Widnes RLFC

Mick AdamsMick Adams

No matter in what era Mick Adams had have played his football one suspects that his skills would have marked him down as one of the very best back rowers. The fact that the bulk of his appearances spanned a ten year period of unprecedented success for the Widnes club and that he was one of the finest sportsmen to wear the black and white only serve to reinforce his credentials as a member of the Hall of Fame.

Mick was never the biggest of players and spent part of his stint in the 'A' team at full back, but he always played above his weight. As a running second row he had a distinctive style of his own, clamping the ball high on his chest and using it almost as a battering ram. He could also be a punishing tackler. In later years following the retirement of Doug Laughton he moved back to loose-forward and operated as the fulcrum of the Widnes attack, directing play, switching the point of attack, and creating tries with his astute passing.

He was without peer as a kicker of the ball; raking touch finders and delicate grubbers were executed with equal aplomb. Do you recall his forty yard drop goal at Wembley in 1981? Or his pinpoint up and unders which had an uncanny habit of rebounding off the woodwork? Or even his occasional place kicking such as the occasion in 1978 when he clinched a Cup tie win over St.Helens with a touchiine conversion?

Mick Adams joined Widnes in May 1971 but in his first three and a half years at the club he made only fourteen first team appearances. It was around December 1973 that he established himself in the first team at which time the Chemics were bottom of the First Division. But in the weeks and months that followed the side climbed the table, eventually finishing fourth. Nothing was won in that campaign but incredibly the next ten seasons saw at least one trophy lifted each term.

Adams part in this success earned him wider recognition with thirteen Great Britain caps, five England appearances and two Tour selections. He retired from the game after the Wembicy win in 1984, and although it may just be a coincidence, it is a fact that it was a further four years before Widnes achieved another trophy success. It is said that Rugby League is the very toughest of sports and Mick Adams was certainly tough enough to take its knocks. But there was another side to him and he was known for his fair and generous attitude towards his opponents. A wonderful photograph shows Mick just seconds after defeat at Wembley in 1977, with a beaming smile across his face, congratulating Leeds forward Graham Eccles. And who could forget those television shots of this hard man with tears streaming down his cheeks after he had collected the Challenge Cup as captain in 1981. His sincerity earned him the respect of his fellow players who voted him First Division Player of the Year in 1979 and 1980.

Mick Adams was the model 'professional' in so far as he was dedicated to his sport, he knew how to control a game and rescued many seemingly lost causes through his level headedness, Yet he had none of the cynicism which that tag sometimes implies and he typified all that is good in Rugby League. It does not take much insight to realise that Mick would have happily played the game that he loved whether he was being paid for it or not.

© This text has been taken from the Widnes R.L.F.C Hall of Fame Brochure which was written by Sam Patmore, Ron Girvin, Stephen Fox, John Potter & Chris Moore.