ONE of York Rugby League's greatest-ever players, Edgar Dawson, has died, aged 83.

Dawson, who was among the first seven players to be inaugurated in the York RL Hall of Fame, starred for the club from 1951 to 1962, scoring 55 tries and one goal in 339 appearances.

The famed forward was one of only seven players to don the Great Britain shirt while with the Minster city club.

He gained international recognition when he played for a Rugby League XIII against France at Marseilles, while his sole GB cap came in 1956 when he featured in a famous 21-10 triumph against Australia at Central Park, Wigan.

His son, Paul, said he was also due to win more caps after being picked for a tour down under, only to dislocate a shoulder when filling in for York's 'A' team in a reserves match prior to the tour.

York RL statistician Stuart Evans said a York player winning a GB call-up in those days was no mean feat.

"In the 1950s you had the likes of Huddersfield, Halifax, Wigan, St Helens, Hull, Oldham, Swinton - all really good strong teams from Yorkshire and Lancashire. When you get picked from a team like York, probably a bottom half of the table team, it goes to show you must have been putting yourself about.

"I was a nipper back then so can't remember seeing him play but he must have been some player.

"He was a local lad as well. York's not had many internationals and when you get one it's quite a prestigious honour, not only for the club but the city as well.

"Once you're an international, you're always an international. He will go down as a great."

Outside of rugby, Dawson, who lived much of his life in Burnholme before moving to Huntington in his later years, worked for a number of decades on the railways as a repairer in York's old wagon works. A joiner by trade, he also had a spell working in the house building industry.

He had signed for York after starring as a teenager for the Clarence Working Men's Club's rugby league team.

After his rugby career ended, he turned his hand to bowls, playing for a number of decades for both the Clarence club - with whom he became a double life member having been affiliated there for more than 50 years - and Bootham Conservative Club.

Dawson, who died peacefully at York Hospital, leaves behind widow Theresa, son Paul, daughter Susan, grandchildren Matthew, Louise, Craig and Kerry, and great-grandchildren Jack, Emily, Alfie, Joshua and Grace. He also leaves brother Denis, who also played rugby league for York, and sisters Mavis and Denise. Their other sister, Maureen, passed away earlier this year.

His funeral will be at St Aelred's Roman Catholic Church on Fifth Avenue, Tang Hall, on Friday, July 10, at 12.15pm, followed by cremation at York Crematorium at 1.40pm. All are welcome.