1929. p. 14.
- "Reconstructed Side". Hull Daily Mail. 8 October 1928. p. 2.
- "Attractive Club Games". The Leeds Mercury. 3 November 1928. p. 11.
- "Tall Forward for Transfer". The Leeds Mercury. 15 November 1928. p. 11.
- "Askin on Transfer". The Leeds Mercury. 30 January 1929. p. 9.
- "Askin's Transfer Fee". The Leeds Mercury. 7 February 1929. p. 9.
- "Big Transfer Surprise: Leeds Ready to Part With Askin". The Leeds Mercury. 28 October 1930. p. 11.
- "Sporting Items". Hull Daily Mail. 22 February 1929. p. 11.
- "Askin Goes To Castleford". The Leeds Mercury. 14 November 1930. p. 9.
- "Askin At Castleford". The Leeds Mercury. 15 November 1930. p. 9.
- "Great Goal Kicking". The Leeds Mercury. 1 December 1930. p. 11.
- "Boulevard Thrills". Hull Daily Mail. 28 March 1932. p. 8.
- "Askin For Transfer". Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer. 29 July 1932. p. 15.
- "Sat 4th May 1935 – Challenge Cup – Neutral Ground – 39,000". thecastlefordtigers. 31 December 2014. Archived from the original on 2012-02-16. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
- "A Cup Final". The Leeds Mercury. 11 November 1935. p. 11.
- "Tuning Up Time for Football". The Leeds Mercury. 29 July 1936. p. 9.
- "Castleford's Deal". The Leeds Mercury. 18 March 1937. p. 9.
- "Askin for Newcastle". Yorkshire Evening Post. 19 March 1937. p. 6.
- "TOMMY ASKIN Returns on Loan to Play for Featherstone". The Leeds Mercury. 23 September 1938. p. 9.
- "Cumberland Win Rugby League Title". Hull Daily Mail. 30 November 1927. p. 10.
- "Fletcher's Four For Yorkshire". The Leeds Mercury. 27 September 1927. p. 11.
- "Featherstone's Absentee". The Leeds Mercury. 7 November 1928. p. 9.
- "Yorkshire Start Well". Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer. 22 September 1930. p. 14.
- "Yorkshire Side Selected for "Roses" Battle". Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer. 30 September 1930. p. 15.
- Mather, Harold (10 June 1971). "Still two points for drop goal". The Guardian. p. 20.
- "Footballer's Bride". The Leeds Mercury. 17 August 1933. p. 7.
- "Former Rugby League player elected". Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer. 17 May 1954. p. 10.