David Smith

DOB
24/05/1953
Birth Place
Leeds
Position
Wing
Honours
England
Heritage Number
1076
APPS
176
POINTS
297

BIOGRAPHY

Like his namesake in 1930, winger David Smith followed flank star Stan from Belle Vue to Headingley, causing much consternation amongst the Trinity faithful.

Playing his early rugby at Shaw Cross – where he is inducted into their Hall of Fame – he joined Wakefield, in 1973-4 equalling Fred Smith’s record for the most tries in a season for the club, 38, initially set during the 1959-60 campaign – which still stands.

He appeared in consecutive losing Yorkshire Cup finals, against Leeds and Hull KR, both at Headingley and in 1975 gained his first three Yorkshire caps – scoring tries against Cumbria and Other Nationalities. He was also selected for England against Australia in a challenge match played after the World Cup here. An £11,000 fee brought him to Headingley in the 1976 close season and he made an instant impact, scoring a hat trick on debut in a Lazenby Cup win over Bramley, which also saw youngster Chris Burton (heritage number 1078) pull on a Leeds shirt for the first time.

He quickly turned around his fortunes in the county decider as Featherstone were beaten 16-12, also at Headingley thanks to an agreement with competition sponsors Esso, as he vied for a regular wing spot with Alan Smith and John Atkinson. Although he topped the Leeds try charts in 1976-7, finishing with 25 and was twice selected for GB U24s, both against France, it wasn’t enough to get him a Wembley starting spot; coming off the bench in the final minute to replace Alan Smith.

The following season he gained two more Yorkshire caps, grabbing a brace of tries against Cumbria, and made a full England appearance against the French. He posted 26 tries in 1977-8 for Leeds including one at Wembley where he started this time, and another in the Premiership decider the following year as the Loiners memorably defeated Bradford at Fartown. Playing at centre, he picked up further Yorkshire Cup honours in 1979 against Halifax and 1980 versus Hull KR.

In all, he posted 99 tries in 175 games for Leeds, moving on to Bradford where he again played in White Rose decider, coming off the bench in their defeat to Hull at Elland Road in 1982.

Having appeared in 10 major finals in all, he finished his career with spells at Workington and then Carlisle and has been a long time postman in Mirfield.