Booth Ever-Present, Bunker and Dunn Record Setters, Fairbairn Final
On This Day... April 13
On 13 April 1908, in an 8-3 win at Merthyr Tydfil, half-back Arthur Booth became the first Rovers player to play in every match of a season. Booth made his Rovers debut at scrum-half in the first game of the season at home to Wakefield in on 7 September 1907, and then played for the remainder of the season at off-half. With 15 tries in 35 matches, Booth was also Rovers’ leading try scorer that season.
On the same day four years later, Alf ‘Bunker’ Carmichael kicked two goals in a 20-13 defeat at Salford, to set a club season’s record of 127. His record stood for 47 years until Cyril Kellett beat it by a single goal in 1959.
On 13 April 1975, Ged Dunn scored two tries in a 45-12 home win over Doncaster, to overtake Gilbert Austin’s fifty-year old record of 37 tries in a season. That season, Dunn scored 42 tries for the Robins, a record that was to stand for just ten years before Gary Prohm overtook it on his way to the current record of 45.
Thirty years ago today, in 1990, George Fairbairn made his final appearance for the Robins in a 17-8 win at York. Injury prevented him from playing in the last four games of the season, after which Fairbairn announced his retirement from playing. Signed for £72,500 from Wigan in the summer of 1982, Fairbairn was arguably the club’s best ever full-back. A former Kelso and Borders RU player, he turned professional with Wigan in 1974, and soon earned international honours in rugby league.
After over 200 games for Wigan, during which time he established himself as the Great Britain full-back, Fairburn moved to Rovers, for whom he kicked 573 goals and scored 51 tries in 269 club appearances. One year later, Fairbairn was named as successor to Roger Millward as Rovers’ first team coach.