Ted Barnard and George Simpson RIP

It was with much sadness that the club learned over the weekend of the deaths of two former players, Ted Barnard (heritage number 1010) and George Simpson (heritage number 960).

Ted passed away on Thursday evening having previously suffered two strokes. He was born on 24th January 1945 and signed for Leeds in 1967 from York amateur club, Heworth. He made his debut on the 11th October 1966 against Castleford at Headingley. He crossed for his first try for the club a month later with a try in a 22-11 win over Bradford Northern at Headingley, in total he scored fives tries in 45 appearances. An engineer by trade, he gained a regular place in the side in the 1970-71 season, and appeared in the 1970 Floodlit Final and 1971 Challenge Cup Final at Wembley. He moved to Hull KR the following season.

Full back George Simpson came into the Leeds team the season after the club had captured the first ever League Championship. A product of the club’s nursery system, he was a part of a cohort of homegrown players who would sow the seeds for the glorious period of success in the latter half of the 1960s and 1970s.

He made his debut against Bradford Northern in the fourth game of the new season at Odsal on 30th August 1961. A French polisher by trade, he scored his first try for the club the following season when he touched down against Workington Town at Headingley in a 23-7 victory.

For a spell he found himself filling the boots of the club’s record goal scorer, Lewis Jones, when the Golden Boy left the club to move to Australia in 1964. In total, he made 48 appearances for the club, scoring three tries and six goals before he moved the short distance to Bramley in 1966.

The news of passing of Ted and George comes in the same week that 1961 Championship winner Barry Simms also died. All three will be remembered by the current squad when we return to playing after the coronavirus lockdown. Our thoughts and prayers go to the friends and family of all three men, may they rest in peace.