LUCIUS BANKS, Heritage Number 405, was born in Virginia, USA, about 1885, but moved to Arlington, Massachusetts at a young age. He joined the US Cavalry, where he excelled at American Football as a quarter-back and cricket. Maybe the dual code is what partly attracted Hunslet to him, as Hunslet were champions of cricket for several years.
Lucius was spotted by an ex-official of Hunslet RLFC and was bought out of the army. He made his debut on 27th January, 1912 , against York, helping to attract a large crowd, but also attracting what would be now unacceptable headlines in the local papers. The Hunslet Committee put in a letter of complaint to the paper. Other newspaper comments were more favourable, with his prowess leading to him being compared to the great Billy Batten. Local gossip recalls that he worked in the saddler’s shop in the middle of Hunslet, and children would peer through the doorway to get a look at the ‘exotic’ star.
In all, he played 13 times over 2 winter seasons, scoring 5 tries, then worth 3 points each. His final Hunslet game was on 7 Dec 1912, after which he returned to the USA at year’s end.
With the advent of WW1, Lucius joined up and was posted to France, surviving and returning to Boston to become a policeman.
He died in 1955 at age 68.