Harry Pinner was one of the great loose forwards of the 1980s – a master of his craft, whose defence-splitting passes lit up an era when the ‘biff’ was still an integral part of rugby league. Professional players had to be tough to survive, never mind prosper. Yet, in this often unforgiving sporting environment, he became an inspirational captain at both club and international level, primarily with St Helens and Great Britain. He was undoubtedly born to lead.
There are some marvellous highpoints in Harry’s career: playing a leading role in rebuilding St Helens RFC into a team capable of challenging for major honours in the 1980s stands out as a fabulous achievement. His Great Britain team also did much to regain self-respect in the international arena after a terrific three-match series against New Zealand in 1985.
There were also the pressures of balancing rugby league with his other career as a publican and family life, together with the disappointment of leaving his home-town team after over 300 matches in the famous red vee. He subsequently played for Widnes, Leigh, Bradford Northern and Carlisle