Leeds Rhinos Nostalgia: Legend Hynes hangs up his boots after a glittering playing career

Syd Hynes.
Syd Hynes.
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THE PLAYING career of one of Leeds’ all-time greats ended 42 years ago tomorrow.

Syd Hynes’ 366th and final game for the Loiners was a Players No 6 Trophy third round tie at home to Castleford on November 20, 1976.

Born in Hunslet, Hynes, who now lives in Australia, attended Bewerley Street School where Hunslet secretary – and later Leeds Rhinos president – Harry Jepson was a teacher.

He had a spell with Hunslet’s juniors, played union for a while and then featured in four Leeds ‘A’ team games as a trialist, earning a professional contract, aged 21, in October, 1964. Initially signed as a scrum-half, Hynes became one of Leeds’ finest centres.

As a player he won every available honour, including the Challenge Cup in 1968 and Championship the following year. Capped 13 times for Great Britain, he scored a try in the Lions’ 21-17 win over Australia at Sydney Cricket Ground in July, 1970.

That clinched a 2-1 series win and secured the Ashes – an achievement Great Britain have not repeated since.

In October, 1976, Hynes collected his sixth Yorkshire Cup medal when Leeds retained the trophy with a 16-12 win over Featherstone Rovers at Headingley. By that stage he had become the club’s first player-coach, having taken over from Roy Francis the previous year.

The knockout defeat to Castleford was the sides’ fourth meeting in the opening four months of the season and came 11 days after Leeds had been beaten 17-2 by the same opponents in the Floodlit Trophy.

Castleford led 15-3 at the interval through tries by Bruce Burton, Phil Johnson and Gary Stephens, plus three Sammy Lloyd goals. Burton’s second touchdown – after a hat-trick in the previous meeting – sealed Cas’ place in the next round despite a dramatic Leeds fightback.

Alan Smith, Hynes with his 158th touchdown for Leeds, David Smith and Phil Cookson all crossed for the hosts, but Kevin Dick managed just one goal. Hynes was injured during the game and hung up his boots to concentrate on his coaching career. He masterminded Challenge Cup final wins at Wembley that year and in 1978 as well as the 1979 Premiership triumph and two more Yorkshire Cup victories before resigning in 1981.


Leeds 14 (Tries: A Smith, Hynes, D Smith, Cookson. Goal: Dick)

Castleford 20 (Tries: Burton 2, Johnson, Stephens. Goals: Lloyd 4)

November 20, 1976. Players No 6 Trophy third round.

Leeds: Holmes, A Smith, Hynes, Dyl, D Smith, Hague, Dick, Harrison, Ward, Pitchford, Eccles, White, Cookson. Sub: C Burton.

Castleford: Wraith, Fenton, Joyner, Johnson, Walsh, B Burton, Stephens, Kahn, Spurr, Dickinson, Orr, Reilly, Lloyd. Subs: Pickerill, Huddlestone.

Referee: H Hunt.

Attendance: 6,325.




Leeds overpowered Widnes 26-12 at Headingley 29 years ago today in a ferocious game which saw the visitors’ Paul Moriarty sent-off and three players sin-binned. Leeds’ try scorers were Dave Heron (2), Garry Schofield, Gary Lord and Craig Izzard and Colin Maskill kicked three goals.


John Holmes, pictured above, scored 11 of Leeds’ points in a 17-5 home win over Widnes on this day in 1971. He ran in a try, three goals and a drop goal and John Atkinson and Alan Hardisty also touched down for the hosts.


Doncaster were crushed 33-0 at Headingley 49 years ago today when Alan Smith scored a brace of tries. Other try scorers were John Atkinson, Ray Batten, Barry Seabourne, Graham Eccles and Phil Cookson. John Holmes (5) and Bev Risman added goals.


Now defunct Belle Vue Rangers were Leeds’ hosts on this day in 1949. The Loiners won 15-10 thanks to tries by I Proctor, Arthur Clues and Dicky Williams and three goals from Bert Cook.


Paul McShane: The former Leeds hooker now at Castleford Tigers, is celebrating his 29th birthday today.