Donald "Don" Fox (rugby league footballer who played in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, and coached in the 1970s. He played at representative level for Great Britain, England and Yorkshire, and at club level for Featherstone Rovers (Heritage № 348) (captain) and Wakefield Trinity (Heritage № 710), as a right-footed goal-kicking scrum-half, prop or loose forward, i.e. number 7, 8 or 10, or 13, during the era of contested scrums, and coached at club level for Batley.15 October 1935 – 21 August 2008), was an English
|Full name||Donald Fox|
|Born||15 October 1935|
Sharlston, Wakefield, England
|Died||21 August 2008 (aged 72)|
|Position||Scrum-half, Prop, Loose forward|
Don Fox was born in Sharlston, near Wakefield, West Riding of Yorkshire, England. He was the younger brother of Peter, and the older brother of Neil Fox, and together they formed one of the legendary rugby league families.
Don holds the Featherstone Rovers record for tries scored (162) and is third on their all-time goal-kicking charts with 503 in 369 appearances, itself the 7th most in Featherstone Rovers' history, having enjoyed 13 years at Featherstone Rovers, before joining Wakefield Trinity in 1965 for £3,000 (based on increases in average earnings, this would be approximately £98,750 in 2013). Don Fox earned his début for Featherstone Rovers as a scrum-half on Wednesday 9 September 1953. A gifted player, he broke the Featherstone Rovers' record points scored in a season, the next winter and was called up for England's game against France. He was an outstanding kicker, scoring 12 goals in a Challenge Cup victory against Stanningley ARLFC in 1964. He was understudy to Alex Murphy on the 1962 Lions tour of Australasia and then moved to loose forward where he earned his sole Test cap for Great Britain against Australia in 1963. He joined Wakefield in 1965, linking up with his young brother Neil, and they enjoyed great success with Wakefield Trinity. After he retired from playing in 1970, he coached Batley from November 1972 to October 1974, before becoming a safety-joiner in the South Yorkshire coalfield. He died in a hospital in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, England.
Don Fox won a cap for Great Britain while at Featherstone Rovers in 1963 against Australia (1-try, 2-goals), he also represented Great Britain while at Featherstone Rovers between 1952 and 1956 against France (1 non-Test match), and he was selected for Great Britain while at Featherstone Rovers for the 1962 Great Britain Lions tour of Australia and New Zealand.
Don Fox won caps for Yorkshire while at Featherstone Rovers; during the 1956–57 season against Cumberland and Lancashire, and during the 1958–59 season against and Lancashire, he also won a cap(s) for Yorkshire while at Wakefield Trinity.
Championship Final appearancesEdit
Don Fox played loose forward in Wakefield Trinity's 21-9 victory over St. Helens in the Championship Final replay during the 1966–67 season at Station Road, Swinton on Wednesday 10 May 1967, and played right-prop, i.e. number 10, and scored a goal in the 17-10 victory over Hull Kingston Rovers in the Championship Final during the 1967–68 season at Headingley Rugby Stadium, Leeds on Saturday 4 May 1968.
Challenge Cup Final appearancesEdit
Don Fox played right-prop, i.e. number 10, and scored 2-conversions in Wakefield Trinity's 10-11 defeat by Leeds in the 1967–68 Challenge Cup "Watersplash" Final during the 1967–68 season at Wembley Stadium, London on Saturday 11 May 1968, in front of a crowd of 87,100. The match was played on a waterlogged pitch and the score was 11-7 to Leeds when Ken Hirst scored a try under the posts for Wakefield Trinity with the final play of the game. Tries were worth three points at that time, making the score 11-10, but a simple 2-point conversion was all that was needed to give Wakefield an unassailable one-point lead, and win the game. Wakefield Trinity fans were jubilant as the conversion from in front of the posts is by far the easiest kick in rugby league. Fox had already scored two more difficult conversions in the game, and he was such a prolific kicker that it realistically should have presented no problem. However, the waterlogged state of the pitch made this a more difficult proposition, and Fox lost his footing and sliced the ball wide of the posts. The final whistle was blown immediately afterwards, giving Leeds a dramatic one-point victory. Commentator Eddie Waring said of Fox, 'He's a poor lad', a remark which became a widely quoted piece of commentary. Fox had already been chosen to win the Lance Todd Trophy for his performance in the match, but he was disconsolate and trudged off the pitch. Interviewed by David Coleman on television later, he was asked if the trophy was any consolation and replied "not really, no". The boots he was wearing during the game are now on display at Wakefield Museum.
County Cup Final appearancesEdit
Don Fox played scrum-half, and scored a try in Featherstone Rovers' 15-14 victory over Hull F.C. in the 1959–60 Yorkshire County Cup Final during the 1959–60 season at Headingley Rugby Stadium, Leeds on Saturday 31 October 1959, and played scrum-half in Featherstone Rovers' 0-10 defeat by Halifax in the 1963–64 Yorkshire County Cup Final during the 1963–64 season at Belle Vue, Wakefield on Saturday 2 November 1963.
Don Fox appears to have scored no drop-goals (or field-goals as they are currently known in Australasia), but prior to the 1974–75 season all goals, whether; conversions, penalties, or drop-goals, scored 2-points, consequently prior to this date drop-goals were often not explicitly documented, therefore '0' drop-goals may indicate drop-goals not recorded, rather than no drop-goals scored.
Honoured at Featherstone RoversEdit
Don Fox is a Featherstone Rovers Hall of Fame inductee.
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