ONE OF the great full-backs of the 1960s and 70s, Geoff Wraith, has died, aged 72.
Wraith was born in Leeds, but played more than 200 games for both Wakefield Trinity – where he also had a short spell as coach – and Castleford. He made his Trinity debut against Castleford at Belle Vue in 1964, but was understudy to Don Metcalfe and Gary Cooper, who died last week, until finally establishing himself as first-choice full-back in 1969-70.
After 227 games and 46 tries for Wakefield, Wraith moved to Australia in 1974 to play for Brisbane club Northern Suburbs Devils, where he was a team-mate of future Trinity coach Shane McNally.
Wraith returned to England in 1975, making the first of his 216 appearances for Castleford in a BBC Floodlit Trophy defeat by Leeds at Headingley. Having been a Player’s No 6 and Yorkshire Cup runner-up with Trinity, he gained winner’s medals for Castleford in the Player’s, BBC Floodlit and Yorkshire Cup competitions.
He scored 42 tries and played his final game in March, 1983.
After joining the coaching staff at Wheldon Road, Wraith, whose only representative appearances were for Yorkshire, was tempted back to Trinity as team boss for the 1984-85 season.
His spell in charge at Belle Vue lasted just 10 games, two of them as player-coach at the age of 38.