Dewsbury Rams coach Dale Ferguson on ‘worrying’ illness that left him fearing he would need transplant

DEWSBURY’S Dale Ferguson has detailed the serious illness which almost derailed his coaching career before it began.

The 35-year-old former Scotland forward is happily back to good health and at the Rams’ reins after fearing he may need a liver transplant. 

Complications set in after he picked up a virus while on holiday in Turkey at the end of last season, when he was a player in the Dewsbury squad led to promotion as League One champions by Liam Finn. 

Ex-Wakefield, Huddersfield, Bradford and Featherstone star Ferguson had agreed to succeed Halifax-bound Finn as coach and started to build a squad and plan for this season before being sidelined. 

“It’s been a bit of a turmoil time, but thankfully I’m fine now,” he told League Express. 

“I went on holiday the day after our last game against Doncaster (at the end of August), and wasn’t feeling 100 percent when we got back. 

“I was put on a course of antibiotics, but had a bad reaction to them and ended up in hospital for a fortnight with liver failure. 

“It was very worrying. My liver was shutting down and from what the doctors were saying, it was looking like I might need a transplant. 

“Thankfully I avoided that and started to recover, and eventually I was given the all-clear to get back to something like normal. 

“My family and the club were both brilliant and so supportive, and I’m so grateful to everyone who helped me and that I’m better again.  

“My first actual interaction with the squad as coach was when we played Batley on Boxing Day, and in my absence, my assistants Jaymes Chapman and Conor Turner did a great job. 

“It was always going to be a joint effort this season. All the staff have been fantastic, and the player have responded well to the situation.” 

Ferguson continued: “I know the nucleus of the squad from playing with them, and it was the players who put me forward to follow Finny. 

“That belief they and the club have in me means an awful lot; I feel honoured to coach Dewsbury.

“And I learned plenty from Liam, who has put great foundations in place and keeps in touch.”