Smithies’ family work ethic

When Morgan Smithies burst onto the scene last year he left many astounded by his work-rate and willingness to graft.

But the Wigan star has revealed that his thirst for hard work is inspired by one man – his grandfather.

His granddad retired at the age of 75, but still helps out regularly on the family farm in Halifax, where Smithies is spending the lockdown.

And a long working life runs in the family, with his great-grandfather not having retired until he reached the age of 79.

“My granddad’s retired now, but he’s always finding stuff to do to keep himself busy,” Smithies said.

“He can’s sit still for five minutes! He’s always got to be doing something. His work ethic is inspiring me.”

So much so that Smithies has now taken up duties on the farm. Rather than tackling everything in sight, he’s now feeding the calves.

“It’s my granddad’s farm, there’s me, my granny and granddad in another house and my cousin as well. We’re all up there, so it’s ideal right now with all this that’s going on.

“My granddad always had sheep, but the past year or so my brother and cousin have been buying calves. In total, they have 25 now, so I’m helping them in the morning by feeding them. During the day I’ll keep ticking over, I’ll do some rolling on the tractor, and then I feed the calves in the evening.

“I don’t mind it, to be fair. In the first week of the lockdown I wasn’t doing much and needed a routine back; I needed something to wake up for. So I’m getting up at about half seven in a morning now to go to and feed them.

“I’m also using my neighbour’s private gym, which has been a godsend. I’d been really struggling as I only had a few dumbbells and I reckon a lot of lads will be the same, but he’s given me the key and I can use it whenever I need to, which has been a massive help.”

Before that, Smithies’ great-grandfather was also a grafter, not retiring until he was 79.