New feature offers fascinating insight into life of legendary coach Roy Francis
As we come to the end of Black History Month in October, the BBC Sport website and published a fascinating article regarding the life of legendary former Leeds coach Roy Francis including insights from those who knew him best.
Originally from South Wales, Francis was a brilliant rugby league player, becoming the first black man to play for Great Britain in 1947, and one of the country’s greatest coaches. At Hull FC in 1955, he became the first black head coach of a British top-tier professional team before he moved to Leeds and transformed the club in a pivotal period in the history of Headingley.
The article includes the memories of legendary former Leeds winger Alan Smith who recalls the affection the entire squad had for Roy, who had two successful spells as Coach of Leeds either side of a period coaching North Sydney Bears in Australia, where racism eventually forced him to return to the UK.
You can read the article in full here plus you can watch the BBC documentary ‘The Rugby Codebreakers’ on iPlayer here which features Roy Francis amongst many of the legendary players who moved from Wales to the North of England to leave a lasting legacy on Rugby League.