Leeds stunned as Laughton resigns
Dave Hadfield was a schoolboy convert to rugby league, the game which, one way or another, has dominated his life ever since. After working for newspapers in Shropshire and Blackpool (where he covered the fortunes of Blackpool Borough) he travelled the world, working mainly in Hong Kong and Sydney. He became The Independent's rugby league man in 1990 and has written five books on the game and broadcast extensively for Sky and the BBC. Dave played his last game at the age of 53 and would have set up a try if anyone could have been bothered supporting his break. When not writing about the sport, he now limits himself to a bit of tick and pass with his local club, the Bolton Mets. Family includes supporters - of varying degrees of dedication - of Salford, Wigan, Sheffield Eagles and St George Illawarra.
Tuesday 27 June 1995
Since Laughton's arrival in May 1991, Leeds have emerged as the major rivals to Wigan. They have been beaten in the last two Challenge Cup finals and were also runners-up to Wigan in this year's championship and Premiership.
Bell was originally enlisted to serve under Laughton as a player-coach to replace Ellery Hanley, who has signed a contract with the Australian Rugby League. The Leeds chief executive, Alf Davies, said that it was now likely that Bell would assume overall command, although it is doubtful whether he could combine that with playing. "Doug has not told us officially that he has resigned," Davies said, "but if it is true I am stunned."
Laughton's bombshell comes the day before he was to discuss finance for bids for Jonah Lomu and Joost van der Westhuizen with the Leeds committee.
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