DEWSBURY RAMS favourite Warren Jowitt is among the club’s former players leading fundraising appeals to honour former coach Jack Addy with a bronze statue at the Tetley’s Stadium.Addy, who was a player, head coach and president during several decades of being associated with the club, passed away earlier this month at the age of 81.Now, a number of players who played under Addy during his coaching career are coming together in an attempt to raise £6,500 to erect a bronze statue at the stadium in appreciation of his efforts to the Rams.“Prior to his passing we said we had to do something as his legacy is phenomenal,” Jowitt said.“I know Davide Longo, the CEO of Featherstone, was close to Jack, so I got in touch to make things happen.“He’s jumped on it and sorted it all out and done a fantastic job. It’s the least we can do as players, as a club and as supporters, to get behind him and remember him for the great man that he was.”
Tributes poured in following the news of his passing, with Addy having a clear impact on many people within the Rugby League community.
Among those was Jowitt, who was signed by Addy in 2005 after having initially planned to retire from the sport.
Since then, Jowitt, along with former Dewsbury player Paul Cooper, had remained close friends with Addy and frequently visited him while he was in care.
“We were close to Jack and we went to his care home,” Jowitt explained.
“When he was taken into hospital we went to see him. I wouldn’t say he was in good health, but he was in good spirits. When we walked in, he would say ‘hey up, the big lads are here now’, which is how he always used to react when he saw us.
“He had Alzheimer’s, but that would put the biggest smile on our face as we knew he was still there.
“He was always good to me. Jack has had a lasting impact on a lot of players. He took me there after I’d retired from Super League because of injury.
“I had helped starting Roy Sampson at Hunslet; we went to watch Anthony Henderson and Jack was there watching the same player.
“Anyway, he asked what I was on with and said why don’t I go and play for Dewsbury. I wasn’t really bothered, but Jack persuaded me to sign and I stayed for all those years after that.
“After he stopped coaching he was still always there. You’d come off after the game, go to the bar and he’d be there waiting for me.
“You’d know whether you’d had a good game or bad game through Jack. If you’d played well, you got a smile and a pat on the back, but if he shook his head, you knew for a fact you’d had a bad game.
“Jack treated me really well, like his own son, and I’m forever grateful for that.”
Over £1,200 has already been raised. Donations can be mate at https://www.gofundme.com/f/jack-addy-legacy-sculptor.
SWINTON LIONS coach Stuart Littler says the club’s newly announced development academy will have significant long-term benefits for the club.
The club and the Lions Foundation, in partnership with The Rugby College, last week launched the Swinton Lions Development Academy.
The Academy will offer students an opportunity to study for formal educational qualifications alongside playing and training opportunities from September 2020 onwards.
Littler said: “This is another piece of outstanding news.
“The dual-academy approach is a great concept, as it will allow players to continue a rugby pathway but with recognised certification, which also allows learners to progress within the educational system.
“I am a firm believer that all Rugby League players should always access some education or training in whatever subject area motivates them as an individual.
“This pathway also allows players to continue with a focus on striving to become the best player that they can be, plus they will start to access individual specifics with regards to tailored training plans and nutritional advice.
“It allows us another pathway in our links within the community and to grow organically as an organisation.”
Lions director of development Damian Ridyard added: “We are determined to ensure every student that enrols on the course will have the opportunity to maximise their potential in both educational and playing opportunities.
“From a playing perspective there’s the opportunity of a player pathway to Swinton Lions together with links into community clubs, where players can be further assessed by club coaching staff post-qualifications.”
More information on the course can be found on the Lions’ website.
HALIFAX have made a number of changes to their board of directors, including appointing returning duo Ian Croad and Steve Lambert.
The pair will be joined by the experienced Ken Jones in an advisory role, in moves announced by managing director Dave Grayson.
He explained: “Steve Lambert joins as operations and commercial director.
“Steve has a wealth of knowledge in these areas and has been a previous Halifax RLFC board member.
“Having now retired, he has more time now to enhance the board with his operational expertise and commercial contacts in these areas.
“Ian Croad also re-joins, again having been a past board member.
“His knowledge of the workings of the RFL player-agent circuit, coupled with his extensive network at board level with other club Chairmen, will no doubt prove invaluable.
“Ken Jones joins in an advisory role to the board.
“Ken has huge RFL experience, having worked in the past for the RFL governing body and also on the front line with Featherstone Rovers, Bradford Bulls and Sheffield Eagles.
“Hugely respected within the game, he will add significant knowledge of the workings of Rugby League, strategy, systems and process to help build a platform for the future for Halifax RLFC.
“Finally, Gary Bray will add the community director title to his current role of fans liaison.
“It is vital the club looks to re-engaging further with the town, its community clubs and attracts new audiences to the club in the future.”
OLDHAM assistant coach Brendan Sheridan has spoken about the impact his battle with Covid-19 has had on his mental health.
The 41-year-old spent two weeks in an induced coma last month.
Sheridan went from feeling fine one morning before struggling to breathe and feeling “like somebody was squeezing the air out of my lungs” within a matter of hours.
He had previously shown none of the coronavirus symptoms and after a number of calls to 111 he was rushed into hospital and placed on a ventilator.
Sheridan recovered, but says the experience has had a significant psychological effect that has seen him referred to the Sporting Chance clinic to deal with post-traumatic stress disorder.
He says he has struggled to sleep ever since the ordeal and is “haunted” by thoughts in hospital of not being able to say goodbye to his family.
Sheridan said: “I couldn’t move in the bed, and when you’re in a ventilator it’s very claustrophobic.
“There were some dark days and I was looking at a machine 18 hours a day hoping my oxygen levels were going up.
“It’s been very difficult to deal with it all.
“Physically I feel fine now, but it’s hard to process everything else at the moment.”
BATLEY BULLDOGS used their successful weekend half-time draw to raise money for the club’s long running Pink Weekend to support breast cancer charities.
In an address to supporters, Chairman Kevin Nicholas, whose wife Beverley passed away in May last year following a cancer battle, outlined the move.
Nicholas said: “Clearly while people are dying from this virus, we haven’t got to forget that people are dying from lots of other things as well.
“Breast cancer is not going away; people are still suffering from it, and as this is our charity at the club we need to do something this year of all years, with it being so difficult.”
The six previous Pink Weekends, which was an idea launched by Beverley Nicholas, have raised over £118,500.
Nicholas also revealed that the eight previous draws had raised a total of £8,966 for the club, which sees it made at half-time of a retro match that the Bulldogs show online.
LEIGH CENTURIONS coach John Duffy says the part-time nature of much of the Championship will have to be taken into account in any return-to-play plan.
Speaking on last week’s edition of Back Chat, Duffy said: “With lads in our league being part-time and having another job, we have to look at the safety of them going to work and then coming to a rugby environment.
“You have to have everything right and there’s talk of Covid officers at every club making sure the players do the right thing before entering the stadium or training facilities.
“But when you look at the guidelines it’s not too hard to do.”
WHITEHAVEN trio James Newton, Tom Walker and Brett Carter have taken on an innovative running challenge to raise money for a young Cumbrian.
The three players, plus Barrow duo Shane Toal and Ryan Johnston, have pledged to run four miles every four hours for 48 hours, continuing through the night.
Newton completed his effort last week, while Carter, Toal and Johnston were doing it over the weekend and Walker will complete the group’s effort this week.
They are looking to help raise £3,850 for a specialist wheelchair for Barrow youngster Jack Bennett, who was diagnosed with Tortacolis, which is a form of severe Cerebral Palsy and epilepsy.
You can support their efforts at: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/jacks-new-wheels.
TOULOUSE OLYMPIQUE have updated supporters on their current position as they wait to be able to resume training.
A statement read: “In France, the Ministry of Sports has prohibited the resumption of team sports at least until the beginning of June.
“The leaders, staff and players are therefore awaiting new announcements in order to envisage a return to training.
“Regarding the resumption of the Championship, the Olympique club participated in a meeting of the Rugby Football League alongside the other clubs in the competition.
“No decision as to the rest of the competition will be made before June as there are too many unknowns about the evolution of the virus.”
BRADFORD BULLS centre Ross Oakes says his side is keen to pick up where they left off when they are allowed back onto the field.
In a series of Lockdown Life Stories on the club’s YouTube channel, Oakes said: “That’s probably the most frustrating thing.
“We got a couple of good wins against Sheffield and Oldham and came close in the Challenge Cup against Wakefield.
“We also came very close against two of the league favourites to win it earlier on, so we were showing positive signs, and hopefully we can continue that when things resume.”
LONDON BRONCOS coach Danny Ward says one positive of the lockdown has been forward duo Sadiq Adebiyi’s and Greg Richards’ ability to recover from injuries.
Richards had a calf tear while Adebiyi needed surgery to re-attach muscle to the bone on his chest.
Ward said: “They’re doing really well; we’ve kept in touch.
“They’ve had time to heal and have been looking after themselves really well. They should be good to go when we’re back playing.”