WORLD-OBITS-L ArchivesArchiver > WORLD-OBITS > 2008-09 > 1220305547
From: "Peter McCrae" <>
Subject: [W-OBITS] FOX: Don Fox 2008
Date: Mon, 1 Sep 2008 22:45:47 +0100
Rugby League prop forward whose miskick cost his side a Challenge Cup final
Last Updated: 10:43PM BST 21 Aug 2008
Don Fox, who died yesterday aged 72, was one of three brothers from a famous
Rugby League family and is immortalised in the history of the sport as the
man who missed a simple goal kick to cost his club a cup final victory at
Wembley in 1968.
Fox was playing at prop forward for Wakefield Trinity in the Challenge Cup
final against Leeds. His side was trailing 11-7 in torrential rain when Ken
Hirst scored a try in the dying moments of the match. Tries were then worth
three points, and the trophy would have gone to Wakefield for the fourth
time in nine years had Fox been able to kick the straightforward two-point
conversion from in front of the posts.
In the event, British sport was assured of one of its most enduring images
as Fox slipped in front of the 87,000 spectators, sending his kick wide. The
BBC Television commentator Eddie Waring exclaimed: "He's missed it... the
poor lad!", as the final whistle was blown and a distraught Fox sank to his
knees on the sodden Wembley turf, holding his head in his hands.
Fox's first thought afterwards was that he had "lost the gold medal for my
mates", despite the fact that earlier in the match he had kicked two goals
in an outstanding individual performance. Ironically, by the time he took
his fateful kick he had already been named as the winner of the Lance Todd
Trophy for "man of the match".
In the players' tunnel after the game, Fox was asked by the BBC's David
Coleman whether the Lance Todd Trophy was any consolation. "No, not really,"
he replied disconsolately.
It is said that, on the day after the match, Eddie Waring accompanied Fox to
the Featherstone Rovers' ground, where the Wakefield player proceeded to
kick several goals wearing a pair of carpet slippers.
Donald Fox was born on October 15 1935, the middle of three brothers. He was
brought up at Sharston, West Yorkshire, and educated at the local school,
which he left aged 15 to work as a joiner at Sharston Colliery. He remained
there for 35 years, retiring when the pit closed. In those days, although
Rugby League players were paid for their services, the sport was a part-time
occupation, and the players invariably had other jobs.
Fox initially played for Featherstone Rovers, scoring a club record of 162
tries before being signed by Wakefield for 3,500 on the recommendation of
his younger brother Neil.
Both his brothers also became famous names in Rugby League. The elder,
Peter, played for Featherstone and Bradford and later became Great Britain's
coach; while Neil - who won 29 caps for Great Britain - holds the world
record for the most points scored (6,220) during his career with Wakefield,
York, Bramley, Huddersfield and Bradford. At the time of the final in 1968,
Neil was the regular Wakefield goalkicker, but missed the match through
Fox finally retired from Rugby League in 1971. During his career he had made
more than 500 appearances and scored 1,755 points. He had also represented
Yorkshire. After retiring he had a brief spell as coach at Batley, but gave
it up because, in Neil's words, "coaching was not for him".
He was capped once for Great Britain, appearing in a match against Australia
at Headingley in 1963 in which he scored a try and kicked two goals, helping
his side to victory by 16 points to five.
Don Fox is survived by his wife, Mary, and their son.
|[W-OBITS] FOX: Don Fox 2008 by "Peter McCrae" <>|