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Martyn Sadler

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About Martyn Sadler

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  1. Portillo is the son of a Spanish immigrant who came to England after the Spanish Civil War, after having supported the Republicans in that conflict. And I believe he attended the same state school as Diane Abbott in Harrow, although someone may correct me on that. I've never got the impression that he has any interest in sport at all, so I rather doubt whether he fully appreciates the history of the two codes of rugby, whether in the UK or Australia. I seem to recall on one occasion he came to Huddersfield and talked about Harold Wilson's statue in front of the railway station, but made no reference to the adjacent George Hotel. Maybe we can put that down to the programme's research team.
  2. A very talented man, not least as a poet. Nonetheless, I was always a little disappointed that coming from Sydney, having played against the great Reg Gasnier as a schoolboy and occasionally fronting The Footy Show on Channel 9, he never made any reference to his love of Rugby League in his writing or broadcasting in this country. I suspect it says a lot about our sport's inability to reach the chattering classes and Clive's understanding of what was likely to gain him kudos with that particular audience.
  3. Check out this article by League Express Championship correspondent Gareth Walker, who selects seven players who he believes could make a big impact in the Championship in 2020.
  4. I agree with your final paragraph about the shambolic nature of this tour for the reasons you cite. But it's never a good idea to make decisions based on short term results, however disappointing they may be. One important consideration, for example, is that the existence of Great Britain playing in home and away Test series will actually help players from the other home nations. Let me give you two examples. Regan Grace is never likely to play for England, but of course could (and some think should) play for Great Britain. That in itself will raise the profile of Test match Rugby League in Wales and will give Regan the chance to aim to play representative Rugby League at the highest level. Joe Philbin qualifies for Ireland and for England. If we have GB playing in a Test series, he can be selected while still being available to play for Ireland in other tournaments. As an aside, I thought it was interesting over the last four weeks to see Jonathan Davies in the BBC studio when talking about the current Test series referring to "we" when he was talking about GB, as opposed to "they" when he talks about England in the same situation. That illustrates that Great Britain has a significantly wider appeal than England for obvious reasons.
  5. Werner Doehner, who was the last living survivor of the Hindenberg airship disaster in 1937. Having seen footage I'm amazed that anyone was able to survive.
  6. in Rugby League one of our greatest talents is throwing the towel in when we don't get great results immediately. The rationale for whether we do or don't have Great Britain playing matches against other countries has nothing to do with the results of this tour, as you rightly suggest. I believe that Great Britain should play Test series at home and away, including for the Ashes next year. England and the other Home Nations should play in World Cups and in other tournaments, such as Four Nations, which we also abandoned, incidentally. Dave Woods tells us to look to the future, but in Rugby League that usually means planning just a few months ahead. We don't even know yet which other nation we will be playing next June. How can any we succeed on that basis?
  7. I would say the biggest shock result of all time was when France drew 15-15 with England on 28 March 1935 at the Stade Buffalo in Paris in the European Championship. That came only a year or two after Rugby League had been introduced in France and came in the year following the formation of the French Federation. For a group of players from a rugby union background to be competitive with England in such a limited amount of time would be unthinkable today.
  8. It's a nice article with some very positive thoughts on the future development of Rugby League in the South Pacific. But to suggest that it was the biggest upset in the history of international Rugby League is to use a certain degree of poetic licence. When you look at the Tongan selection, you can appreciate how strong and competitive they are. It isn't a major shock for them to beat anybody. That small disagreement aside, I would love to see Rugby League become the major sport in the Pacific Islands.
  9. And no performances of Gary Glitter anywhere!
  10. I recognise what you are saying, but what I would really like to know is why Moorhouse raised it in his book. Where did it come from, given that it almost seemed to be a throwaway line? It's very easy to damn people who are now dead and make all sorts of claims about them that they obviously can't rebut. And since he wrote that book, plenty of people have read that about Sunderland and assumed it must be true. Sadly, Moorhouse himself died some time ago, so we can't ask him.
  11. I think if Roy Francis had been sacked at Wigan purely on racial grounds, the Wigan supporters would have known it and they would have been up in arms about it. In that context it certainly would have been newsworthy.
  12. I think she is being very harsh. I don't think it was rife in this country in those days, unlike in, for example, the United States. That doesn't mean it wasn't present at all, but working people were remarkably free of it, as Paul Robeson discovered, particularly in Wales, in the 1930s. Alex Givvons was discovering something very similar in Oldham in the 1930s.
  13. Yes, I missed out bald players and, for that matter, the one I shouldn't have forgotten, players with beards.
  14. Yes, religion and hair colour. We're probably the most inclusive sport, but sometimes it's hard to remember all the inclusions.
  15. Actually, I did miss out probably the most important thing of all. I should have said that we would like to see our new participants and spectators also wanting to read about and give their opinions on Rugby League, by flocking to the shops to buy League Express and Rugby League World and coming to this website, both to read the news and express their views on this forum. We can but hope.
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