Des Drummond: Rugby league mourns death of former Great Britain international winger

Des Drummond won 24 caps for Great Britain and lifted the Rugby League Championship trophy with Leigh in 1982; he also captained Warrington to Regal Trophy glory in 1991; the winger’s death at the age was announced on Saturday and tributes poured in from across rugby league

Last Updated: 30/01/22 12:16pm

Des Drummond, pictured lifting the Regal Trophy with Warrington in 1991, has died aged 63

Rugby league has paid its respects to former Great Britain winger Des Drummond, who has died at the age of 63.

Born in Jamaica, Drummond made his name at Leigh, earning a contract with the club after he and his parents followed brother Alva over to England.

He made 280 appearances for Leigh and won the title with them in 1982, earning his place in club folklore and, following a short spell in Australia playing for Western Suburbs, then moved to Warrington from where he made an equally impressive impact between 1987 and 1992.

The RFL led the tributes to Drummond, saying the 24-cap Lion was: “A player whose brilliance, athleticism and personality transcended the sport”.

Former club Leigh sent their condolences to his family and friends, with chairman Mike Latham writing a personal tribute to him on the Centurions’ website reflecting his impact on and off the field.

“Leigh Centurions are devastated to learn of the passing of Des Drummond at the age of 63 and pass on their sincere condolences to his family and friends at this incredibly sad time,” Latham said.

“Des was a true superstar of rugby league and one of Leigh’s all-time great sporting heroes. He lit up the rugby pitch with his explosive skills and off the field was a humble and caring person who perhaps never realised just how much of a hero he was to so many people.

“Des lit up our lives and right now, it feels like a light has just been turned off. He will be remembered in the highest regard and tales of his career will be handed down through generations. He truly was one of the all-time greats. But above all else, a lovely person.”

Drummond would go on to become an all-time great at Warrington too, captaining the side and winning the Regal Trophy against Bradford Northern in 1991.

“The club is deeply shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of former player Des Drummond,” said Warrington, who held a silence for Drummond ahead of their pre-season friendly with Wigan Warriors on Saturday.

Drummond also made a splash outside of rugby league, finishing second in the BBC series ‘Superstars’ and posting a 100 metres time which would have qualified him for the 1984 Olympics.

Cross-code great Jonathan Davies described Drummond as “one hell of a competitor and a top guy”, with other former clubs including Barrow Raiders and Workington Town also paying their respects.

“We are saddened to hear of the passing of Des Drummond,” said Barrow, who Drummond ended his career with in 1997. “Des graced our ranks in the late 90s and throughout his career was a truly great player.”

Fellow Cumbrian club Workington, who Drummond represented from 1992 to 1995 and helped win the Divisional Premiership at Old Trafford in 1994, added: “Our deepest condolences to the family and many friends of Des Drummond who has passed away.

“It was a joy to watch you flying down the wing at Derwent Park. Rest in Peace marra.”

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