Trinity lost another of its 1970’s heroes last week when former hooker, Eric Ingham, passed away, aged 72 after a short illness.
Eric was one of the traditional 1970s hookers, small, quick and a great sense of humour! He arrived at Belle Vue in September 1972 having been signed from Oulton ARL. He made his debut in an 18-6 away win at Swinton in the BBC2 TV Floodlit Trophy in a midweek game on 25thOctober 1972.
He came off the substitutes bench in a team that included Neil Fox. He returned to the A team before being called for his first start in a 48-10 win at Hunslet on 14th January 1973, regular hooker Mick Morgan moving to loose forward due to injuries and Ingham covering the hooking role.
He certainly impressed and was retained for the cup game at Huyton a fortnight later before moving back to the A team as Tony Handforth returned. He played in the last three games of the 1972-73 season which included a 52-0 home win over Hull, a play off win over Widnes, scoring his first try in a 33-6 win and a play off defeat at St.Helens.
The following season he played a further thirteen games, mainly as cover for Tony Handforth, which included the last seven games of the season, the play off games with Dewsbury and Featherstone along with the play off semi final defeat at Warrington. Another eleven games in 1974-75, again mainly deputising for Ray Handscombe and another eleven in 1975-76 and he finished with fourteen games in 1976-7, playing his last game at Featherstone Rovers in a disastrous 52-0 defeat on 2nd January 1977. His third, and last try came in a 16-6 home win over Wigan six weeks earlier.
Throughout his Trinity career, Eric was a regular in the A team and was a great deputy for the first team hookers. He retired in 1977 to concentrate on his plumbing business and over the years employed many Trinity players. He returned to the club in 1981 to join the committee and was part of the committee that signed Wally Lewis in 1983. He also had a few months as club chairman in 1984-85 before leaving the game for good to concentrate on his successful business again. Always classed as a good player, but a great man, he always had time for a joke or a story and will sorely missed by all who knew him.