Schoey pays tribute to Myler

Garry Schofield has paid tribute to legendary former player and coach Frank Myler, saying: “If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t have made anything like as many Great Britain appearances.”
Former Widnes and St Helens star Myler, who died aged 81 last week after a long illness, is famed as the last captain to lead the Lions to an Ashes series victory over Australia, Down Under in 1970.
Ten years earlier, he helped Great Britain win the World Cup on home territory, and made 24 Test appearances in total, three of them on the 1966 tour.
In 1971, the one-time centre or stand-off moved into coaching at Rochdale and later took charge of his hometown club Widnes, where he had two spells, as well as coaching Swinton and Oldham.
Myler also coached at international level, giving Schofield the first of his record-equalling 46 Lions caps against France at Headingley in February 1984, the fourth of his eleven matches at the helm.
A few months later, Myler made Schofield the youngest-ever Lions tourist at the age of 18, and played him in all three Tests against Australia, plus one against New Zealand.
“Frank was a great player, a great bloke and a great coach and motivator, and I have a huge amount to thank him for,” said Schofield, who, like Myler, played both as a centre and stand-off.
“I’ve often spoken and written about the importance of a coach putting his faith in a player, and that’s exactly what Frank did with me.
“I remember that game against France clearly. It was a horrible, wet Friday night, and we won a scrappy game 10-0 with David Hobbs kicking all the points through goals.
“I played in the centres alongside John Joyner, and to be honest, I had a real stinker, which took the gloss off my excitement at making my international debut.
“I was feeling a bit all over the place, but Frank took me to one side and said: ‘Listen Schoey, other players have had nights like that, and more will do in the future. Don’t worry, you’ll make plenty more Great Britain appearances’.
“It was exactly what I needed to hear at that difficult moment, and it really picked me up and boosted my confidence. Frank selected me for the tour and I played in four of the Tests, which gave me fantastic experience at such a young age.
“The way Frank treated me provided a really solid foundation for my international career, and without him, I don’t think I’d have gone on to achieve what I did.
“I can’t speak highly enough of him, and I’ll always be thankful to him.”