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Trevor Foster

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Title: Trevor Foster  
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Subject: Bradford Bulls statistics, Frank Whitcombe, Brian Noble (rugby league), Bradford Bulls coaches, History of the Bradford Bulls
Collection: 1914 Births, 2005 Deaths, Army Rugby Union Players, Bradford Bulls Coaches, Bradford Bulls Players, British Army Personnel of World War II, Crawshays Rfc Players, Footballers Who Switched Code, Great Britain National Rugby League Team Players, Members of the Order of the British Empire, Newport Rfc Players, Pill Harriers Rfc Players, Royal Army Physical Training Corps Soldiers, Rugby League Second-Rows, Sportspeople from Newport, Wales, Wales National Rugby League Team Players, Welsh Rugby League Players, Welsh Rugby Union Players
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Trevor Foster

Trevor Foster
Personal information
Full name Trevor John French Foster[1]
Born (1914-12-03)3 December 1914
Newport, Monmouthshire, Wales[1]
Died 2 April 2005(2005-04-02) (aged 90)
Bradford, West Yorkshire, England
Playing information
Rugby union
Position Flanker
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1937–38 Newport 35 12
Rugby league
Position Second-row
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1938–55 Bradford Northern 432 130 1 0 392
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1939–51 Wales 16 5 1 0 17
1946–48 Great Britain 3 2 0 0 6
Coaching information
Years Team Gms W D L W%
1960–61 Bradford Northern
Source: [2]

Trevor John French Foster MBE (3 December 1914 — 2 April 2005) was a Welsh rugby footballer and coach. He played rugby union for Newport and rugby league for Bradford Northern. Trevor Foster was a Sergeant Physical Training Instructor in the British Army during World War II.[3]


  • Early years 1
  • Bradford Northern career 2
  • Great Britain and Wales caps 3
  • Championship final appearances 4
  • Challenge Cup final appearances 5
  • Other notable games 6
  • Unblemished disciplinary record 7
  • Retirement and coaching 8
  • Club saviour 9
  • Honours 10
  • Honoured at Bradford 11
  • Honoured by Arriva Yorkshire 12
  • Death 13
  • References 14
  • External links 15

Early years

Trevor Foster was born on 3 December 1914 in Newport, Monmouthshire,[4] but is best known for his association with the Bradford Northern rugby league club having joined them as a player in 1938 for £400 from Newport RFC, his home town's rugby union club.

He made a name for himself playing for Newport Schoolboys and Pill Harriers as a teenager, before joining Newport. He was also chosen to play for invitational team Crawshays.[5]

Bradford Northern career

In all he played 428 games for Bradford Northern, usually as a second row forward and occasionally a loose forward. During this time he scored 140 tries (an incredible return for a forward) including 24 in the 1947-48 season and 6 in 1 game.(It could have been 7 but the ball was knocked from his hands as he crossed the line.) Trevor was the key forward of an outstanding Bradford side in the post war period which won the Rugby League Challenge Cup in 1947 and 1949 with Trevor scoring in both games. The Northern side at this time had some great Welsh players including mercurial stand-off Willie Davies, winger's Des Case & Alan Edwards and of course Frank Whitcombe at prop forward.

Great Britain and Wales caps

Trevor Foster won caps for Wales while at Bradford Northern 1939…1951 16-caps, including 7 as captain, and won caps for Great Britain while at Bradford Northern in 1946 against New Zealand, and in 1948 against Australia (2 matches)

It is certain he would have won more caps had it not been for World War II.

In 1946 he was selected for the winning Ashes tour of Australia, but was injured before being able to play a game.

Championship final appearances

Trevor Foster played Right-Second-row, i.e. number 12, in Bradford Northern's 6-13 defeat by Wigan in the Championship final during the 1951–52 season at Leeds Road, Huddersfield on Saturday 10 May 1952.[6]

Challenge Cup final appearances

Trevor Foster played Right-Second-row, i.e. number 12, in Bradford Northern's 3-8 defeat by Wigan in the 1948 Challenge Cup final during the 1947–48 season at Wembley Stadium, London on Saturday 1 May 1948.[7]

Other notable games

Trevor Foster played Left-Second-row and was captain for Northern Command XIII against a Rugby League XIII at Thrum Hall, Halifax on Saturday 21 March 1942.[8]

Unblemished disciplinary record

Remarkably for a forward of the time Trevor was never sent from the field of play or even cautioned during his 17 years of top flight rugby.

Retirement and coaching

After his retirement in 1955 he remained a servant of the Bradford club successively as Coach, Director and Chairman of the Supporters Club and timekeeper for Super League home games.

Club saviour

It was in 1963 when he secured his place in Bradford and Rugby League history when he was the central figure in a campaign to save his beloved Bradford Northern club who had disbanded due to financial problems. He led efforts to reconstitute the club which was then able to rejoin the league the following season. Without his work it is unlikely that the club would exist today.


In 2001 Trevor Foster was awarded an MBE, in 2004 was inducted into Welsh Sports Hall of Fame.

Honoured at Bradford

Trevor Foster, has been included in Bradford's; 'Millennium Masters', 'Bull Masters', and in August 2007 he was named in the 'Team Of The Century'. Only six players have been included in all three lists, they are; Karl Fairbank, Trevor Foster, James Lowes, Keith Mumby, Robbie Paul, and Ernest Ward.

Honoured by Arriva Yorkshire

Arriva Yorkshire honoured 13 rugby league footballers on Thursday 20 August 2009, at a ceremony at The Jungle, the home of the Castleford Tigers. A fleet of new buses were named after the 'Arriva Yorkshire Rugby League Dream Team'. Members of the public nominated the best ever rugby league footballers to have played in West Yorkshire, supported by local rugby league journalists; James Deighton from BBC Leeds, and Tim Butcher, editor of Rugby League World. The 'Arriva Yorkshire Rugby League Dream Team' is; Trevor Foster MBE, Neil Fox MBE, Albert Goldthorpe, Alan Hardisty, Stan Kielty, Lewis Jones, Roger Millward MBE, Malcolm Reilly, Garry Schofield, Keith Senior, David Topliss, Dave Valentine, and Adrian Vowles.[9]


Trevor Foster died peacefully in hospital in Bradford after a short illness.


  1. ^ a b Hadfield, Dave (6 April 2005). "'"Trevor Foster - Bradford rugby league 'legend. The Independent. Retrieved 2 November 2014. 
  2. ^ Foster, Simon; Gate, Robert; Lush, Peter (2005). Trevor Foster: The Life of a Rugby League Legend. London: London League Publications.  
  3. ^ "inside programme, Northern Command v. A Rugby League XIII, 1942". 31 December 2010. Retrieved 1 January 2011. 
  4. ^ "Trevor Foster". Telegraph. 20 May 2005. Retrieved 24 January 2014. 
  5. ^ Newport RFC player profile
  6. ^ "1951-1952 Championship Final". 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  7. ^ "1947-1948 Challenge Cup Final". 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  8. ^ "inside programme, Northern Command v. A Rugby League XIII, 1942". 31 December 2010. Retrieved 1 January 2011. 
  9. ^ "Arriva Yorkshire Rugby League Dream Team". Arriva Yorkshire. 20 August 2009. Retrieved 20 August 2009. 

External links

  • Trevor Foster: The Life of a Rugby League Legend
  • BISA's tribute to Trevor Foster
  • Bradford Bulls Official Site
  • The press release announcing Trevor Foster's death
  • A gallery showing images of Trevor Foster's life
  • The Bull's tribute to Trevor Foster
  • The Millennium Masters - Forwards
  • Bull Masters - Trevor Foster
  • Team Of The Century
  • Great Britain Statistics at
  • Book of condolence
  • Trevor Foster at
  • Pain of defeat serves Dewsbury well to prevent any repeat performance
  • Statistics at
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