Leeds mourn death of one of RL’s ‘great characters’

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ONE OF rugby league’s “great characters” Terry Clawson –whose clubs included Leeds, Featherstone Rovers and Wakefield Trinity – has died, aged 73.

And Leeds are mourning former coach and manager Joe Warham, following his death at 93.

At Leeds, Clawson is best known for two finals just seven days apart in 1972. The front-rower blamed himself for the 16-13 loss to St Helens in the Challenge Cup final at Wembley, after missing three straight-forward shots at goal –despite landing five successful kicks. The following weekend he was voted the Harry Sunderland man of the match in the Championship decider against the same opposition at Station Road, Swinton, when he kicked three crucial goals, including two from the touchline, in Leeds’ 9-5 win.

Leeds Rhinos chief executive Gary Hetherington was a team-mate of Clawson at York in the 1970s.

“He was one of the game’s great characters, Hetherington said. “He played until he was 40, he played in the 1950s and 60s and finished at the end of the 70s.

“He was a terrific player and a great personality. He was one of the original full-time professionals, who made a living from rugby league.”

Born in Normanton, Clawson overcame childhood tuberculosis and turned professional with Featherstone Rovers in 1957.

As well as Leeds, his 640-game career also saw him turn out for Bradford Northern, Hull KR, Oldham, York, Featherstone again, Wakefield Trinity, Huddersfield and Hull.

Clawson’s final match for Featherstone – where he was player-coach in his second spell – came 20 years and 11 months after his debut, a record span between first and final games for the club. He made 14 Test appearances and was a member of Great Britain’s World Cup-winning side in 1972.

Warham played for Oldham and Swinton and was a coach at Rochdale before moving to Leeds in August, 1958.

He was team manager for the 1961 Championship final triumph and coach when Leeds won their second title eight years later.