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Title: ... p118 - Frank Foster Comments Memories by Kevin Blackwell, Hull

 He bumped into Frank, but couldn't remember the bumping into Frank


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Kevin Blackwell, Hull, England.




Frank Foster was a notorious enforcer, but there was another side to him you should know about. It puts into perspective what he was like, and it wasn't all bad. This was told to me about 15 years ago, but it's true. HULL KR (Rovers) had a big 2nd row called John Hickson who could run like a centre.

1967 Yorkshire Cup Final - Hull v Hull KR. As it happens it was memorable for me as well. I was coming up 15 and broke my arm trying to get in the ground, without paying, by falling off a fence. Anyways, Frank broke his thumb earlier that season and had to sit out until October. He was also club captain. John Moore was captain in Frank's absense, John Hickson in the 2nd row. Final day. In a close game Hull got on top and Cyril Sykes and John Edson were doleing out the biff. 7-3 I think at half time.

Frank came on as substitute in the 2nd half replacing John Hickson. He lined up for kick-off and asked Cyril Sykes and the Hull pack about all the nonsense in the 1st half and that it must stop. Cyril was an old warrior from the 50's and heeded the warning, but John Edson was more of a rookie and fancied it. Many years later, Edson told me he woke up in Leeds Royal Infirmary with the lights shining on him and having his jaw wired up. He bumped into Frank, but couldn't remember the bumping into Frank!!!

HULL KR won 8-7; John Moore deferred to Frank as captain, but Frank refused to go up as he wan't captain on the day, but he got the winners medal. Unfortunately, in those days, only 13 medals were awarded, so John Hickson missed out; he was feeling sorry for himself. The next morning John Hickson was in bed and he heard a knock on the door. His mother rushed upstairs and said "John, a man called Frank Foster's downstairs". John thought, shit what have I done wrong. He rushed downstairs. Frank said to him, "Marra (Cumbrian term for mate), you played in all the rounds leading up to the final, the medal belongs to you". Frank gave John the medal and walked away.

Frank's still revered in east Hull by people of my generation. Keith Pollard said he was the daddy of them old, he wasn't wrong. The roughest toughest player I've ever seen, but also a leader of men. He dished out plenty, but could cop it as well.

Appears in the following pages ....P118_Frank FOSTER
Date of posting ... 28-Jun-2005
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