Eric Ingham, rugby league player and club chairman

Eric Ingham
Eric Ingham
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Eric Ingham, who has died at 72, was a rugby league player for Wakefield Trinity who went on to have an enduring influence off the pitch.

Mr Ingham was an archetypal hooker, small and quick, who was signed at Belle Vue from Oulton amateurs in 1972 and made his debut in a midweek game at Swinton, in the BBC2 Floodlit Trophy, that October. Trinity took the match by 18 points to six.

Eric Ingham was in the Wakefield Trinity team of the 1970s

Eric Ingham was in the Wakefield Trinity team of the 1970s

He went on to play 55 games for the club, becoming a regular in the A team and scoring three tries, the last in a 16-6 win home win over Wigan.

After his last game, a 52-0 defeat to Featherstone in 1977, he retired to concentrate on his plumbing business, only to return after four years as a committee member, in which role he became involved in signing other players.

He also served as the club’s chairman for a few months in 1984-5 before again devoting himself to his business.

Trinity’s historian, Lee Robinson, noted that as an employer he had given work to many Trinity players, and that as a committee man and chairman he had been influential in the signing of many junior players.

“Always classed as a good player but a great man, he always had time for a joke or a story,” Mr Robinson said.

Mr Ingham is survived by his partner, Heather, children Mark and Joanna, and six grandchildren.