GOOGLE has paid tribute to former Oldham player Clive Sullivan on what would have been his 78th birthday.

The first black man to captain a British national sports team, the rugby league star died of cancer at the age of 42 in 1985.

More than three decades on the internet giant decided to mark Sullivan’s birthday on their homepage as they have done to celebrate significant milestones and people including Virginia Woolf, Freddie Mercury, Charlie Chaplin and others.

Cardiff-born Sullivan led Great Britain to World Cup glory in 1972 – the last time GB won it – and he will be forever revered on Humberside, where he scored 250 tries in 352 games for Hull and 118 tries in 213 games for Hull KR.

By the time Sullivan joined Oldham in 1980 he was well past his peak, yet Watersheddings fans were still privileged to watch the Welsh wing wizard in Roughyeds’ red and white.

He scored three tries in 18 games for Oldham in a season when the club management gambled on experience in a failed attempt to stay in the First Division.

All but one of his 18 games were on the left-wing where he had no fewer than five centres in player-coach Bill Francis, Brian Caffery, Clive Hunter, Mick Parrish and Ashley McEwen.

Roughyeds said: “He was a great player and a lovely guy – a true legend of rugby league and one who wore Oldham colours with pride.

“The club salutes him posthumously and thanks him for the memories in this World Cup year.”

Clive Sullivan during his Oldham days. Picture: Oldham RL Heritage Trust

Clive Sullivan during his Oldham days. Picture: Oldham RL Heritage Trust