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Rugby league legend and former Hull FC star Johnny Whiteley MBE in hospital

Former rugby league legend Johnny Whiteley MBE is in hospital after suffering a fractured femur.

The news was confirmed by former side Hull FC this morning, for whom he played 417 games between 1950 and 1965.

‘Gentleman John’ was capped 15 times by Great Britain between 1957 and 1962, an era in which he was vying for the loose-forward role with ‘Rocky’ Turner and Vince Karalius.

A non-playing member of the victorious 1954 squad at the inaugural World Cup in France, his test debut followed in the tournament three years later, in a heavy defeat against Australia in Sydney, and he played in wins over New Zealand and France when Great Britain proved successful in the 1960 World Cup in front of their own fans.

The stylish, long-striding loose-forward captained Hull to their first two Wembley appearances in 1959 and 1960, savouring semi-final wins over Featherstone (at Odsal) and Oldham (at Swinton).

He enjoyed better fortune as coach of Hull’s 1969 Yorkshire Cup-winning team and, having crossed the city, when coach of Hull KR as they lifted the County Cup two years later.

Hull FC tweeted the news out about the 91-year-old this morning: “Everybody at Hull FC is sending their best wishes to club legend Johnny Whiteley MBE, who is in hospital after suffering a fractured femur.  Get well soon, Johnny – wishing for a speedy recovery!”

Everyone at Serious About Rugby League sends on their well wishes to Mr Whiteley and fingers crossed for a speedy recovery.

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