If there was ever a movie waiting to be made – its the story of Douglas Clark. He was born in Cumbria and by the age of 15 could carry one hundredweight coal bags under each arm (51kgs).
He signed in 1909 for Huddersfield Rugby League club who were building a dynasty at the time. He eventually played 485 times for the claret and golds which is still a club record.
The “Team of all the Talents” won all before them including all four trophies on offer in 1915 – just before Duggie enlisted and went to war. He was awarded the Military Medal for his endeavours which included having 18 pieces of shrapnel in his body, being invalid out with 95% disability, but returned to the front within months and being blown up twice on the same day – the second time saved his life as it blew him back onto the road where he was rescued from the injuries sustained in the first explosion!
Despite all these horrific injuries, Douglas returned to continue his career with Huddersfield and was selected for the 1920 tour to Australia and New Zealand. We are approaching the 100th anniversary of this remarkable tour. Douglas played in all three tests in Australia and even scored the winning try in the first test in New Zealand.
Clark played throughout the 1920’s and retired in 1929 but returned to one of his first loves – wrestling. He had been a schoolboy champion in Cumberland and literally took on and defeated the world. He rose through the ranks of wrestling and challenged for the undisputed championship of the world which he won. This lead to a further tour to Australia this time as a star attraction for wrestling fans.
Wrestling Heritage has recognised him as the greatest wrestler of the 1930’s.
Douglas died at the age of 59 years in 1951 – his life is a remarkable story.