Record breaking prop Webster latest member of Leeds RL Hall of Fame
When the Rhinos instituted the acclaimed ‘Greats of the Millennium’ concept in 1999, two bastions of the front row were included, current Hall of Famer Joe Thompson, one.
The other still retains a place in the club’s records. Leeds’s win over Coventry in April 1913 remains unique. The Loiners ran up a then record score of 102-0 and the game is still the only time when every member of a team has been on the scoresheet.
A prop that historic afternoon scored eight of the 24 tries, then a club best and a mark which has since been equalled just once, by winger Eric Harris. Remarkably, he forward subsequently managed just 76 tries in his entire career and never achieved a total of more than seven in 17 others seasons at Leeds.
Signed from Brotherton, by 1906 he was one of the most feared in the game and, four years later, skippered the side to their first silverware, the challenge cup. He scored a vital try in the narrowest semi final win over Warrington and was relentless in the taming of Hull in both the drawn first game and replay two days later.
Such was his outstanding form, he was one of three Loiners selected for the inaugural Lions tour to the Antipodes in 1910. He appeared in all three, winning Tests, setting up the crucial try in the second encounter with the Australians in Brisbane.
Appearing in a total of 14 of the 18 tour matches, he was part of the only squad to ever receive a financial guarantee and promised a total of £6,000 to share. As it turned out, the trip exceeded expectations the percentage of the gate receipts in Australia and New Zealand totalling over £7,000, and such a safeguard was not written in again.
The club’s first stalwart, he also appeared for Leeds in their first-ever Championship final in 1915 and the 1919-20 Yorkshire Cup decider.
The fourteenth inductee is Fred Webster – heritage no. 151; 543 appearances between 1902-20