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International Football

Mick Sullivan enjoyed a glittering international career which lasted almost a decade. He made a record 46 full appearances for Great Britain, scoring 41 tries, and was the only British player to appear in each of the first  three Rugby League World Cup tournaments.

He first represented his country as part of the Great Britain squad in the inaugural Ruby League World Cup, which took place in France in 1954. Despite missing a number of leading players Great Britain surprised everyone by winning the tournament. Although just 20 years old at the time Mick appeared in all the four games his side played. Despite his inexperience was even selected out of position at centre against both Australia and New Zealand, but was back on the wing for the 16-12 victory over host nation France in the final.

Great Britain’s bid to retain the World crown in the next tournament, which was held Australia in 1957, proved unsuccessful. Now a regular on the international scene, Mick managed to score two tries in the opening fixture as France were beaten 23-5. But that was the best it was to be for the Great Britain team as they were drubbed 31-6 by the eventual winners Australia, and then 29-21 in a closer game against the Kiwis.

The 1960 World Cup was hosted by Great Britain for the first time. Once again Mick played in all his sides’ matches, scoring against both France and Australia as the hosts regained the world title. With the tournament decided by a points system, no official final was scheduled. As fate had it, however, the destination of the trophy was decided in the last match, as Great Britain and Australian both remained unbeaten when they met at Odsal. Mick and wing partner Billy Boston scored the two tries that earned their side a 10-3 victory. But after receiving a heavy knock, Mick suffered from concussion for most of the match and remembers nothing of his 30 yard dash to the try line!