Ex-Wakefield Trinity boss Mark Applegarth lifts lid on vitiriolic abuse aimed at him and his family

FORMER Wakefield Trinity head coach Mark Applegarth has lifted the lid on the vitriolic abuse aimed at him and his family whilst boss of the West Yorkshire club in 2023.

Applegarth was handed a real baptism of fire in his first job as a professional head coach, taking the reins of Wakefield ahead of the 2023 Super League season.

However, the former back-rower was unable to inspire a decent season with Trinity winning just four games all year and succumbing to relegation to the Championship.

For Applegarth, however, him and his family were targeted by “threatening” abuse, particularly online.

Applegarth told BBC Radio Leeds: “There were a few that came back, threatening certain things. I ultimately said to anyone that if anyone wants to come and chat to me, just turn up to the stadium and knock on the coach’s door and I’ll happily take an hour with anyone and tell you where I feel I’ve gone wrong and where we can improve.

“I’ve never been one of these people who distance themselves from their community. At the end of the day I live in Wakefield, I’m about two minutes down the road from the ground, but it’s my wife and close family, they don’t sign up for that.

“As a head coach you sign up for that and you understand it, you deal with it. It’s the people that have to deal with those consequences of your action which is signing up for that job. They don’t sign up to read that abuse.

“But it is what it is, it’s part of sport unfortunately and the modern world. People can say what they want without consequence.”

Applegarth explained how he went over to talk to a Wakefield fan who had aimed vitriol at him following the defeat to Leigh which saw Trinity drop down a division for the first time since 1998.

“When we got relegated at Leigh, I walked over to the away fans and I’d say 99 per cent of the fans understood the situation last year.

“The people I spoke to were very nice to me and very understanding, but I remember the Leigh game, there were a fan absolutely yelling abuse at me.

“He caught my eye out of luck more than anything else so I went over and asked what he wanted to say to me. He just started crying and said he wasn’t angry at me, it was the situation.”

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