Obit: Former Wakefield Trinity player John 'Johnny' Duggan passes away, aged 93

Former Wakefield Trinity John 'Johnny' Duggan has passed away at his home in Auckland at the age of 93.

By Leanne Clarke
Monday, 25th July 2022, 10:12 am
Updated Monday, 25th July 2022, 10:15 am
The Wakefield former rugby union and professional rugby league player, played for Wakefield Trinity and Yorkshire in the 1940s and 1950s.
The Wakefield former rugby union and professional rugby league player, played for Wakefield Trinity and Yorkshire in the 1940s and 1950s.

The Wakefield former rugby union and professional rugby league player, played for Wakefield Trinity and Yorkshire in the 1940s and 1950s.

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.

Wakefield Rugby Football Club 1946 (John back row, second from left)

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.

Wakefield Trinity 1949-50 (John front row far left)

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.

Trinity Reunion 1993 (John in middle)