A ROUTINE win over Keighley 51 years ago this week marked the start of an outstanding Leeds career
Strong-running second-rower Bill Ramsey was a £10,000 signing from neighbours Hunslet in December, 1967.
He had already played at Wembley in the classic 1965 Challenge Cup final against Wigan and been capped for Great Britain, but a fractured wrist in the final game of the 1966 Lions tour to Australia and New Zealand kept him out of action for the whole of the following season.
Unsettled at Hunslet when Leeds came in for him, he jumped at the chance to cross the city and made his debut in a 16-9 victory over Keighley at Headingley on December 8.
Ramsey’s signing came just two days after popular centre Dick Gemmell had left Leeds, who were struggling with a host of injuries, to join Hull.
A crowd of only 3,445 braved freezing conditions to see Ramsey make an encouraging contribution capped by the first of the Loiners’ four tries.
Ramsey’s introduction brought the best out of fellow second-rower Albert Eyre and centre Syd Hynes also had a fine game.
Keighley put up a strong fight, but Ray Batten, Hynes and Ken Eyre followed Ramsey over the whitewash and Barry Seabourne added two goals.
That was the first of Ramsey’s 197 appearances for Leeds, all but 10 of those in the starting side, which produced 39 tries and seven goals.
It was also a turning point in Leeds’ season. Their form up to then had been patchy, but the Loiners lost only three of their 28 games in all competitions after Ramsey was signed.
He went on to play in 10 finals during his six years at the club, winning the Yorkshire Cup four times, and the BBC Floodlit Trophy in 1970-71.
Highlights of his time at Leeds were the 1968 Watersplash Challenge Cup final win over Wakefield Trinity and the following season’s Championship decider against Castleford when his drop goal contributed to the Loiners winning the title for the second time.
Ramsey joined second division Bradford Northern in January, 1974 and later played for Hull before winning a Division One championship with Widnes in 1977-78.
ON THIS DAY
Colin Maskill scored a try and five goals as Leeds were comfortable 26-12 winners in a home Regal Trophy tie against Leigh on this day 29 years ago. Other try scorers were Craig Coleman, Craig Izzard and Vince Fawcett.
A run of three successive defeats was ended by a 34-10 home thrashing of Wigan 41 years ago today. David Treasure scored two tries, Neil Hague, Phil Cookson, Les Dyl and David Smith also crossed and Willie Oulton booted eight goals.
Leeds suffered an embarrassing 23-9 home loss to Leigh 63 years ago today. Drew Turnbull scored a try and Lewis Jones kicked three goals for Leeds who gave a debut to Colin Tomlinson following his signing from Bramley.
Leeds recorded a seventh successive victory when Wigan were beaten 9-5 at Central Park on this day in 1927. Dan Pascoe, Mal Rosser and Frank O’Rourke scored the Loiners’ tries.
Danny McGuire: Rhinos legend McGuire, now at Hull Kingston Rovers, turns 36 on Thursday.