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  1. This is delightful and valuable material, excellently presented. Really good reading for Rovers fans, rugby league fans, residents, and anyone with a connection to the town and its sport. Thank you.
  2. Featherstone would fit very nicely in a second division of semi-professional clubs. An impressive history of cup winning success and the production of players of world renown, a small but enthusiastic and committed fan base, the attraction of being a small town club surviving in a difficult and hostile commercial leisure environment, an area where the sport of Rugby League has been integral for generations, and probably has a greater proportion of players per population than any other town in the country, and an absolute certainty that it will continue to be a town with a rugby league team as
  3. Excellently stated. And, in my opinion, a very important point. But it doesn't matter what I think: what matters is that the game constantly re-assesses its success as a provider of entertainment. Referees are allowed, it seems, a spectrum of interpretation when it comes to the laws - significant changes to the spectacle should be straightforward to engineer.
  4. There’s an inevitable conclusion to this line of thinking: that the present players surpass all those who have gone before, in terms of skill. I’ll keep this in mind when I watch the first round of SL fixtures. Can I suggest that "frankly laughable" is a disappointing response in a discussion. At least it is in my circles. Please have the last word. I shall not respond.
  5. Thank you for a thoughtful and detailed reply. Only a vague suggestion, but I like the 10,000 hours idea: that to achieve national/international level ability in any field requires something like 10,000 hours of investment. Not to be underestimated is the value of incidental skill acquisition by “playing” 10,000 hours of rugby in its various formats, often in the presence of those already at the top level, which is what the young players of that era did. Of course, only a tiny percentage also had the other qualities required to advance to the top levels, but they took with them an enormou
  6. Brought up in a Rugby League town the 50s and 60, kids played rugby league - touch and pass, grab, full contact; in parks, gardens, streets, fields, playgrounds - to such exclusivity that they clocked up hundreds of hours a year, thousands of hours of adolescence, of passing and catching, running and footwork, reading the structure, finding the spaces, evaluating the opposition. It was all-enveloping, from setting off for school until being called in after dark. (I believe there are stories of Murphy being trained by his junior school headteacher during playtime) So widespread was the amateur
  7. One opinion, and I cannot comment on those who came before, but Murphy was the best I’ve ever seen, and no one since has come near to equalling him. Tough, strong, fast, courageous, intelligent, are qualities taken as read, his footwork and eye for an opportunity and kicking were brilliant, his ball-handling, game awareness and organisational craft were unparalleled. In so many areas, he could do things that others could not. He was the boss of every game I saw him in. Oh, and as a supporter of various Yorkshire sides, I hated him.
  8. I was fortunate to see this group in action this week, for my vaccination. A very impressive commitment in numbers and time, from a delightful group doing valuable community work. I have never been a Wakefield supporter, but I shall be now, and shall repay my debt at their next home match.
  9. It may not be the criticism within the game you are referring to, much of the “criticism” so often quoted on here, is genuine concern at the erosion of the edges of the sport - the lower levels of the pyramid, the community game, junior interest; along with the apparent retreat of the sport to a profile consisting of a few similar teams. It may or may not be considered a valid viewpoint by many, but the word “criticism” is mostly unfair.
  10. Sincere apologies if it seems as though I was attributing blame to your point of view. I did not intend to do so. The post of yours I quoted and the above post constitute a valuable contribution to the discussion of the difficulties the sport faces. I simply wanted to offer a perspective, and perhaps a suggestion that there could be some merit in using the game's history and regional nature as attractive selling points.
  11. But our very regional game did once have a significant national profile. Teams, towns, players, even commentators, were known nationally. The sport was highly respected for many of its qualities, including the way it conducted itself, and including its very obvious pride in its regional nature. The Challenge Cup final was one of the major sporting occasions of the nation. Rugby League was often spoken of as being the nation’s third professional sport. Rugby League was once taken very seriously, as a nationally known sport with a regional basis. This is not a view through nostalgic spectacles:
  12. Is this serious? If not, it's an unhelpful contribution to a discussion. If it is serious, I'm finding it difficult to believe that some one thinks that rugby league should not be enjoyed by adults for the sheer pleasure of playing. It certainly invalidates 15 years of my sporting activity.
  13. To continue your digression on "build it and they will come": If you haven’t already read it, the original novel “Shoeless Joe” by W P Kinsella offers an interesting perspective. It’s an enjoyable and whimsical fantasy, a story with deeper and more complex elements than a film can explore. There may be some considerations for a rugby league fan: that the traditions and history of your sport can exist side by side with its present and the future, that heroes are essential in sport, that sport is escapism where dreams are woven into its fabric. It also leads you to the history of the Chicag
  14. Would like suggest something approaching a viable pathway to achieving this? Perhaps with a sensible time span and some ball park costings?
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