So here goes me.
Grew up in SW London/Surrey from a (very) Welsh family, my Great Granddad having played Union for Wales. Naturally I was given a rugby ball around the time I could walk and played union from minis to U16s.
Fell out of playing when I went to a 6th form college where to play for the college you had to join their ‘Academy’ and give up an A Level. I didn’t want to do this so fell into playing Hockey for fun instead. Went to Uni in Hull and a friend who was a Rovers fan took me along one Sunday. Added to being in St John Ambulance which meant I’d regularly be On Duty at either Hull club, often being on the stretcher team at the KC. It was great for my education in the game to be at such close quarters.
Moved back south, kept following KR from afar (including a few trips to Magic Weekend including a freezing Murryfield) and got involved at the Sussex Merlins when I lived in Brighton. A friend who was an RFL development officer at the time knew I’d done a bit of radio presenting and asked if I could do some games for them.
A couple of years later I saw the news about Oxford RL being formed and became their PA announcer for all of their existence, including going to Toronto's first ever home game. I’ve also played a bit (badly) and ran the London and South East rep squad for 2 seasons. I also had a London Broncos season ticket while they were at the Stoop however it became too hard once they moved up to Barnet and it would have taken around 2.5hrs door to door from where I was at the time.
Now I’m happily at the Coventry Bears as the announcer there, so if you’ve ever seen us you’ll know me as Mr ‘Come on Bears’. I’m also a regular co-host on fans podcast the super league pod which is great fun and has put me in touch with all manner of fans from pretty much every club. I live in Swindon for work so an average matchday sees me travel a 120 mile round trip. With rail replacement works a journey of 3hrs+ each way isn't uncommon.
It’s often frustrating following RL in the South, I’ve introduced a few friends to internationals in particular over the years and they’ve often asked ‘When’s the next game’ as soon as we’ve walked out. 9/10 I’ve not been able to tell them. The games administrators definitely need to think more of the wider picture and get out of Leeds more if they ever truly want a national game. A lot of the time I'm not really convinced they do.