On This Day…
On the 8 October 1985 Signalman Clive Sullivan MBE died
Sullivan was born in 1943 in Cardiff. He joined the Corps in 1961 and trained as a Radio Operator. In 1964 he deployed to Cyprus with 216 Signal Squadron (Parachute Brigade Group) as part of the force sent to keep the peace between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots.
A revered Welsh rugby league player and Great Britain and Wales international winger, he died of cancer aged 42. Following his death the city of Hull named a section of the A63 – between the Humber Bridge and city centre – Clive Sullivan Way in his honour. In December 2020 Sullivan was named as one of three Welsh rugby league players (alongside Billy Boston and Gus Risman) who will be honoured with a statue in Cardiff Bay. He was also honoured with a Google Doodle on the 9th April 2021 on what would have been his 78th birthday.
An illustrious sporting career
Sullivan started to play rugby league for Hull FC while still in the Army. After leaving the Corps he rose to international stardom playing 15 times for Wales and 17 for Great Britain. He played in the 1968, 1970 and 1972 World Cup finals. In 1972 he became the first black player to captain a British national team in a major sport when he captained the World Cup-winning team.
Sullivan won the Challenge Cup with Hull Kingston Rovers (Hull KR) in 1980 and with Hull FC* in 1982. He scored 250 tries in 352 matches for Hull FC and 118 tries in 213 matches for Hull KR and scored more than 1000 points in his career making him one of the most prolific scorers ever. Indeed he still holds the records for both most career tries (250) and most in any match (7).
*Hull FC – Hull Football Club was a professional rugby league club.
Clive Sullivan is pictured second from the right
In 1972 Sullivan scored what is probably the most famous try in the history of the World Cup.