A tribute to a true Trinity legend

Harold Poynton.
Harold Poynton.

A true Trinity legend is being mourned this week after he died at the age of 82.

Harold Poynton, who was the only Wakefield captain to lead the club to the league championship, died on Monday after a short illness.

Harold Poynton, the only captain of Wakefield Trinity to be presented with the Northern Rugby League Championship trophy (1966/7 and 1967/8) (Pic from J C Lindley's Years of Rugby)

Harold Poynton, the only captain of Wakefield Trinity to be presented with the Northern Rugby League Championship trophy (1966/7 and 1967/8) (Pic from J C Lindley's Years of Rugby)

As a brilliant stand-off half, he was at the heart of the 1960s’ team which is the most successful in the club’s history.

Teammate, friend and perhaps Rugby League’s greatest ever player, Neil Fox, paid tribute this week.

He said: “Harold was marvellous as a player, he was here, there and everywhere.

“With a ball he was like a magician, he had it one minute and it was gone the next.

Harold with other Trinity greats Ian Brooke, Geoff Oakes and Ken Rollin.

Harold with other Trinity greats Ian Brooke, Geoff Oakes and Ken Rollin.

“Although he was only small, he was a hard player, he would go into much bigger forwards and knock them back.

“He was a bit unreliable when it came to getting to training on time but when he was there, he never wanted to leave the field!

“I kept in touch with him ever since, he was a nice bloke and a great leader.”

His son David added: “He was very funny and had a great sense of humour and will be missed massively. Not only was he known through rugby but he was popular because of the newsagents he had for over 30 years in Kettlethorpe.”

Harold Poynton

Harold Poynton

From Lupset, his debut for Trinity was in 1958 after spending time in the Army and playing local football.

He was a key member of the Trinity team in 1961-62 which picked up the Yorkshire Cup, Yorkshire League Championship and the Challenge Cup at Wembley.

His form earned up a call up to the Great Britain Lions squad, playing three times in Australia.

In 1963 Harold again helped Trinity to the Challenge Cup, picking up the Lance Todd Trophy for his man-of-the-match performance against favourites, Wigan.

Championship trophies followed in 1967 and 1968, as well as a runners-up medal in the famous 1968 ‘Watersplash’ final of the Challenge Cup.

He stepped down in 1970 having played 319 games for Trinity.

He was one of the first players inducted into Trinity’s Hall of Fame in 2014.

In later life he was diagnosed with dementia and up until this season had been a regular at Belle Vue to cheer on his beloved club.

Former Wakefield MP, and rugby league fanatic David Hinchliffe said of Harold this week: “He was up among the very best and a great local lad who was very proud of being from Wakefield.”

Harold’s funeral is set to be held at Wakefield Cathedral on Thursday, June 21 at 11.30am.