TRIBUTE TO TOM DANBY

Salford Red Devils are saddened to learn of the passing of their former international winger, Tom Danby, on the 26th December 2022.

A native of Durham, Tom had risen to become a rugby union international, whilst playing for Harlequins, in January 1949, when he represented England against Wales, at Cardiff Arms Park.  Although England lost 9-3, he had so impressed that he was recruited by Salford and signed for them six months later, in June of that year.  He then made his debut against Liverpool Stanley, on 24th August, at The Willows.

He was an immediate success in rugby league and in the following March was selected for the England team to face Wales, at Central Park, Wigan, and then followed this up with his being included in the 1950 Great Britain touring squad to Australia and New Zealand, during which he notched up a remarkable total of 34 tries in 18 matches.  He, consequently, was then selected to play in the second test, at Brisbane, which he celebrated by scoring an exceptional, individual, opening try, which contributed to his continued presence in the third and final test, in Sydney, and then in the second of two test matches against New Zealand, in Aukland.

On his return home, he played for the Great Britain Touring Side against ‘The Rest’, in the Lord Derby Memorial Match, at Wigan, in October 1950.  Although this was to be his final game for Great Britain, he, nevertheless, went on to represent England twice in late 1950, against Wales in Abertillery, and France at Headingley, LeedsWor.

In the 1951/2 season, he was Salford’s top try scorer, with a total of 17, and later that year played for them against the New Zealand touring side.  In his five years with the club he made 174 appearances, scoring 61 tries and kicking 2 goals, for a total of 187 points.

In 1954, he requested to be placed on the transfer list, before making his final appearance in a red jersey, at Derwent Park, Workington, on 3rd April.  An anticipated move to Workington Town sadly fell through, and he retired from the sport to move south and take up a teaching post in Sussex.

Our thoughts and condolences go out to his family at this sad time.

Acknowledgement: Graham Morris, Club Historian and Author of ‘100 Greats Salford Rugby League Club’

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