|Born||South Shields, November 15 1887
|Internationals||7 caps between 1910 and 1914
|Inducted||February 6 2010
The following article has been adapted from the original by Dai Llewellyn, which focused on two players. It has been changed to highlight only the selected inductee’s information.
Freddie Chapman not only scored the first try at Twickers, but also landed the first penalty and the first conversion on the famous old ground.
In its own way, the England right winger’s try in the very first match on Billy Williams’ cabbage patch – against Wales in 1910 – had touches of genius to it and was scored pretty much from the kick-off.
Adrian Stoop’s probing kick had sparked a loose scrum. The scrum half David ‘Dai’ Gent retrieved the ball and passed to Stoop, from whom it went to Barney Solomon, on to John Birkett and finally into the hands of Chapman. He went over on the right for the try, handing off Billy Trew, the Wales captain on the way. Barely 60 seconds had elapsed since Benjamin Gronow had kicked off for Wales.
Although Chapman failed with the conversion, he soon added a penalty and then added the vital points to Solomon’s try shortly before half-time. England managed to hang on for their first win over Wales for 12 years, as well as getting their new headquarters off to a perfect start.
It was to be Chapman’s only try for his country, for whom he played just seven matches.
Article by Dai Llewellyn