Cup winner Dyl named 15th member of Leeds RL Hall of Fame
Appreciation of back line flamboyance and flair has always been a staple of the Headingley crowd, and a pre-requisite for those who represent them.
A young centre from Castleford school’s rugby who had been snapped up for the Headingley Juniors after showing early promise, certainly fitted the bill and his coach had no hesitation of throwing the teenager into the fray, with instant success; a long range try on his debut signalling his potential.
Playing at Wembley in 1971 off the bench whilst still only 18, he became a superb foil and provider for his winger outside him, personifying the centre’s art in one of the best left-sided partnerships the game has seen. It brought him a hatful of winner’s medals; one championship, two premiership, two challenge cup, John Player and Floodlit trophies and five Yorkshire Cups; his career glittered as much as his collection. Her was also a renowned try scorer as well as provider, claiming 14 in 17 games on the 1974 Lions tour, including in the Second and Third Tests, and remains eighth on the all-time Leeds list with 193.
He toured twice again, with England for the 1975 World Championship and again two years later for Great Britain, playing in the World Cup final in Sydney which Australia took by a point.
In total, he won 24 international caps over eight years but never lost his sense of sheer enjoyment in being out there, rarely, if ever suffering from nerves, He relished the big stage, as he memorably showed at Wembley in 1977 with a gloriously timed angled run for sublime try which included rounding with the Widnes full back with consummate grace.
But he was also tough, direct, had a superb hand off and was immensely popular with his team mates. In 1983, he retired to run a bar in Benidorm – later working in the hospitality trade on the east coast – but returned for a farewell spell at Headingley and as captain for Bramley.
The fifteenth inductee is Les Dyl – heritage no. 1036; 434 appearances between 1970-85