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A Sad Day to Remember - Chris Sanderson 1954-77
Posted by southstander on April 24 2007 - 06:38:18

Thirty-eight minutes into the game between Salford and Leeds on the 24th April 1977, rising Rhinos star the twenty-two year old Chris Sanderson, was critically injured in a tackle. He was stretchered off and rushed to hospital but died soon afterwards.

Many of us are too young to remember Chris's contribution to the Loiners, but we should all take a moment today to spare a thought for Chris and his family and honour the contribution of a man who gave his life for the game that he and we love.

Read more here....

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'.

Chris Sanderson
1954-1977
Rest in Peace

*Photograph kindly provided by Phil Daly of Leeds Rugby.

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