Jim Brough retires from rugby (once a Liverpool goalkeeper)


August 3, 1938
The retirement from football of Jim Brough, the famous international full-back of the Leeds Rugby League Club, was announced yesterday.

Brough, who is 34 years of age, now has a business post in Johannesburg, South Africa, at a milk cartoon factory of John Waddington, Limited, the Leeds and London printing firm. The calls of his business career are the reason for his retirement from the game.

Despite his advanced football age Brough was playing like a much younger man as recently as last Spring, so splendidly had he maintained his physical condition. He has played for his native country. Cumberland, and his country at both Rugby Union and Rugby League football, and since he turned over to the Rugby League in the Summer of 1925 he has gained practically every honour that game can offer.

A Wonderful Record.
He captained the British side in Australia on the 1936 tour, but injury prevented him from playing in more than one test match there. All told he played three times in Tests for England, all in Australia, the previous two occasions being on the 1928 tour.

Being contemporary with Sullivan, the great Wigan full-back, he was unlucky in not gaining more international honours. But while he regularly outplayed or equalled Sullivan in club and other football he was never the Welshman’s equal as a goal-kicker.

Brough played for the Cumberland R.L. side dozens of times, and frequently captained them, twice in championship years. He captained Leeds when they won the Cup in 1936 by beating Warrington at Wembley, and with Leeds, his only club in R.L. football, he has also gained Yorkshire Cup, Yorkshire League and League championship runners-up honours.

Always a sure and often an acrobatic fielder of the ball at all angles, he was one of the most powerful kickers the R.L. game has ever known, and probably the most powerful with the left foot, his natural foot. He was a safe and fearless tackler, and his positioning was most shrewd. These virtues alone would have made him an outstanding player, but above all he will be remembered for his attacking play.

He was 5ft. 10in. in height, 12st 10lb. in weight, and fast – he had been a professional sprinter in his early days – so that he was a punishing runner. He had a fine side step, too, and the way he used to go through the heart of a crowding defence, or outflank it, made him a constant menace, whether Leeds were attacking or defending, to the opposition. He turned many a game in Leeds’s favour, or won it himself, with his daring and stout-hearted dashes. It is not an exaggeration to declare that he has left a permanent addition to the full back tactics of the R.L. code.

Rapid Rise To The Top.
His rise to top flight football was very quick. He first played Rugby Union football for Cumberland in 1923-24, a season in which Cumberland won the national county championship.

Against Leicestershire in the semi-final at Carlisle, Brough turned the game with a dropped goal from the centre of the half-way line. This was the prelude and cause of a Cumberland rally to victory.

The next season he played for England R.U. against the All Blacks an Wales, and in the summer of 1925 he joined Leeds. Before that he had been persuaded to sign an amateur form for the Liverpool Association Football Club, one of its directors having an idea that Brough with his faultless catching an big kicking, would make a goalkeeper. Nothing more accrued from this move, however.

Brough has given a number of football lectures, some of them illustrated with his own cine camera films, and addresses on his experiences. A first class golfer he has been champion of Cumberland and Westmorland, and played for the joint county side on several occasions. He was a member of Horsforth Golf Club, near Leeds, and has won many prizes in Yorkshire golf.

A teetotaller and a non-smoker he married a Silloth girl, and has two young children, a boy and a girl. His departure from R.L. football will be universally regretted, for he was popular with both players and spectators, and his standard of sportsmanship was always high.
(Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer: August 4, 1938)

Jim Brough 1938 Jim Brough gen

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