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  Thursday, 20 June, 2002, 04:14 GMT 05:14 UK
Tickle follows Lydon's lead
Danny Tickle in action for Halifax
The Tickle deal bucks the current transfer trend

Danny Tickle joined an exclusive club when he moved from Halifax to Wigan for 100,000.

The 19-year-old loose forward is now a member of rugby league's six-figure squadron.

Only a handful of players have been able to command transfer fees of 100,000 plus.

And in an era when more and more players are moving between clubs on frees, it makes the Tickle deal even more remarkable.

The first 100 fee was paid by Salford to Bramley for the services of centre Jim Lomas back in 1901-02.

Joe Lydon in action for Wigan
Lydon was the game's first six-figure player
The same player moved from Salford to Oldham for three times that fee nearly 10 years later.

In 1929, Stan Brogden became the first 1000 player when he left Bradford for Huddersfield.

But it was not until 1986 that the game produced its first six-figure player.

And it was Wigan, building one of the greatest squads the game has ever seen, who splashed the cash.

Joe Lydon was re-united with his home-town club for 100,000 - but only after he had scored two tries for Widnes against the Warriors in the 1984 Challenge Cup final.

Only around 20 players have been sold for more in the 16 years since.

In pure cash terms, Martin Offiah is still rugby league's most expensive luxury item, moving from Widnes to Wigan in a 440,000 deal in January 1992.

Martin Offiah in Salford strip
Offiah cost Wigan 440,000 in 1992
But Paul Newlove can also claim a record.

He moved from Featherstone to Bradford in a tribunal-set 245,000 deal in July 1993.

The same player then went from Bradford to St Helens two-and-a-half years later in a deal worth 500,000.

Only 250,000 changed hands, the rest of the deal made up of players Bernard Dwyer, Paul Loughlin and Sonny Nickle, who moved in the opposite direction.

Lee Crooks is another double six-figure man.

He went from Hull to Leeds and then Leeds to Castleford, each time for 150,000.

Spending big does not always guarantee that a player will produce the goods.

Nigel Wright, who was also a 19-year-old loose forward like Tickle, cost Wigan 140,000 when he moved to Central Park from Wakefield in July 1993.

Paul Newlove in action for St Helens
Newlove has been involved in two big-money moves
But a series of injuries meant he never made his mark at his new club.

And Huddersfield, then outside the top flight, spent 135,000 on Leeds star Garry Schofield.

That move ended in acrimony when Huddersfield elevated Schofield to the position of coach, only to subsequently sack him on the grounds he was not properly qualified for the post.

Position by position, hooker is the poor man's player in British rugby league.

It is the only position not to have a six-figure player filling it.

The most expensive hooker in the history of the game is Lee Jackson, who cost Sheffield Eagles a mere 83,000 when he moved there after his first spell at Hull.

See also:

19 Jun 02 | Super League
19 Jun 02 | Super League
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