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Sam Morton

Sam Morton began his involvement in Rugby League 57 years ago when he first started playing for his school, aged ten years old. Then, whilst still in his teens, Sam joined the newly formed, but short lived, West town Boys club which became part of Dewsbury Celtic in 1958. This saw Sam begin a long relationship the famous amateur club; first as player in the 1950s and 1960s, before taking on the secretary role in 1967, as the club fell on hard times. Over the next decade Sam acted as manager of the Club, whilst also undertaking various coaching duties, as Celtic’s fortunes were restored. Many successes were enjoyed during this period, with the highlights coming in the form of two Yorkshire Cup triumphs, in 1974 and 1977, and qualification to face Wigan in the first round proper of the Challenge Cup in 1978. Sam had also become involved with the newly formed British Amateur Rugby League Association (BARLA) in the 1970s. After being asked to coach the Dewsbury and Batley area team and gaining success, Sam found himself as coach to the BARLA Yorkshire team, in the County Championship. After more success, he was then asked to go on the first BARLA tour in 1978, coaching the amateur Great Britain side against Papua New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand. He was the first BARLA employee who was a graded coach. Still involved in the game and now working in the Heritage Centre at the George Hotel, the birthplace of Rugby League, Sam gives a fascinating insight, into his memories of the sport and the way it has affected his life.

Hear Sam Morton on:

  • Dewsbury and the first Challenge Cup final at Wembley
  • The 1977 BARLA southern hemisphere tour
  • West Town Boys and Frank Whitcombe