Tributes paid to rugby league great Peter Fox

RESPECTS were paid to Peter Fox, one of rugby league’s great characters, when Wakefield Trinity take on Leeds Rhinos on Friday evening.

Monday, 4th March 2019, 9:55 am
Updated Monday, 4th March 2019, 10:57 am
2nd December 1972, The three Fox brothers, who have set up a Rugby League record by each becoming a senior club coach. Left to right are Don Fox, who has taken over as first team coach at Batley, Peter Fox (first team coach at Featherstone Rovers) and Neil Fox (player-coach, with Wakefield Trinity). Used in Yorkshire Sport Legends 2017 Calendar

Former Trinity and England coach Mr Fox died on Monday, February 25, aged 85, and Rhinos chief executive Gary Hetherington said a “mark of respect” would take place before kick-off.

A member of arguably the sport’s most famous Yorkshire family, Peter was older brother to Don – a gifted scrum-half who died in 2008 – and world record points scorer Neil.

Trinity all-time top scorer Neil said: “He taught me how to pass a ball, kick a ball, how to tackle, how not to tackle.

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Peter Fox at launch of his book 'The Players Coach' at Belle Vue Stadium Wakefield.

“He taught me everything about the skills of rugby league.

“The knowledge he gave me put me in good stead for when I signed for Trinity.

“He was a popular person, a larger than life character who knew rugby league inside out, and he always stuck up for his players. He was hard on the outside but a soft-hearted man on the inside.”

As a player he made 245 appearances in a solid career that took in spells at Featherstone Rovers, Batley twice, Hull KR, Hunslet and Wakefield Trinity, from 1953-54 to 1966-67.

But it was after he hung up his boots that Fox really made his mark on the code, winning the Challenge Cup and First Division championship as a coach and taking charge of Yorkshire, England and Great Britain, who he led to a famous Test win over Australia in 1978.

Born in Sharlston, Mr Fox was appointed coach of Rovers in January, 1971 and masterminded their Wembley Challenge Cup win over Bradford Northern just two years later.

He coached Wakefield Trinity from 1974 to 1976 and then steered Bramley to promotion into Division One in 1976-77.

Mr Fox’s funeral will be held at East Ardsley Church at noon on Wednesday, March 20, and then 1pm at Wakefield Crematorium. A event to celebrate Mr Fox’s life will then be held at Bradford Bulls’ Odsal Stadium.