DFP – Head Script

ON THIS DAY

5th February 2007 | 12:00 am

By Leeds Rhinos

On this day in 1966 Leeds legend Bev Risman made his Leeds debut against Dewsbury in the league when the Loiners won 18-2 at home.

WP – In Article MPU

On this day in 1966 Leeds legend Bev Risman made his Leeds debut against Dewsbury in the league when the Loiners won 18-2 at home.

On this day in 1966 Leeds legend Bev Risman made his Leeds debut against Dewsbury. In the new year the Loiners had seen the departure of Keb Thornett and with the injury of Dewhurst Leeds were in desperate need of a good kicker. The Leeds management quickly brought in Risman from Leigh, who not only solved the problem that season but went onto be one of the best players ever to don the blue and amber shirt. The son of the Great Britain’s longest serving player Gus Risman, Bev, who was 28 when he signed, had previously played centre and stand off in rugby union, but he had proved to be a natural in the 13 man code and helped his new team to victory on his debut. Leeds were coming into this game against Dewsbury on the back of three wins but had yet to play their Yorkshire rivals that season in the league. Geoffrey Wrigglesworth who was one of Leeds’ top try scorers that season continued to provide the team with points and in an outstanding display scored four tries. Bev too was in impressive form and was able complete his debut by scoring four tries and helping Leeds to a 18-2 win. Bev will be principally be remembered for his calm decisiveness under pressure and prowess with the boot which he turned into an art form. In a total of 164 appearances for the Loiners he kicked an astonishing 611 goals although he was helped by the swashbuckling, all conquering style of play of his team mates which ensured a bag full of conversion opportunities. Possessor of an elegant sidestep and a deliciously timed pass, his positioning as the last line of defence was also of the highest quality. Bev was always at his very best in the big games – and there were plenty in this vintage era for the blue and amber – orchestrating the demolition of Wigan in the 1968 Challenge Cup semi final, amongst the watery mayhem of Wembley that May, and conjuring the gamebreaking try after telepathic linking with John Atkinson and kicking the conversion to snare the Championship in dramatic fashion In 1969. A shattering knee injury during a Challenge cup tie at Warrington in February 1970 eventually brought a premature end to his playing career but since then he has been a stalwart supporter of the game in London and the south in a variety of guises from coach to senior administrator. One of the architects of the revolution in the student game, he was heavily involved with the formation of the London Broncos Academy and youth player development programmes. From a family steeped in rugby league tradition, he has created his own niche in history.

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