Wakefield Trinity Wildcats are pleased to announce the fifth inductee into this year’s Hall of Fame Class of 2015 is Bill Horton.
Bill Horton is one of the most decorated representative players in the club’s history with numerous caps for Yorkshire, England and Great Britain throughout the 1920s and 1930s. The strong running, pacey second rower gave fourteen years service to Trinity, which sees him lie fifth on the all-time club appearance list.
Horton signed as a nineteen year old forward from Knottingley in the summer of 1924 making his debut in the first game of the season, a 13-9victory over Keighley on 30th August. Within thirteen games he had won a Yorkshire Cup medal after Trinity defeated Batley, 9-8. In the late 1920shis pace won many a game for Trinity alongside Jonathan Parkin and his second row partner, Mick Exley
His Trinity career was littered with representative honours and he holds the record for a Trinity player for most Yorkshire county appearances with twenty between 1926 and 1936. International honours followed in 1928 when he scored three tries in the tour trials that saw him successfully gain a place on the boat ‘Down Under’. In Australia, he was sensational and played in all six test matches against Australia and New Zealand, bringing home the Ashes. This was repeated four years later when he became the second player (and third in the club's history) to travel ‘Down Under’ twice. In 1932, Horton, again, played in all the Australian test matches as well as two against the Kiwis. Add to these two test matches against Australia in 1933, he finished with 14 test caps; only Jonty Parkin and Neil Fox have played more for the club. Alongside these representative honours he represented England on five occasions in the early days of the European Championships, making his debut against Wales at Cardiff in 1928.
On the club scene, he played in the 1926, 1932 and 1934 Yorkshire Cup Final defeats as well as being one step away from Wembley after a 3-5 semi final defeat to Keighley, after a 0-0 draw, in 1937. He retired to a hotel in Weston-super-Mare in 1937 but returned for a few games, playing his last game in March 1938 in a 13-38 loss at Salford.
In an era when Trinity languished in mid-table for many seasons, Bill Horton was a ‘shining light’ at Belle Vue with his regular international appearances as well as his speed and leadership guiding Trinity through the 1930s.He was club captain from 1931 to 1936 and his 447 club appearances see only Wilkinson, Fox, Crosland and his great friend, Mick Exley, ahead of him in the club lists of appearances. His 75 tries also saw him as the club’s top forward try scorer until Len Bratley passed this record in the 1940s; seventy seven years later only two other forwards have passed his try tally, Exley and Don Robinson. A true Trinity legend.