The long and rich history of Featherstone Rovers Rugby League Football Club

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Trevor Clark

When Peter Fox came back to Featherstone in the summer of 1987, one of the first things he had to do was sort out the hooking role. He plumped for the familiar face of Keith Bell (#509) to help him through Rovers’ Division Two season in 1987/88. Back in the first division Fox made a move for a player he knew well from his time at Headingley. 

 Leeds hooker Trevor Clark (#656) was a Maori international player who had been a Headingley regular for four seasons. He came to Featherstone to form an effective front row combination with veteran Jeff Grayshon (#655) and another Kiwi, Glenn Bell (#660). What a buy Clark turned out to be. Always lively in the loose, his backing-up skills were vital in an expansive Rovers team. He put in a lot of work on defence with his tireless tackling. Quick service from the pay-the-ball was also a feature of Trevor’s game, as changes in the laws of rugby league started to make ruck speed ever more important. In many ways therefore, Clark was the prototype of the modern hooker where ball-winning skills from the scrum were becoming less and less important. There were now far fewer scrums, referees became more lenient of scrum offences and the possibility of ever actually winning “one against the head” virtually disappeared. These changes suited Clark’s ball-handling athleticism down to the ground, and his dashes from acting half-back led to numerous breaks.

Over four successful seasons Trevor was first choice hooker, and the efforts of rival hookers to wrest the number nine shirt from him proved in vain.  Mark Gibbon (#677) signed from Doncaster but failed to hold down a first team slot, but gave good service to the A team. Local youngster Lee Whiteley (#671) showed some promise but a serious leg injury impeded his progress. Some career highlights for Trevor included the 1989 Yorkshire Cup final, and in the same week playing (and scoring) against his fellow-countrymen the New Zealand tourists.

After racking up 125 games and scoring a very useful 30 tries, Clark’s Featherstone career came to an end. When Rovers were relegated in 1992 he left and linked up with Peter Fox at Bradford (the third different club where they had worked together). He was later joined at Odsal by Deryck Fox and Paul Newlove. Trevor is fondly remembered by Rovers fans as one of our most successful imports, and one of the first of the modern style hookers in the ever-changing game of rugby league.

After he finished playing he coached a number of clubs back in his native New Zealand.  Trevor’s son Mitch played prop forward for Doncaster in the 2015 season.

1 comment:

  1. Trevor was top class, and also played centre when needed. some great memories of Trevor.