Born in 1929 at home in St George's Square, John was the first of eight children born to Abigail and Michael Duggan and grew up on the Eastmoor estate.
He went to school at St Austin's where he captained the rugby team and joined Wakefield RFC when he left school at the age of 16.
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He went on to sign for Wakefield Trinity in 1947 at the age of 18, where he was known as Johnny Duggan to fans and teammates.
In a Wakefield Express newspaper report, John was described as a firm favourite for 'his strong running, elusiveness and never say die temperament.'
He played for Yorkshire in 1949 and played Right Wing for Wakefield Trinity in their 17-3 cup final victory over Keighley in 1951.
John emigrated to New Zealand in the early 1950s, where he established himself as a businessman in Auckland.
He met and married Phyllis Chapman and the couple had three sons.
In 1993, he visited Wakefield to see his family and meet with his former Trinity teammates, a reunion which received coverage in the Express.
John passed away in Auckland on July 21 2022.
He is survived by his three sons and their families.