Showing posts from May, 2011

Longy - The Autobiography of Sean Long

I was looking forward to reading about the career of one of the leading British Rugby League players of his generation but the subtitle of the book should've provided a warning. "Booze, Brawls, Sex and Scandal - The Autobiography of the Wild Man of Rugby League" It's undemanding but interesting enough, Sean does his best to provide minor league celebrity gossip and in the process feed his vanity and live up to his self description. He seems to think that everybody is interested in tittle tattle about his sex life and booze inspired juvenile pranks. Sorry Sean, we're not. I would be surprised if some his family, friends and equally famous colleagues are not embarrassed to have their antics recorded for posterity. I suspect that Sean himself might regret some of the information divulged in the not too distant future Sean does write in detail about his distinguished Rugby League career including the notorious betting scandal and the famous "wide to West" try ag…

Other Nationalities, Exiles and ANZACs

England are due to play the "Exiles" next month in a match dubbed an international and evisaged as necessary preparation for the end of season, Four Nations competition. I am personally uneasy about the concept and would prefer international matches to be competitions between sovereign nations but I am also unhappy about the name because, even allowing for the way use of language changes, the word "exile" has connotations of penal servitude which is obviously insulting to our Australian friends. The concept actually deomonstrates how history has a habit of repeating itself

England's first International RL match took place in 1904 when they defeated the Other Nationalities 9-3 at Bradford. It was not a spectacular start for International RL as the game was played in poor weather on a Tuesday afternoon at the same time as a Broughton Rangers v Bradford cup tie which caused player withdrawals and affected the attendance. Only 6000 spectators watched the 12 a side m…

Station Road, Swinton

I was born in Salford and worked for many years within the City but after a long absence I returned there recently for a brief visit. In reality, I visited Swinton which is a separate location within the City of Salford and is home to a small but busy shopping centre and the administrative offices of Salford council.
Famous Salford resident LS Lowry, who painted famous pictures of "match stalk men and match stalk cats and dogs" was actually a life long resident of Swinton and lived on Station Road nearby.
Swinton, and particularly Station road, are also famous for a Rugby League team who were once one of the biggest names in the game and in 1927/28 were one of only three clubs to win all four cups played for in one season. Their successful team of the 1960's won the Championship twice with stars such as Alan Buckley, John Stopford and Ken Gowers.
Station Road was the venue for numerous international matches between Great Britain and other nations in particular Australia fo…