It is thirty years ago today since Chris Sanderson died while playing at Salford for Leeds Rugby League Club at the age of
just twenty-two. The game was abandoned and as a mark of respect, and it was never replayed, leaving the two sides having
played a game less than all the others in the final league table that season.|
Chris was a talented young half back who signed from York Juniors in 1971. He made eighty-one appearances for Leeds, scoring
twenty-one tries as part of the all conquering great Leeds side of 1976-1978. There was a very bright future ahead of him,
and who knows what he might have achieved had his life not been cut so tragically short.
In the 1970's Rugby League was a game for part-time professionals, Chris was a Plumber with the family firm by day, and
trained at evenings and weekends. This was a time when the players played for the love of the game with little concern for
financial reward. Pride in your team and your performance was what were important to players like Chris.
His accident occured the week before the Wembley cup final against Widnes, which Leeds went on to win. The players dedicated
this win to Chris's memory.
Chris's brother Steve has been in contact and asked that I prepare this short tribute, he said 'I would just like to ask any
who remember him to raise a glass in memory'.
Rest in Peace
*Photograph kindly provided by Phil Daly of Leeds Rugby.