Joe Lydon (rugby)

Joseph Paul Lydon (born 26 November 1963) is an English former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1980s and 1990s, and coached rugby union in the 2000s and 2010s, and rugby league and rugby union administrator of the 1990s, 2000s and 2010s. He played representative level rugby league (RL) for Great Britain and Lancashire, and at club level for Widnes, Wigan and Eastern Suburbs (two spells), as a fullback, wing, centre, or stand-off, has coached representative level rugby union (RU) for England (Under-19s (2000-), and backs (2004–06)), England Sevens (2001-), was the Team Manager for Wigan (1994–96), Performance Consultant for Waterloo FC (2007-), Chief Executive for Wigan Warriors (2007-), Head of Rugby Performance & Development for Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) (2008-), and Head of International Player Development for Rugby Football Union (RFU) (2013-).

Joe Lydon
Personal information
Full nameJoseph Paul Lydon
Born (1963-11-26) 26 November 1963 (age 58)
Ince-in-Makerfield district, Wigan, England
Playing information
PositionFullback, Wing, Centre, Stand-off
Club
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1982–86 Widnes 99 54 116 1 435
1986–94 Wigan 262 89 283 16 938
1987 Eastern Suburbs 12 6 5 0 34
1989 Eastern Suburbs 10 2 9 0 26
Total 383 151 413 17 1433
Representative
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1983–92 Great Britain 30 7 26 0 80
1985–88 Lancashire 3
Source: [1][2]

BackgroundEdit

Joe Lydon's birth was registered in Ince-in-Makerfield district, Wigan, Lancashire, England.

Playing careerEdit

A Wigan St Patrick's junior, Lydon played first schoolboy curtain-raiser to the Challenge Cup Final at Wembley Stadium in 1975 (the Final drew 85,098 fans). He then signed professional forms with Widnes (who had won the 1975 Challenge Cup Final over Warrington) from Wigan St Patrick's, making his début for the Doug Laughton coaches "Chemics" in a 9–10 defeat by Leigh in 1982. On 23 November 1982, Lydon would later get his first taste of international football when playing in the centres for Widnes at Naughton Park in their 19–6 loss to Australia who were on their undefeated 1982 Kangaroo tour.

In 1983 he made the first of three appearances for the Great Britain Under-24 team against France in January and a month later makes his full Great Britain début, scoring a try and three goals in 20–5 win over France in Carcassonne. In 1984 he won the Lance Todd Trophy as man of the match in Widnes' Wembley win over hometown Wigan, famously scoring two 75-yard interception tries, as well as Man of Steel, Division One Player and Young Player of the Year awards.

In 1986, when he joined Wigan, Lydon became rugby league's first £100,000 transfer (based on increases in average earnings, this would be approximately £327,600 in 2013),[3] making his début in a 44–6 win over Hull F.C. During the 1987–88 Rugby Football League season. One of his first games for the Cherry and Whites was against the touring 1986 Australian Kangaroos where he scored a second half try in Wigan's 26–18 defeat by Australia. He played in the centres for defending champions Wigan in their 1987 World Club Challenge victory against the visiting Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles at Central Park. During the game, Manly second rower "Rambo" Ron Gibbs became the first player sent off in a World Club Challenge after a high tackle on Lydon. Later in the game after being tackled by Dale Shearer, the Manly fullback appeared to step on Lydon's head after he had got the ball away to teammate David Stephenson.[4]

Lydon was selected to go on the 1988 Great Britain Lions tour, but his invitation was withdrawn after Lydon allegedly assaulted a spectator.[5]

Lydon was selected to go on the 1992 Great Britain Lions tour of Australia and New Zealand, and collected the last of his 30 GB caps as a substitute in 16–10 defeat by Australia in Brisbane. He made one last appearance for Great Britain, as fullback in their 10-6 loss to Australia in the 1992 Rugby League World Cup Final at Wembley on 24 October. Lydon sprained his ankle early in the match but bravely played on until replaced in the second half by Alan Tait.

He would go on to make one further international appearance, coming on as a replacement for Ireland in their first ever international match, a 24–22 victory against USA in Washington DC in 1995. In 1994 he played the last of 262 games for Wigan as substitute in 30–6 home win over Featherstone Rovers.

During his career Lydon spent two English off-seasons playing in Australia for Sydney's Eastern Suburbs club in 1987, and again in 1989. His first stint at the Roosters was somewhat successful as Easts made it to the Preliminary final before going down to eventual Grand Finalists Canberra. His second stint with the Bondi based club was less successful as Easts finished in 11th place in 1989. Overall Lydon played 22 games for Easts, scoring 8 tries and kicking 14 goals.

Challenge Cup Final appearancesEdit

Joe Lydon played left-centre, i.e. number 4, scored 2-tries, and was man of the match winning the Lance Todd Trophy in Widnes' 19-6 victory over Wigan in the 1984 Challenge Cup Final during the 1983–84 season at Wembley Stadium, London on Saturday 5 May 1984, in front of a crowd of 80,116.

County Cup Final appearancesEdit

Joe Lydon played right wing, i.e. number 2, scored a try, and 2-conversions in Widnes' 8–12 defeat by Barrow in the 1983 Lancashire County Cup Final during the 1983–84 season at Central Park, Wigan on Saturday 1 October 1983, played right wing, and scored a try, and a drop goal in Wigan's 15–8 victory over Oldham in the 1986 Lancashire County Cup Final during the 1986–87 season at Knowsley Road, St. Helens, on Sunday 19 October 1986,[6] played left-centre, i.e. number 4, and scored 5-conversions in the 28–16 victory over Warrington in the 1987 Lancashire County Cup Final during the 1987–88 season at Knowsley Road, St. Helens, on Sunday 11 October 1987.[7] played left wing, i.e. number 5, (replaced by interchange/substitute Ged Byrne) in the 22–17 victory over Salford in the 1988 Lancashire County Cup Final during the 1988–89 season at Knowsley Road, St. Helens on Sunday 23 October 1988.[8] and played right-centre, i.e. number 3, in the 5–4 victory over St. Helens in the 1992 Lancashire County Cup Final during the 1992–93 season at Knowsley Road, St. Helens on Sunday 18 October 1992.[8]

John Player Special/Regal Trophy Final appearancesEdit

Joe Lydon played left-centre, i.e. number 4, and scored a try in Widnes' 10-18 defeat by Leeds in the 1983–84 John Player Special Trophy Final during the 1983–84 season at Central Park, Wigan on Saturday 14 January 1984, played right-centre, i.e. number 3, in Wigan's 18-4 victory over Warrington in the 1986–87 John Player Special Trophy Final during the 1986–87 season at Burnden Park, Bolton on Saturday 10 January 1987,[9] played left-centre, i.e. number 4, (replaced by interchange/substitute Andy Gregory on 51 minutes) and scored 2-conversions in the 12-6 victory over Widnes in the 1988–89 John Player Special Trophy Final during the 1988–89 season at Burnden Park, Bolton on Saturday 7 January 1989,[10] played fullback in the 24-12 victory over Halifax in the 1989–90 Regal Trophy Final during the 1988–89 season at Headingley Rugby Stadium, Leeds on Saturday 13 January 1990,[11] played as an interchange/substitute, i.e. number 14, (replacing Wing Martin Offiah on 59 min) in the 15-8 victory over Bradford Northern in the 1992–93 Regal Trophy Final during the 1992–93 season at Elland Road, Leeds on Saturday 23 January 1993,[12] and played fullback in the 2-33 defeat by Castleford in the 1993–94 Regal Trophy Final during the 1993–94 season at Headingley Rugby Stadium, Leeds on Saturday 22 January 1994.

After playingEdit

After retiring as a Wigan player, Lydon became the team manager of Wigan – a position he held until 1996. In 1997 Lydon was appointed the RFL's first-ever technical director, a post he held until resigning the post in 2000 when he was appointed manager of the England under-19 rugby union side. He was appointed England Sevens coach in October 2001.[13] In June 2004, he was appointed backs coach for the England rugby union team.[14] In May 2006, after being removed as England backs coach, Lydon turned down the opportunity to join the England RFU Academy.[15]

Joe Lydon also worked as an expert analyst for the BBC alongside former England and Great Britain dual-rugby international Ray French during the 1995 Rugby League World Cup which was held in England.

In July 2007 he began working with Waterloo Rugby Union Club as performance consultant. In August 2007 he was invited to the Rugby league Challenge Cup Final at Wembley Stadium as a guest of honour.[16]

On 24 October 2007, Lydon returned to the Wigan Warriors Club as part of the takeover by Ian Lenagan, and became Chief Executive of the Holding Company.

On 19 November 2008 Joe Lydon was appointed Welsh Rugby Union Head of Rugby Performance & Development.

On 24 May 2013, Joe Lydon was named RFU Head of International Player Development.

SuperstarsEdit

Joe Lydon participated in the televised all-around sports competition Superstars, finishing second in the 1985 Series.[17]

Player AwardsEdit

Only three players have won the Lance Todd Trophy, Harry Sunderland Trophy, and the Man of Steel Award, they are; George Nicholls, Joe Lydon, and Paul Wellens.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Statistics at rugbyleagueproject.org". rugbyleagueproject.org. 31 December 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  2. ^ "Coach Statistics at rugbyleagueproject.org". rugbyleagueproject.org. 31 December 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  3. ^ "Measuring Worth – Relative Value of UK Pounds". Measuring Worth. 31 December 2014. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  4. ^ 1987 World Club Challenge highlights
  5. ^ Fitzpatrick, Paul (13 May 1988). "Tour pair banned". The Guardian. London. p. 20 – via ProQuest.
  6. ^ "1986–1987 Lancashire Cup Final". wigan.rlfans.com. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
  7. ^ "1987–1988 Lancashire Cup Final". wigan.rlfans.com. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
  8. ^ a b "1988–1989 Lancashire Cup Final". wigan.rlfans.com. 31 December 2014. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  9. ^ "10th January 1987: Warrington 4 Wigan 18 (John Player Trophy Final)". wigan.rlfans.com. 31 December 2014. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  10. ^ "7th January 1989: Wigan 12 Widnes 6 (John Player Trophy Final)". wigan.rlfans.com. 31 December 2014. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  11. ^ "13th January 1990: Wigan 24 Halifax 12 (Regal Trophy Final)". wigan.rlfans.com. 31 December 2014. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  12. ^ "23rd January 1993: Bradford 8 Wigan 15 (Regal Trophy Final)". wigan.rlfans.com. 31 December 2014. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  13. ^ Rugby Football Union – Joe Lydon Interview Archived 8 November 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Ackford, Paul (6 June 2004). "Lydon warms to task of getting England backs up and running". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
  15. ^ "Lydon turns down academy position". BBC News. 26 May 2006. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
  16. ^ "Joe Lydon – Wembley". Quins. 24 August 2007. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 25 August 2007.
  17. ^ "Superstars roll of honour". BBC. 5 November 2004. Retrieved 1 January 2012.

External linksEdit

Achievements
Preceded by Rugby league transfer record
Widnes to Wigan

1986–1987
Succeeded by