Salford Red Devils were most saddened to learn of the passing, recently, of former hooker, Dean Raistrick. Dean joined Salford in 1975, and on arrival became an integral part of the famous team of the late sixties and the seventies.

Indeed, his signing was extremely crucial to the club at that time, because they had found themselves without a hooker, with a number of players from their squad having endeavoured to undertake the role.

Dean’s arrival, however, not only enabled him to fill the gap, he also turned around the fortunes of the Reds that season to the extent that they went on to win the First Division Championship, for the 1975/6 season, two years after having won it for the first time, post-war.

Dean had forged his reputation, whilst playing for Keighley, for whom he had made ninety-nine appearances, and where he had twice gained representative honours for Yorkshire, as a result of his ability to win the ball from the scrum.

His transfer to Salford was initially on a month’s loan deal between the clubs, but such was his talent that he immediately brought a stability to the team, beginning with his debut away at Bradford on 7th December 1975, so much so that the move became permanent.

During his time at The Willows, he not only won a Championship medal, he was also in the team which played against St Helens in the 1976 Premiership semi-final, at Station Rd Swinton, although on this occasion it was the Saints who progressed to the final, having run out victors by 15 point to 2.

Sadly, difficulties with the travelling from his home in Bradford, two or three times a week, gradually proved too much for him and on 11th March 1977, he played his final game for the Reds, in a home fixture against Featherstone Rovers, after having made thirty-six appearances, and then joining Bradford Northern in the August of that year.

The culmination of his time at Odsal came with a winning appearance in the Premiership Final over Widnes in May, 1978, before transferring to Halifax, that August, where he developed a talent for kicking drop-goals, twice scoring hat-tricks, and registering a total of fourteen in his twenty-eight appearances.

On 3rd February 1980, he returned to where it had all begun, back in 1972, with a second spell at Keighley, with whom he completed his playing career, in a home match against Carlisle, on 9th September 1984, having played in eighty-one matches, alongside two others as substitute.  During this time his unabated talent for kicking drop-goals saw a total of twenty-four successful attempts, whilst he also registered two tries.

Our thoughts and condolences go out to his family at this sad time.  His funeral will take place at 2pm on Friday 28th July, at Scholemoor Cemetery, Bradford.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Graham Morris, Club Historian; Paul Whiteside, Photograph.

Martin Gleeson – "It's going to be a special night"

Salford Red Devils Assistant Coach Martin Gleeson, speaking to Rugby AM, feels his testimonial Lancashire vs Yorkshire match is going to be a ‘special night’.
Gleeson said: “Lancashire vs Yorkshire, I was lucky enough to play back in 2002 which Lancashire won, by the way.
“It’s going to be a special night everyone is doing work behind the scenes getting ready for this game it’s not going to be a game of touch and pass put it that way.
“There’s some big names lining up for both teams with bags of international experience and bags of Super League winner rings, Lance Todd’s – you name it.
“The teams are going to be littered with stars from the past who you probably won’t get to see again. It’s going to be a great occasion.
“We’ve got Sam Tomkins who is going to be coaching the Lancashire team he’s going to put us through a few drills and head that side of things up for us.”
Both sides have been calling each other out on social media with Lancashire’s Paul Wood and Yorkshire’s Wayne Godwin at the centre of the sledging.
Gleeson said: “There’s a lot of banter going around on social media namely from Wagga [Wayne Godwin] who I think out of all the accolades that people have won who are going to be playing that night I don’t think Wagga’s won anything – not one trophy.
“I think this match gives him his opportunity to win his first trophy I think so I think the pressure will get to him when he gets out there and he realises what’s at stake.
“We’ve got Mozza [Adrian Morley] and Barrie Mac [Barrie McDermott] who’ve been watching those videos and the calling out that Wagga’s been doing they’ll probably keep quiet on social media and leave it until the Wednesday night on the 30th.”

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