Halifax and Welsh rugby great Garfield Owen dies aged 86

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Former Halifax full back Garfield Owen has died, aged 86.

Owen was the incumbent Welsh Rugby Union international full-back when he signed for Halifax, live on Sportsview on BBC TV, from Newport in 1956.

He went on to make 166 appearances for the Thrum Hall club, scoring four tries and 535 goals for a total of 1,082 points.

He moved on to Keighley in 1961, scoring another three tries and 348 goals and later became the club’s captain and coach.

Such was his on-field impact that he is in the Hall of Fame at both Halifax and Keighley.

There was no Wales Rugby League side during Owen’s career, but he did play for a Wales Rugby League XIII in France in 1959, having already played a representative match for a Northern Rugby League XIII, also against France, in 1958.

Owen was also proficient in the many other sports he turned his hand to, including javelin throwing, cricket and golf.

He was a long standing member of the Halifax RLFC Past Players Association, though in recent years had suffered from Parkinson’s Disease.