WITH the Rugby League World Cup 2017 final nearly upon us we take a look at a Warrington-born star who won the tournament three times as a player and twice as a coach.

Bobby Fulton was born in Stockton Heath before his parents emigrated to Australia when he was only very young.

Once settled in Wollongong, New South Wales, he took to rugby league.

His game was full of cheek, ample flair, and acceleration, combined with strength, and he could handle the rough stuff as well.

He made his international debut for Australia in the 1968 World Cup, and was their stand-off when they beat France 20-2 in the final in front of 54,290 spectators at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Two years later in England he once again won a World Cup final, beating Great Britain 12-7 in a game dubbed the “Battle of Headingley”, and he was the official player of the tournament.

Fulton was also part of the squad that won the 1975 World Championship Series, that was based on a league, that was eventually topped by Australia.

He successfully turned his hand to coaching, and led the Australians to World Cup glory at Wembley in 1992 and 1995.

‘Bozo’ never forgot his English roots though, and guested for Warrington from October 1969 to February 1970, scoring 16 tries in his 16 games played for the club.

As we wish our three Warrington players all the best for the World Cup final it is ironic that Fulton played in the game when Great Britain (now England) were last crowned world champions in 1972.

And today (December 1) Fulton, one of Warrington’s finest ‘exports’, celebrates his 70th birthday.

Many happy returns, Bobby!

Stan Lewandowski