TWO Warrington Rugby League Club stalwarts have been inducted into the Past Players’ Hall of Fame.
St Helens born second rower Gary Sanderson and former club secretary, the late R. F. (Bob) Anderton were both inducted into the hall of fame at the Past Players annual dinner which took place at the Halliwell Jones Stadium at the weekend.
Sanderson, who made 236 appearances for the club, the last game being a play-off semi-final defeat to Wigan in May 1995, signed for Warrington from Thatto Heath ARLFC in December 1985 and four months later made his debut at loose forward when Warrington defeated Dewsbury at Wilderspool on 6thApril 1986, aged 19.
He retained his place for the remainder of the season and was in the second row for Warrington in their 38-10 defeat of Halifax in the 1986 Premiership Final. This was only his 8thfirst team appearance and all were won.
He was in Mike Gregory’s 1989 Lancashire Cup winning team that defeated Oldham 24-16. He made four Great Britain Under 21 appearances, all against France in 1987 and 1988.
He also played in the second row for Warrington in the 1990 Wembley defeat to Wigan, whyo were a constant thorn in the side, as he played in four other major final losses to the “Pie-Eaters” – The 1986 John Player Final, the 1987 Premiership Final, the 1987 Lancashire Cup Final, and the 1995 Regal Trophy Final.
He made 236 appearance (including 38 as sub), scored 14 tries for 56 points.
He did enjoy one cup success over Wigan in the 1993 Locker Cup side which featured many other Warrington legends including the late great Mike Gregory, Paul Cullen, Mark Forster and Bob Jackson.
Meanwhile fellow inductee Bob Anderton would become the greatest and most energetic administrator in the club’s history.
It is One Hundred years since he was appointed as Warrington’s Secretary for the first season after the Great War.
Famous for his dapper appearance and blue and white polka-dot dicky bow, he was also a compiler of scrapbooks and a prolific writer on rugby league.
He revamped and relaunched the official programme. The new look programme contained club notes, the teams, fixtures, league tables, photographs and free to enter competitions.
In 1929 he replaced Edmund Osborne as the Club’s representative on the Rugby League Council, after the latter retired.
Bob was responsible for signing many of the Warrington players forty years, including in 1931 Bill Shankland.
He was also Business Manager for the 1932 and 1936 Great Britain touring sides to Australasia
Along with Harry Sunderland he was one of the great expansionists and aided Jean Galia one of the founders of French rugby league in the 1930s.
In 1942 Bob Anderton was elected as Chairman of the Rugby Football League, a position he held for three years. After the war he continued to be a director of the club and would sign many
a player at his White Hart Hotel base.
On 25th November 1972 Bob Anderton died at the age of 84. Warrington were at the top of the league at the time.
Mr Anderton must go down in history as one of rugby league’s greatest administrators.