Arthur Clues inducted into Leeds RL Hall of Fame
It is unlikely that any overseas signing has created a greater impact than the one who arrived in the city when it was still suffering post-War austerity and in the grip of one of the coldest and most prolonged winters in living memory.
The policeman came with a reputation, not least for his ability to look after himself, having made a significant impression facing the 1946 ‘Indomitables’ tourists. In the third – and as it turned out his last – Test in Sydney, the second rower was sent off for striking Willie Horne.
By the time of his Test bow, he was widely regarded as the best player in his position and there was mass consternation and anger back home when he became the first to transfer to an English club after the ceasing of hostilities – but the Leeds offer was too good to turn down.
His debut was delayed by snow and ice and by the time he took the field against Hull, there was a public frenzy to see him perform. The nearest he got to honours at Headingley was in his opening campaign when the Loiners made it to Wembley in 1947 without conceding a point, but went down to Bradford.
He quickly won the hearts of the Leeds fans and was feared and respected in equal measure by opposing ones – quick for his size, nimble with a fine side step, he could kick to great effect and happily took on the role of guardian of his team mates.
One of the greatest characters on and off the field, he represented the Other Nationalities 14 times and moved across Leeds in 1954 to finish his career with three seasons at Hunslet.
Thereafter, he opened a sport’s shop which ensured that junior sides got properly kitted out – invariably at his expense – and was a renowned charity fundraiser, not least for Variety Club, and philanthropist. He was a liaison officer for the Kangaroo tourists as well as being a marvellous raconteur. A fine local cricketer and in his later years a valuable member of the Sport’s Council and its Sports Aid Foundation, he was captain at Moortown golf club and on the rugby committee at Leeds.
The thirteenth inductee is – Arthur Clues – heritage no. 841; 236 appearances between 1947-54