Brian Whitcombe and his brother Frank Whitcombe Jr were part of a famous Rugby playing family. Brian moved "North" aged one when his Father Frank Whitcombe a Rugby player with the Army Rugby Union team turned professional for Broughton Rangers Rugby League team in September 1935. Here the family settled in Withington a suberb of Manchester. In withington Brians younger brother Frank was born on 21 July 1936. Later in December 1938 the family moved across the Pennines when Frank Whitcombe Senior was signed by Bradford Northern for a World Record Fee. After moving to Bradford the family lived at 109 Wibsey Park Avenue close to the Odsal Stadium home of Bradford Northern.
Brian attended Buttershaw St Pauls Primary School and later Wibsey secondary modern school. At age 14 he began his rugby career in 1949 with Sedbergh Boys' Club playing junior Rugby League. The club was based near to his home in Wibsey near to Bradford, before switching to play Rugby Union at Bradford RFC.
National Service Rugby
Whitcombe was called up for National Service in January 1953. Brian served in the Royal Artillery for two years, posted to Bulford Barracks in Wiltshire. During his service he represented 45 Field Regiment and The Royal Artillery Rugby club, 'The Gunner's', as did fellow Bradford RFC team mate Peter Harrison
Rugby career Bradford RFC
Bradford Rugby Football Club was one of the leading club sides in the country at this time, Brian Whitcombe joined Bradford in 1952 making (174 Appearances) and his brother Frank Whitcombe (329 Appearances) both went on to give long and loyal service to Bradford Rugby Football club. Brian memorably put in a man of the match performance in Bradford's 9 - 3 victory at, Lidget Grean, over Leicester Tigers in 1962, scoring the only try of the game. During the late 1950's & early 1960's Brian Whitcombe was a regular trialist for the Yorkshire county side
When his first class rugby career was over Brian joined Keighley RUFC and played out his career with his brother Frank.
Life after Rugby↑Jump back a section
- The Whitcombe Family Archive
- Bradford RFC Rugby Centenary Book 1866 - 1966