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John Whittaker (rugby league) facts for kids

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Personal information
Full name John Albert Whittaker
Playing information
Position Fullback, Wing, Centre
Years Team Pld T G FG P
Randwick Kingfishers
1977–81 Warrington 54 4 0 0 12
Total 54 4 0 0 12
Years Team Pld T G FG P
Wellington 73
1970–82 New Zealand 26 8 0 0 24
Central Districts 9
1986 Cook Islands

John Albert Whittaker (28 March 1950 – 29 September 2020) was a New Zealand rugby league footballer who played in the 1970s and 1980s at international level for the New Zealand national rugby league team and the Cook Islands.

Playing career

From the Randwick club, Whittaker also played for Wellington a record 73 times. Whittaker was involved in Randwick's premierships in 1968, 1969, 1970, 1976 and 1983.

Representative career

Whittaker made his international début for the New Zealand national rugby league team in 1970 and went on to play for the Kiwis in twenty four matches, including four world cups. Whittaker's international career spanned thirteen seasons. Despite suffering major injuries in a motoring accident, Whittaker made a full recovery and was recalled in the early 1980s after two years out of the national side.

Whittaker then represented the Cook Islands in the 1986 Pacific Cup.

Notable tour matches

John Whittaker played as an interchange/substitute in Warrington's 15-12 victory over Australia at Wilderspool Stadium, Warrington on Wednesday 11 October 1978.


In 2012 Whittaker was named as one of the New Zealand Rugby League's Legends of League. At the Wellington Rugby League's Centenary celebrations, Whittaker was named as their player of the century. He was also named in their team of the century.

Whittaker died on 29 September 2020, aged 70.

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