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So long and thanks for all the...


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Despite being born and raised in West Berkshire I have loved RL since I first watched it on Grandstand in the 1970s. My love for the game was confirmed in the early 80s when I went to Bradford University. On my return to the south I followed Broncos for a couple of decades (even when they were at Crystal Palace) and then for the last ten years, because I moved to North East London, I have followed Skolars. I have sponsored games, players, bought shares, bought people along and have a huge amount of respect for the club. But life is short and in London I feel I am in a relationship (with RL) that isn't going any where and it is time to say goodbye. I hope that the game gets its act together and will check in every so often to see if it has. I have some good memories, but honestly I have not confidence that the game is going to go anywhere, over than downwards, -  so for the the foreseeable future (World Cup aside) I have to sadly say the sport has lost me. 

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30 minutes ago, EssexRL said:

Despite being born and raised in West Berkshire I have loved RL since I first watched it on Grandstand in the 1970s. My love for the game was confirmed in the early 80s when I went to Bradford University. On my return to the south I followed Broncos for a couple of decades (even when they were at Crystal Palace) and then for the last ten years, because I moved to North East London, I have followed Skolars. I have sponsored games, players, bought shares, bought people along and have a huge amount of respect for the club. But life is short and in London I feel I am in a relationship (with RL) that isn't going any where and it is time to say goodbye. I hope that the game gets its act together and will check in every so often to see if it has. I have some good memories, but honestly I have not confidence that the game is going to go anywhere, over than downwards, -  so for the the foreseeable future (World Cup aside) I have to sadly say the sport has lost me. 

Hang in there pal and don't throw in the towel

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It can be a somewhat draining experience at times being a RL fan in the heartlands, so those who keep the candle burning elsewhere have my utmost respect (and thanks).

Sometimes it’s good to take a break, take stock and hopefully one day return invigorated. Maybe with a reliable international programme and regular London fixtures?

All the best 👍 

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Sorry to hear that. 

Whatever IMG and the JV have in mind, they'd better start laying out some detail sharpish.

Because in London, after the events of this season, there won't be even a vestigial fan base left to build on if they wait too much longer. 

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I totally understand. I'm basically at the stage where it is my own club I'll go watch but little else interests me in the game too much. So given where the game is now in London with Broncos cannibalising the Skolars I don't blame you losing faith in that too.

Hopefully it gets better soon.

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I feel your pain mate. But as someone who has probably been at it for less years than you, I am still determined to dig my heels in and fight to make a difference. But I do have moments where I feel like throwing the towel in and walking away. But the problem is, if we all do that, then the game no longer exists. 

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Sad to hear, and I've often wondered over the last few years whether i will come to a similar conclusion at some point.

I was a born and bred avid west ham fan from a kid to my mid 20's, and it became apparent to me that the clubs own ambitions didn't match that of many of the fans, myself included. So I walked away, and from football also. It took a few goes, and I was pulled back in on a couple of occasions, mostly out of loyalty, but eventually enough was enough.

I hope the senior management at the RFL get the required level of input and leadership from this IMG Deal, as I can't see anyone currently within the game in the UK who can make the changes needed and put the game on a secure path to success.

Clubs and the standards at many of the clubs also need to follow suit.

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Newham Dockers - Champions 2013. Rugby League For East London. 100% Cockney Rugby League!

Twitter: @NewhamDockersRL - Get following!

www.newhamdockers.co.uk

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 It`s easy to think that all is peachy over here, but the game`s security is far from a foregone conclusion and there`s been many a time, usually off-field incidents or selfishness of individuals involved in running the game, that have made me wonder why I bother and I do contemplate chucking it in.

Sometimes I think it`d be great to fast forward the whole thing forward 10 years, wake up and see where the game has ended up and spare myself all the angst in the meantime. The whole thing sorted, one way or the other.

 

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1 hour ago, Wigan Riversider said:

Understandable.

I watch a local amateur team having lost interest in SL.

is it leigh? have we converted you??

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Posted (edited)

My happiness with rugby league increased dramatically when I stopped:

1 - trying to actively evangelise;

2- following administrative politics and failings; and

3- stressing too much about the sport as a whole.

I mostly just enjoy the matches these days and the game day experience. It’s exactly what I needed and was a detox from the negative parts of the sport  … and I now enjoy the sport more than ever these days.

Edited by Copa
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21 minutes ago, Copa said:

My happiness with rugby league increased dramatically when I stopped:

1 - trying to actively evangelise;

2- following administrative politics and failings; and

3- stressing too much about the sport as a whole.

I mostly just enjoy the matches these days and the game day experience. It’s exactly what I needed and was a detox from the negative parts of the sport  … and I now enjoy the sport more than ever these days.

To be honest I think there would be plenty to be positive about if I was living in Australia and was a NRL fan. More importantly the NRL seem to now have the money to make anything happen that they want in their sphere of influence.

Arguments in your part of the world revolve around where to have an 18th team, the international game and growth generally (generalisations but you get the gist). Any major issues and the game has the means, and money, to do something about it. That's a pretty great place to be.

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This year is the 50th anniversary of watching my first live game of RL. Since then I have been a player, administrator, supporter, sponsor, benefactor. I have been to the other side of the world 6 times to watch and play RL. I have been to every major RL event including NRL Grand Final and Bartercard cup final. I attended 40 Challenge Cup finals in a row. Then I suddenly stopped doing all that. 
 

RL for me now begins and ends with Workington Town. I go to the odd amateur game and watch a few games on TV but I am finding SL increasingly boring mainly due to the appalling standard of officiating and over sanitisation of the game. I do not attend the big events anymore, haven’t even bought tickets for any World Cup games. For whatever reason I just don’t care about the wider game anymore. Can’t really put my finger on why that’s the case, I think it’s just the snowball effect of a lot of small disillusionments. But these days I no longer call myself a Rugby League fan, I am a Workington Town fan and that’s all.

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I’m not prejudiced, I hate everybody equally

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16 minutes ago, Derwent said:

This year is the 50th anniversary of watching my first live game of RL. Since then I have been a player, administrator, supporter, sponsor, benefactor. I have been to the other side of the world 6 times to watch and play RL. I have been to every major RL event including NRL Grand Final and Bartercard cup final. I attended 40 Challenge Cup finals in a row. Then I suddenly stopped doing all that. 
 

RL for me now begins and ends with Workington Town. I go to the odd amateur game and watch a few games on TV but I am finding SL increasingly boring mainly due to the appalling standard of officiating and over sanitisation of the game. I do not attend the big events anymore, haven’t even bought tickets for any World Cup games. For whatever reason I just don’t care about the wider game anymore. Can’t really put my finger on why that’s the case, I think it’s just the snowball effect of a lot of small disillusionments. But these days I no longer call myself a Rugby League fan, I am a Workington Town fan and that’s all.

In my book that still makes you a rugby league fan - just one that engages with the sport in the way that the vast majority of other sports fans do: through the club they support. 

Indeed it's always been an oddity that being a rugby league fan has sometimes demanded one invest time in worrying about the existential health of the game as a whole. I understand why it's been like that - history and such - but it shouldn't have to be that way. 

In an ideal world we'd all just be primarily focussed about the parochial concerns of our own club, like fans in most other sports do. 

I share a similar backstory to the OP: Southern born and bred, hooked via league on Grandstand, some uni years in the north where I attended games (plus in my case a few northern family links). 

For me though, since I moved back south, I've primary consumed rugby league via TV and only attended 2 or 3 games a year. As long as the game's on the TV my connection to the sport will be sustained, even if southern RL fails. 

But for the OP, his engagement with the sport has been much more about in-person connections, and it's been made increasingly hard for him to do that in an enjoyable way. 

I know through personal experince from another sport that once you lose that in-person connection, a TV connection just doesnt replace it, and you're lost for good. 

That's the tragedy of the OP's decision, and no doubt that of a few thousand others who just can't face attending Broncos or Skolars games any more - they're gone for good. 

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I struggle to have my own team, initially it was Fulham as. There was nothing else in London at the time and quickly started going away. As a 20 year old, places like Bradley were different to what I knew and I remember getting off a train at Wigan about 4am and being able to go into a club. it all seemed so much better than football.

London started to move around and are still spinning around the capital and I drifted away especially as no one else was getting the train. 

I kept in interest and still fancied a trio to new places but they rarely won when I went. I then didn’t go for a few years and returned to visit the grounds I had not been to as a neutral. Not caring who won meant I could watch the game properly and it was suddenly fun again.

I had seen a few amateur clubs at home in the cup and decided to do every round following the winners starting at East Leeds and it was great. Cheap beer, small towns and sometimes long train journey but all very enjoyable. 

I understand for many people being partisan is essential to watching sport but not being so can be rewarding especially if you have put much into your team. 

So watch the local teams without caring who wins, stay at home or go to the pub if it rains hard but watch some great sport all for nothing paper from fares. London is a bit of a mess at the moment but within an hour you are in Gillingham, Hemel, Hitchin or St Albans or a little further head for Wymondham and visit the pubs. 

You could even watch Skolars A which have a different attitude to the semi pro side.

However you do this or not, keep in the game it is still mostly great. 

If you want to meet I can revisit one of the LOndon sides with you and we could possibly get some more off of here

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3 hours ago, Toby Chopra said:

In my book that still makes you a rugby league fan - just one that engages with the sport in the way that the vast majority of other sports fans do: through the club they support. 

I've touched on this before, but many "ardent" fans in other sports have only seen the team that they've "supported" since  junior school  on TV.

My advice: watch the NRL and Elite 1.

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If you’re watching Skolars you’re not in it for the success and I find it admirable that people do. It’s sad what London Broncos have done this off season and the mess they’ve put themselves, Skolars and Rugby League in London and the South East in and it should not be forgotten. 

I’m quietly optimistic though. We’ve seen IMG’s production of the sport on 4 is far better than Sky’s current sloppy efforts so if they can have that effect across the board, I’d be delighted.

I’ve stopped watching Premier League football but it wasn’t a finite decision, like this, but more a slow burner that’s grown to no longer attending or being that bothered about non-attendance for me. 

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, EastLondonMike said:

Sad to hear, and I've often wondered over the last few years whether i will come to a similar conclusion at some point.

I was a born and bred avid west ham fan from a kid to my mid 20's, and it became apparent to me that the clubs own ambitions didn't match that of many of the fans, myself included. So I walked away, and from football also. It took a few goes, and I was pulled back in on a couple of occasions, mostly out of loyalty, but eventually enough was enough.

 

In the end of course West Ham did show ambition,  playing in a 60,000 seater stadium and gallivanting off to Europe.

BTW the Hammers qualified for Europe again today,  so your ex fellow fans are having a cockney knees up.

BTW I've just discovered a local to me RL club, Hainault Bulldogs,  anyone seen them?

Edited by HawkMan
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I totally understand mate, I must admit I'm not far off feeling the same. I haven't been to a game since the start of Covid and I realised a couple of months back that I'm not even that bothered. I was debating with myself the other day whether I'm gonna even get a season ticket again despite being a season ticket holder since I was in my teens. I'm planning on taking in a couple of world cup games and I still watch games when they're on the tele but I have realised I haven't missed attending games too much and a couple of other interests in the last couple of years have overtaken RL. I check in on this forum a few times a day but don't even post too much anymore because I'm just not much interested in the ins and outs of RL anymore, I come on here more for the community. Like I say, I'll watch a game when it's on TV but that's pretty much my whole engagement with the sport these days. 

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