Full name Alan Rotherham
Born July 31, 1862, Coventry
Died August 30, 1898, Marylebone (aged 36 years 30 days)
Major teams Great Britain, England
|Test debut||Wales v England at Swansea, Dec 16, 1882 match details|
|Last Test||England v Scotland at Manchester, Mar 5, 1887 match details|
|Test Statsguru||Main menu | Career summary | Match list | Most tries | Tournament list|
Alan Rotherham, who played 12 times for England, is widely regarded as the man who revolutionised the half-back. Before 1882, when Rotherham broke into the Oxford University side, the half-back had a limited role in a game dominated by hacking and heaving forwards, but he turned it into a link between forwards and three-quarters. It was written: "There are some who would attribute to Rotherham all the virtues that go with the 'passing' game' but he himself would not have claimed this, for the Oxford fifteens of his day contained many players from Scottish schools, particularly Loretto, and they, rather than anyone else, were the pioneers, if not the only begetters, of the passing game." He was in the Oxford XV for three years, often described as a golden age, and in 1882 he scored the winning try after bouncing the ball into play rather than waiting for a line-out. He played his club rugby for Coventry and Richmond and was a barrister who went on to become secretary of Watneys before shooting himself in 1898.