A member of the original Rugby League Hall of Fame, Billy Batten was the Greatest of the Greats. He was a super star in a career which spanned the first quarter of the 20th century and his shock move from Hunslet to Hull in April, 1913, caused a sensation. Hull splashed out an incredible £600 for him, doubling the previous world record fee.
Although not confirmed, it is believed he was paid a staggering £14 per match, which was a massive increase above the 50s he was getting at Hunslet. At the time other players were getting £4 per week and a couple of years earlier he had been offered £4 a week to sign for Manchester United.
Although he played Test football on the wing he was best known for his powerful centre play and rather than go round an opponent he preferred to go over the top of them. He perfected a famous leap that was later banned but still Batten remained one of the most difficult players to bring down.
Batten was just as fearsome in defence and mastered the smother tackle, which was described as been hit by a ton of coal. Not surprisingly he was a fans favourite and in 1920 he was granted a benefit match and received a cheque for £1,080, another record.
After four outstanding years with Hull he was transferred to Wakefield in May, 1924 for £350.