English club, Barrow sacked Australian coach, Rod Reddy, just eight matches into the 1989-90 English season.
Reddy, a veteran of 17 Tests for Australia and a member of the inaugural Queensland State of Origin side in 1980, was on a hiding to nothing, with Cumbrian outfit, Barrow unable to compete with British heavyweights from Lancashire and Yorkshire, such as Wigan, Warrington, Leeds and Bradford.
Barrow appointed Denis Jackson as caretaker coach, and ultimately he was replaced by former Great Britain lock, Steve ‘Knocker’ Norton.
Barrow’s line-up included Australians, Chris Johns and Cavill Heugh, with the Brisbane Broncos reluctantly releasing Johns for an off-season with his mate, Reddy. Johns, who had had one previous stint in England, at Castleford, under the coaching of British legend, Mal Reilly, lasted only four games after Reddy’s departure and returned to Broncos’ training before Christmas.
Barrow enjoyed a mildly successful 1987-88 season, in Second Division, when Reddy was captain-coach. The following season, with Reddy as non-playing coach, they were promoted to the top division.
In other news from Britain:
– Bradford Northern beat Featherstone Rovers 20-14 in the Yorkshire Cup final at Headingley in front of a crowd of 12,607, with play stopped for five minutes because of crowd trouble. Police arrested a small number of youths, while others were ejected.
– Featherstone fans spilled on to the field for safety, following a disputed Bradford try. These were rare scenes for rugby league, which is noted as ‘the family game’.
– Future Brisbane Broncos’ coach, Ivan Henjak played five eighth for Bradford, who were coached by former Manly and New South Wales’ coach, Ron Willey.
– St Helens’ coach, the legendary, Alex Murphy was found not guilty of verbally abusing Cumbrian referee, Colin Steele. Salford chairman, Jack Wilkinson called for two referees to control matches.
– Widnes’ former Welsh rugby union star, Paul Moriarty was banned for eight matches for a high tackle. Kiwi, Shane Cooper copped an identical ban for a similar tackle.
– Workington Town Players asked not to be paid, after a humiliating 35-8 home loss to Trafford Borough,
– Welsh rugby union star, Mike Hall rejected a 150,000 pounds offer from St Helens.
Rod Reddy (right) watches as Australian teammate, Ray Price butts heads with Britain’s Gary Stephens at Lang Park in 1979.