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Lance Todd

Lance Todd

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Lancelot Beaumont "Lance" Todd (1874–1942) was a New Zealand-born rugby league
Rugby league
Rugby league football, usually called rugby league, is a full contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular grass field. One of the two codes of rugby football, it originated in England in 1895 by a split from Rugby Football Union over paying players...

 footballer and manager of the early 20th century. As a player he represented his country in 1907 and 1908 and played in England for the Wigan and Dewsbury clubs. He later became the manager at Salford and led the club to three League Championships and one Challenge Cup
Challenge Cup
The Challenge Cup is a knockout cup competition for rugby league clubs organised by the Rugby Football League. Originally it was contested only by British teams but in recent years has been expanded to allow teams from France and Russia to take part....

 victory.

Rugby in New Zealand


Originally from Otahuhu
Otahuhu
Otahuhu is a suburb of Auckland. It is located to the southeast of the city centre, on a narrow isthmus between an arm of the Manukau Harbour to the west and the Tamaki River estuary to the east...

 where he played rugby union
Rugby union
Rugby union, often simply referred to as rugby, is a full contact team sport which originated in England in the early 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand...

, Todd later joined the Parnell club and from here made the Auckland
Auckland representative rugby union team
The Auckland representative rugby union team is the top representative rugby union team under the Auckland Rugby Football Union in New Zealand. It competes in the ITM Cup, renamed from the Air New Zealand Cup in 2010....

 side. He did not make the All Blacks
All Blacks
The New Zealand men's national rugby union team, known as the All Blacks, represent New Zealand in what is regarded as its national sport....

 but this was due to the tremendous talent in front of him and he was still regarded as being a special player in the Auckland scene. He was selected for the North Island in 1907 but did not play due to, along with eleven other players, refusing to sign a declaration that they would remain amateur players.

He was picked for the professional All Blacks 1907-1908 rugby tour of Great Britain and Australia and subsequently, like all members of the tour, received a life ban from the New Zealand Rugby Union. Todd had been involved in organising the tour and served on the Management Committee. During the tour he excelled at the game of rugby league
Rugby league
Rugby league football, usually called rugby league, is a full contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular grass field. One of the two codes of rugby football, it originated in England in 1895 by a split from Rugby Football Union over paying players...

, playing in four test matches, and scoring eight tries in all games. He was one of five players who opted to stay in Great Britain at the tours end.

Rugby in England


He was signed by Wigan
Wigan Warriors
Wigan Warriors is an English rugby league club based in Wigan, Greater Manchester. The club's first team squad competes in the engage Super League and the team are the current Challenge Cup holders as of the 27th August 2011....

 after the tour for £400 and the captaincy, and he became an outstanding centre, making 186 appearances for the club. He was later joined by fellow tourist Massa Johnston
Massa Johnston
William "Massa" Johnston was a New Zealand rugby union and rugby league international...

 and All Black Charlie Seeling
Charlie Seeling
Charles Edward "Bronco" Seeling was a New Zealand international rugby football player of the early 20th century. He played in the forwards for the original All Blacks, appearing in 11 tests.Seeling then signed with English rugby league club, Wigan in 1910...

.

Sharing in Wigan's inaugural Championship success in 1908/09, he was also a member of the first Wigan Rugby League Challenge Cup
Challenge Cup
The Challenge Cup is a knockout cup competition for rugby league clubs organised by the Rugby Football League. Originally it was contested only by British teams but in recent years has been expanded to allow teams from France and Russia to take part....

 Final line-up, which they lost to Broughton Rangers
Broughton Rangers
Broughton Rangers was a British rugby football, and subsequently a rugby league club. It was based in Broughton, Salford.-History:Broughton Rangers was founded in 1877 as Broughton and added Rangers for its second season...

 in 1911.

The Auckland Rugby League
Auckland Rugby League
The Auckland Rugby League is the governing body for the sport of rugby league in the Auckland Region of New Zealand. It is responsible for rugby league in the region and was the owner of Carlaw Park, once the "spiritual home of rugby league in New Zealand".-History:The Auckland Rugby League was...

 was recognised by England's Northern Rugby Football Union
Rugby Football League
The Rugby Football League is the governing body for professional rugby league football in England. Based at Red Hall in Leeds, it administers the England national rugby league team, the Challenge Cup, Super League and the Rugby League Championships...

 as New Zealand's governing body for the game of rugby league, with Lance Todd to act as their delegate in England.

During November 1910, he played twice for Lancashire
Lancashire
Lancashire is a non-metropolitan county of historic origin in the North West of England. It takes its name from the city of Lancaster, and is sometimes known as the County of Lancaster. Although Lancaster is still considered to be the county town, Lancashire County Council is based in Preston...

, when his aggregate of two tries
Try
A try is the major way of scoring points in rugby league and rugby union football. A try is scored by grounding the ball in the opposition's in-goal area...

 and two goals helped seal the county title. In 1914, he transferred, unexpectedly, to Dewsbury
Dewsbury Rams
Dewsbury Rams RLFC is a professional rugby league club based in the West Yorkshire town of Dewsbury. They are arguably most famous for becoming Champions in 1972-73 after finishing the regular season in 8th place. In the playoffs they beat Featherstone away, Warrington away, and then Leeds in the...

 for a fee of £450 - a huge fee at the time, (based on increases in average earnings, this would be approximately £167,000 in 2009).

Later life


In 1928 he became the team manager at Salford
Salford City Reds
Salford City Reds are an English rugby league club based in Salford, Greater Manchester. Formed in 1873, they currently play in the Super League. They have won six Rugby Football League Championships and one Challenge Cup...

, achieving legendary status. Salford were close to folding when he joined but his management turned them into a formidable and successful team. During the 1930s Salford won three League Championships, five Lancashire League
Rugby league county leagues
The Yorkshire League and the Lancashire League formed two sections of the Rugby Football League Championship for much of its history. Initially, the 22 clubs that broke away in 1895 played in one combined league, however the following season saw the addition of many clubs, and the League was split...

 Championships, four Lancashire Cups
Rugby league county cups
Historically, British rugby league clubs competed for the Lancashire Cup and the Yorkshire Cup, known collectively as the county cups. The leading rugby clubs in Yorkshire had played in a cup competition for several years prior to the schism of 1895...

 and the Challenge Cup
Challenge Cup
The Challenge Cup is a knockout cup competition for rugby league clubs organised by the Rugby Football League. Originally it was contested only by British teams but in recent years has been expanded to allow teams from France and Russia to take part....

. He stayed at Salford until August 1940 when club directors decided not to renew his contract whilst the country was at war with Germany.

In 1933, as well his work at Salford, he became the Rugby League commentator
Sportscaster
In sports broadcasting, a commentator gives a running commentary of a game or event in real time, usually during a live broadcast. The comments are normally a voiceover, with the sounds of the action and spectators also heard in the background. In the case of television commentary, the commentator...

 for BBC Radio
BBC Radio
BBC Radio is a service of the British Broadcasting Corporation which has operated in the United Kingdom under the terms of a Royal Charter since 1927. For a history of BBC radio prior to 1927 see British Broadcasting Company...

. "Mr Lance B. Todd presents running commentary on....." the rugby league game of the day was very common in the Radio listings during the 1930s.

Death


Todd died on 14 November 1942, aged 59, in a motor accident. An inquest into his death determined a verdict of "accidental death".
During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 Todd was serving as a commandment to the Salford section of the Home Guard
British Home Guard
The Home Guard was a defence organisation of the British Army during the Second World War...

 but it would be on a return home from duty in Oldham
Oldham
Oldham is a large town in Greater Manchester, England. It lies amid the Pennines on elevated ground between the rivers Irk and Medlock, south-southeast of Rochdale, and northeast of the city of Manchester...

 that the accident happened. A car he was driving swerved to avoid a collision with a tram, but crashed into a lampost. Todd died along with his colleague Colonel Frank Sewell in the front passenger seat. Two passengers in the rear seats of the car survived. Todd is buried in Wigan (Ince) cemetery.

Legacy


For his work as a manager and as a radio commentator resulted in the Lance Todd Trophy
Lance Todd Trophy
The Lance Todd Trophy is awarded to the Man-of-the-Match in rugby league football's Challenge Cup Final.The trophy was introduced in 1946, in memory of Lance Todd, the New Zealand-born player and administrator, who was killed in a road accident during the Second World War...

 being named after him. This trophy is awarded to the man of the match in the Challenge Cup
Challenge Cup
The Challenge Cup is a knockout cup competition for rugby league clubs organised by the Rugby Football League. Originally it was contested only by British teams but in recent years has been expanded to allow teams from France and Russia to take part....

 final.

In 2007 Todd was inducted as one of the New Zealand Rugby League
New Zealand Rugby League
The New Zealand Rugby League is the governing body for the sport of rugby league football in New Zealand. The NZRL was founded on the 25 April 1910 in preparation for a tour of Great Britain that same year....

's inaugural "Legends of League".

External links