Trio inducted into Barrow RL Hall of Fame
Last updated at 11:01, Saturday, 07 July 2012
TONIGHT sees a trio of Barrow RL heroes inducted into the club’s Hall of fame. PADDY McATEER and PETER WILSON profile the chosen men
FROM the Orkney Islands to Wembley Stadium – all in the name of Barrow Rugby League.
That was the journey of Lancelot Alexander Troop, who will be installed into the Raiders Hall of Fame at Craven Park tonight.
The Scotsman led Barrow to their first Challenge Cup final appearance – a 7-4 defeat at the hands of Gus Risman’s Salford in 1938.
There was better Wembley fortune for another of tonight’s recruits, St Helens-born Jack Grundy, who lifted the Lance Todd Trophy in Barrow’s win over Workington in 1955.
Completing the impressive trio of names joining the likes of Willie Horne, Jimmy Lewthwaite, Frank Castle, and other giants of the club’s history, will be local boy made good John Cunningham, who spent five years at Craven Park before joining Australian club Balmain and then moving to Hull KR and Workington.
All three will be inducted into the Hall of Fame at a ceremony in the Raiders Bar tonight (starting at 7pm).
LANCELOT ALEXANDER (ALEC) TROUP
SCOTSMAN Alec Troup had the honour of leading the first Barrow team out at Wembley in 1938.
But his big day was to end in the disappointment of a 7-4 defeat at the hands of Salford.
And unfortunately for the skipper, who was carrying a leg injury, he failed to gather a kick ahead that led to Albert Gear snatching victory from Barrow in the final minute, with the game’s only try.
Alec Troup was born in the Orkney Isles in 1909 and signed for Barrow from West Cumbrian amateur side Maryport at the age of 18.
He had a distinguished career spanning from 1927 to 1946, playing in 401 first-team games for the club, scoring 54 tries and kicking 92 goals for a tally of 346 points.
He made his debut in the second row at home in a 22-5 win over York at Little Park, Roose, in April 1927, ending it in 1946 at Dewsbury.
In between, he represented Cumberland on 18 occasions (scoring three tries) England three times, a Rugby League XIII three times and also played twice for Great Britain in New Zealand in 1936.
He was a member of the Cumberland championship teams in 1932, 33 and 34, scoring a try in the 17-16 win over the Kangaroos at Whitehaven in 1933.
On the 1936 tour, he played 15 times, scoring four tries before returning for the 37/38 season that saw Barrow reach the Lancashire and RL Cup finals.
Troup had a massive testimonial game against the great Wigan side, when 10,247 spectators saw Barrow win 16-7 on March 6, 1937.
Tonight his name will go on to another honours board when he joins team-mates Charlie Carr and Bill Burgess Snr in Barrow’s Hall of Fame.
LOCAL product John Cunningham burst on to the scene as an 18-year-old product of amateur rugby, though to class him as a local hardly does him justice – he lived a 30-second walk from the Craven Park gates!
After a trial with Salford A, he signed for Barrow in 1970 and in November this 18-year-old made his first team debut against the New Zealand tourists, scoring a try in the narrow14-10 defeat at the hands of the Kiwis.
From that day on, he was an almost permanent fixture in the team and by 1974 his performances were attracting the attention of big-name clubs further afield.
He made his England debut in a fiercely-fought 11-9 win over France in Perpignan in January 1975 and a month or so later, he again played in the second row when England beat France 12-8 at Salford.
Although missing out on a place in the 1975 World Cup party, he decided to spend time Down Under where he was snapped up by Balmain Tigers, the club who in later years signed Ellery Hanley and Garry Schofield.
His return to England brought something of a shock – Barrow had sold their star product to Hull Kingston Rovers for £6,000.
But his time on Humberside, which included a Floodlit Trophy win, was largely hampered by injury and he returned to Cumbria in 1980, signing for Workington for a then massive £18,000.
After two seasons at Derwent Park, he emigrated to Australia, where he played alongside another Barrovian, Dane Carter, for junior club Cooma before his eventual return to Barrow, finishing his career as player/coach of Corporation Combine.
One of the finest forwards ever produced locally, John Cunningham would have undoubtedly gone on to bigger and better things if he had not been hampered by serious knee injuries in his mid-20s.
IN an age when Barrow’s back line was the envy of every club in the game, Jack Grundy represents the finest £1,000 the club ever spent.
In a Craven Park career spanning almost 11 years, the St Helens-born second row forward had a remarkable record. His total of 112 tries is good enough to still rank him in the top-10 scorers – ahead of many high quality three-quarters – and no other Barrow forward has come remotely close.
The highlight of his career, which began as an amateur with the United Glass Blowers, was his Lance Todd Trophy win at Wembley in 1955, and it was no coincidence that his arrival sparked the start of the greatest decade in the club’s history.
In 1954 Barrow won the Lancashire Cup, beating Oldham and then on to Wembley and the win over Workington a few months later.
Grundy was also a part of the Cup Final teams of 1951 and 1957, in a 374-game career at the club.
County and international honours were also a major part of his CV. He played 11 times for Lancashire, 13 times for Great Britain and, in 1957, went to Australia with the Great Britain World Cup squad.
He retired in 1960 to become player/coach at Roose, whom he led to the first round of the Challenge Cup in 1963.
He will be remembered by Barrow fans of the fifties as a tough, strong-tackling and hard-running second row forward.
Not bad for a player who cost only £1,000 from St Helens – who clearly did not know what they would be missing.
l With thanks to Keith Nutter, Steve Andrews and Dave Huitson and their book Keeping The Dream Alive.
First published at 10:42, Saturday, 07 July 2012
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
john cunningham would have been one of the all time greats but for the terrible injury he had the best hands of all time even better than the great brian lockwood
What about Pat Trainor, he was my favrite barrow player. he was a good tacklor and worked hard.
also his air cut was legendurry.
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