Era of the Biff - your stories about Rugby League Legends

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Douglas Clark Duggie Clark, Rugby League Hall of Famer - Statue


Thank you to Darryl Brown, a St Albans Centurions & Workington Town fan
taking the time to contact Quigs at Team Era with the story of the commissioning of the Statue to Honour Douglas 'Duggie' Clark.

This is what Darryl wrote......

Quiggs, just to let you know that a statue is being commissioned of Douglas Clark, an early RL 'Great'. Hope you can use it on your Statues and Grandstand site.

Here's the story from the local West Cumberland newspaper. I've also put it (and a photo) on the TotalRL website:-

 



Duggie Clark, Maryport's rugby legend, will soon get the recognition he deserves.

Work is starting on a statue of Douglas Clark, the international rugby player and world champion wrestler, and should be ready early in the new year.

The statue has become possible thanks to a £2,000 donation from his niece, Joyce Dempsey, to top of the £210,000 raised by donations from clubs, relatives and friends of this local hero, means that the work can proceed.

Artist Fliss Watts has been commissioned to create the statue, which will eventually be displayed in the new Maryport visitor centre which is due to be built within the next couple of years.

Duggie, as he was known locally, has already been inducted into the Rugby League Hall of Fame, one of only 17 to be inducted after a ceremony at the George Hotel, Huddersfield, where the rugby league was founded in 1896.

He was born in Ellenborough, Maryport, in 1891. He played more than 500 games in nearly 20 seasons for Huddersfield. He built a reputation as one of the game’s best loose-forwards, winning 11 Test caps, eight for England and 31 for his county.

From 1909, when he made his debut at the age of 18, his path was strewn with honours. He won three Northern Union Challenge Cup final medals, played in 10 Yorkshire Challenge Cup Finals and five Northern League Championship finals. He turned out for Cumberland 31 times and, towards the end of his career, was appointed captain.

The most memorable of his tests against Australia was in Sydney in 1914, which went down in history as the Rorke's Drift test. The England team was reduced to nine men in the second half but managed to defeat the mighty Australians.

He was one of the casualties of that epic struggle, playing on with a broken thumb and dislocated collarbone, and he cried tears of frustration as he was forcibly led from the field.

His extraordinary career as a sportsman was at its height when World War One broke out and, having excelled all his life in sport, he did the same serving on the front line in France in 1917. While collecting wounded comrades at Ypres, he was badly injured when a German shell exploded and he suffered 18 shrapnel wounds. After the war he was awarded the Military Medal for his valour during combat.

He went on to wrestling, becoming heavyweight champion of the world, winning the army wrestling belt outright and touring Australia in the 1930s.

He married Maryport girl Jennie Gate in 1922.

He died in 1951, aged 59, and is buried in Maryport cemetery.

Quigs here - thank you again Darryl for sending the great story of a great man...





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