Leeds Rhinos mourn Norman Francis: Winger also played for Hunslet, Oldham and Bramley

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Leeds Rhinos are mourning the death of ‘Friday night hero’ Norman Francis, a fast and powerful winger who had five seasons with the club in the 1980s.

Francis also played for Leeds’ other professional sides, Hunslet and Bramley and had a one-season spell with Oldham.

Having featured once for Hunslet during the 1982-83 season, Francis made the first of his 44 senior appearances for Leeds - which produced 11 tries - in a Yorkshire Cup second round tie at Dewsbury on September 25, 1985, touching down in a 48-2 victory.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

His first try at the top level came the following month in a 26-14 win at Swinton.

Norman Francis. Picture by Leeds Rhinos.Norman Francis. Picture by Leeds Rhinos.
Norman Francis. Picture by Leeds Rhinos.

Despite scoring five tries in 15 games that season, Francis spent the majority of his Leeds career in the ‘A’ team, at a time when the reserves played home fixtures on Friday evenings at Headingley.

Though he never established himself as first-choice in the senior side, his habit of scoring spectacular long-range tries made him a huge favourite with fans of Leeds’ second string.

Francis moved to Oldham for the 1990-91 campaign , when he touched down four times in 16 matches, but returned to the city of Leeds the following season, joining Bramley.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

His first season there saw Bramley secure promotion after finishing second in Division Three, behind Huddersfield.

Francis was a key member of that successful side, scoring 15 tries in 25 games.

In total, he played 81 times for the Villagers, touching down 38 times, before hanging up his boots in 1996.