Rugby League today mourns the passing of the Ashes-winning former Great Britain forward Dick Huddart – a player with legendary status in both northern and southern hemispheres.
The Cumberland-born second-row had already been capped by Great Britain before he moved from Whitehaven to St Helens in 1958, quickly establishing himself as a crowd favourite at Knowsley Road and the scourge of opponents around the world.
Huddart capped the first of five full seasons at St Helens with a try in the 1959 Championship Final, as Saints defeated Hunslet 44-22 at Odsal. He would go on to win every honour in the game, including the Lance Todd Trophy as the outstanding player during Saints’ 1961 Wembley triumph over Wigan.
A year later Huddart was part of Great Britain’s Ashes-winning side Down Under. His eye-catching performances would later lead to a contract with Sydney St George, where in 1966 he was the first British player to win a Premiership in Australia.
In 1970 Huddart returned to where it all began – Whitehaven – for one last season. As a youngster, Huddart became the first Whitehaven player to play for Great Britain and was in the ‘Haven side which defeated famously the touring Kangaroos at the Recreation Ground in 1956. He is a Hall of Fame inductee at both Whitehaven and St Helens.
RFL CEO, Ralph Rimmer: “On behalf of the RFL and the sport, condolences to the family and friends of Dick Huddart, not only one of the best players Cumberland has produced but one of the best Rugby League has seen – and rightly revered for his success with Whitehaven, St Helens and St George, as well as with Great Britain.”