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Thanks on my retiring from Treiziste Diary


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#1 Cliff Spracklen

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 01:27 PM

Thanks on my retiring from Treiziste Diary

As John so kindly puts it in the latest Rugby League World, I tried to retire from my stint at Treiziste Diary a couple of editions ago, the feature on the history of RL in Paris was meant to be my last. But I have popped up again in the latest issue of Rugby League World, with a preview of the forthcoming LER season, including the Magique Weekend at Lézignan, and the latest on the comings and goings.
I just want to thank all of you who have said so many kind things about the Diary, which I had done every month since 2003. Some have posted kind words on here; others have sent e-mails or PM’s.
I enjoyed every minute of it and felt proud and privileged to fight the corner of French RL and bring a bit of its’ history, colour and culture to readers of the magazine.
I have been immersed in France and French culture since I first road my bike from Leeds to Paris in 1963, as a keen fan of the Tour de France. Since then I have been involved in numerous junior exchanges, was a founder and very active member of XIII Actif, taking the case of French RL to both Westminster and the European Parliament with Robert Fassolette. I was privileged to take part in the discussions between UTC and the RFL over the Catalans bid for Super League. I have done academic research for Carnegie into aspects of French RL and was involved in taking the Carnegie Challenge Cup to Perpignan and to the Beach RL Tournament at Canet Plage. I have taught RL French to Warrington fans, been interviewed several times on French radio, including once last year, when I was ironically at Barcelona Airport, prior to a Catalans play-off game. I was involved in the Lézignan “9’s” and have made the odd contact between French clubs and UK or Aussie players. I am a big fan of Toulouse and their ambitions for SL, and still pen a weekly piece for the club’s website.
I am pleased that at last the powers that be are very aware of and supportive of French RL, and realise how important it is for the world game that France RL is strong at club and national team level. SL and Championship clubs have discovered that a trip to France is very enjoyable, something that BARLA clubs with their strong French links discovered decades ago.
But I am getting a bit long in the tooth. Not true I haven’t any! biggrin.gif I am still involved in Bramley RL, am an active Director of the highly successful Hunslet Club (formerly Hunslet Boys Club), which both involve regular trips to Leeds from the East Coast by public transport.
I am still involved in organising junior exchanges like the Stanningley-St Martin de Crau X111, which enters its 9th year next year. Indeed I am still helping broker exchanges, the latest being for Leeds Akkies, with whom I hope to be going to Bretagne Nantes Vikings XIII in October, and hopefully one for Gloucester University with Bordeaux, which should be crystallised later this month.
But I have these last few months had family illnesses to contend with. Things are starting to improve on this front thankfully, but the year has been very demanding. You may have noticed my lack of posts in recent weeks. Rectified today with a vengeance!
So it seemed an appropriate time to “retire” as the TD columnist. I am delighted that Mike Rylance will take up the Diarist’s pen. Mike one of the most respected authors and writers in the sport needs no introduction. He is the most respected RL author throughout treiziste France.
So I don’t feel quite so bad as I did when I first informed John that I wanted to step down. Having said that I have one or two in depth “one-off” pieces, such as “the Basques and RL” that I hope to write later on in the season, but not necessarily as part of TD.
I will miss it greatly and again I thank all at RLW for inviting me to do it in 2003. It has been a privilege and a pleasure. But nothing lasts forever, not even hopefully the “big 4” hegemony this year.
But I will always remain a champion of France, its culture and RL. Indeed I shall be enjoying today a wonderful bottle of the SOA Avignon XIII special cuvee Cotes du Rhone red, a splendid PR move by the progressive Avignon Bisons.
But finally a big thank to all of those of you who have expressed kind words to me via the forum, PMs, e-mail, or in person, as I step back a little, hopefully to regroup. “Reculer pour mieux sauter” as the French would say!
biggrin.gif

#2 tonyXIII

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 02:44 PM

Thanks for your efforts, Cliff. I always found something of interest in TD and will miss your input. Enjoy a long and happy retirement.

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#3 T Dub

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 03:34 PM

Both posts and articles have always been worth reading, Cliff, informative enlightening and entertaining...

...even if one always needed to put the kettle on before embarking on reading them



#4 paley

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 03:56 PM

Treiziste Diary is always one of the first things I read in the magazine, thanks for all your efforts Cliff.
Join team TRL to help cure cancer http://vspx27.stanfo...e&teamnum=43780 Team number 43780

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#5 deluded pom?

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 04:09 PM

It's much of the same from me too Cliff. Thanks for all the time and effort you put into TD. Always an informative and enlightening read for French news. Have a long and happy one mate but don't retire competely. You still have to post on this forum occasionally wink.gif .

Edited by deluded pom?, 05 September 2010 - 04:10 PM.

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#6 amh

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 04:13 PM

For he's a jolly good fellow..altogether

Edited by amh, 05 September 2010 - 04:22 PM.

Whilst I do not suffer fools gladly, I will always gladly make fools suffer

A man is getting along on the road of wisdom when he realises that his opinion is just an opinion


#7 Chairman M

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 04:26 PM

Well done, Cliff. You should rightly be very proud.

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#8 Saint Billinge

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 04:55 PM

Always the man to help out. Thanks Cliff for your help on a personal basis, and overall for rugby league.

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#9 Cliff Spracklen

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 05:13 PM

QUOTE (deluded pom? @ Sep 5 2010, 05:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It's much of the same from me too Cliff. Thanks for all the time and effort you put into TD. Always an informative and enlightening read for French news. Have a long and happy one mate but don't retire competely. You still have to post on this forum occasionally wink.gif .

Thanks. But rest assured I have not retired from life or RL. biggrin.gif

#10 Saint Billinge

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 05:44 PM

QUOTE (Cliff Spracklen @ Sep 5 2010, 06:13 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks. But rest assured I have not retired from life or RL. biggrin.gif


So you have made a comeback already! biggrin.gif

visit www.raygent.co.uk for football and rugby league stories. 


#11 Northern Sol

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 07:15 PM

Enjoy your retirement Cliff. Your thoughts whether on here on or in the mag were always interesting and worth reading.

#12 trakl

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 07:24 PM

It was the great Harry Edgar all those years ago from the very early days of Open Rugby who turned me on to the glorious yet damaged history of French rugby league - and the game's latent potential there too. I'm still awaiting his long-promised book on those "Champagne" tourists of Down Under long ago!

Anyway, I've enjoyed reading your Treiziste Diary as much as I did Edgar's vivid essays and am pleased too that you are to be succeeded by Mike Rylance - author of the cruelly under-reviewed The Forbidden Game, a must-read for anyone who has ever cared for the game in France.



#13 Philippe Barrau

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 07:33 PM

merci pour tout.

#14 napoleon

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 11:01 PM

From here in Oz,thanks Cliff for keeping me up to date over the years with your informative insights, into the French rl scene.
Rugby league :If it was art, it would be a Monet.

#15 koala

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Posted 06 September 2010 - 12:54 AM

QUOTE (napoleon @ Sep 5 2010, 11:01 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
From here in Oz,thanks Cliff for keeping me up to date over the years with your informative insights, into the French rl scene.



#16 koala

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Posted 06 September 2010 - 01:08 AM

Sorry for the blank reply above, been ages since I have contributed (I'm also from Oz) but just had to say how much I have enjoyed reading Cliff's TD and comments on this site. The ups and downs of the game in France I find most interesting and Cliff really brings them to life. Motivated in part by Cliff's words I visited France for the first time this year and whilst I didn't get to see a game I visited Carcassone, Lezignan etc , what great places. At Lezignan I got to speak to a young player for Lezignan at the market day and bought several t-shirts "Champion de France 2009 FCL X111", I love wearing them. I definitely will return and take in some games next time. Cliff, thanks so much for your informative , colourful, insightful and intelligent comments on our great game and in particlar the game in France.

Edited by koala, 06 September 2010 - 01:10 AM.


#17 dallymessenger

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Posted 06 September 2010 - 06:40 AM

the story of the vichy banning of RL needs to be highlighted and cliffs work in this regard is much appreciated.

i only learned of this around 5 years ago and at first didnt believe it

many people ive told think im making it up

its a real shame we lost what we had in france it was a fantastic part of the RL world

i can only hope we get it back there one day

#18 Futtocks

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Posted 06 September 2010 - 09:08 AM

QUOTE (trakl @ Sep 5 2010, 08:24 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It was the great Harry Edgar all those years ago from the very early days of Open Rugby who turned me on to the glorious yet damaged history of French rugby league - and the game's latent potential there too. I'm still awaiting his long-promised book on those "Champagne" tourists of Down Under long ago!

While you're waiting, I assume you've already got Henri Garcia's excellent book on the same subject?

And Cliff, rest assured that your contributions to the magazine and this website are always valued, appreciated and enjoyed. Don't be a stranger on the TRL forum, now!

A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it isn’t open. Frank Zappa (1940 - 1993)


#19 RP London

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Posted 06 September 2010 - 09:49 AM

cliff

always a pleasure to read what you have to say whether on here or in the magazine. Good luck with the future and hope all the illnesses get better. Hopefully you will keep contribution from time to time to the mag and may well see you around and about the amateur scene from time to time.

Rich

#20 rlfan13

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Posted 06 September 2010 - 10:18 AM

Thanks Cliff for your wonderful coverage of the game in France. I think that I've read every entry that you have ever done in Treiziste Diary and I've enjoyed them all. TD fired my enthusiasm for the game in France, and I've now got a wonderful group of RL friends from villages around the Carcassonee area. I hope that you will breakout of semi-retirement with many special essays in the future. Happy semi-retirement!




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