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24 May 2023


In 1970 the legendary Wigan player and Welsh scout Johnny Ring took a promising winger to Central Park. Incredibly Wigan refused to even give the lad a run in the ‘A‘ Team. Johnny Ring then contacted Swinton secretary Vic Jones with a view to giving the lad a chance. The rest is history.

Bob Fleay was a Welsh international trialist from Aberavon RUFC. He signed for the Lions following a sensational first team trial as AN Other and scoring two tries against Hunslet at Station Road.

Bob was the club’s leading try scorer in both 1972/73 and 1973/74, and he played in every single game between 25th August 1972 and 22nd August 1976, an all time club record of 149 consecutive games. In total he played for Swinton 211 times, scoring an impressive 88 tries. At representative level he won a cap for Other Nationalities at County Championship level in 1974.

During his time at Station Road Widnes came in for Bob, however, Lions’ coach Austin Rhodes wouldn’t consent to a transfer ( thank you Austin ) and so Widnes signed Stuart Wright instead.

Bob played his last game for the Lions in October 1976, but his popularity at Station Road was unique. Bob revisited his beloved Lions in August 2022 when he was presented with his Heritage Certificate and at the same time met up with other Swinton Welsh internationals, namely Dick Evans and current Lions’ skipper Rhodri Lloyd.

A true Lions great on both sides of the touchline, and it was a privilege to have shared a part of his life and his friendship.

Bob Fleay 1949 – 2023 RIP


The club would like to thank Steve Moyse for penning this tribute


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