There’s a fellow in our midst. He’s not a Sheffielder but he’s spent a big chunk of his life in our city and I think he deserves a bit of recognition for the work he has done.
I’m talking about Mark Aston, the Sheffield Eagles head coach. He was a member of the team that won the Challenge Cup against the mighty Wigan all those years ago. This fella has had all kinds of barriers put in front of him. It’s as if someone wants him to fail.
He has had to endure the disastrous merger with Huddersfield, where all his better players were taken from him. The club then folded but he helped reform it in 2000. The stadium at Don Valley was flattened, he had to take his team to play at Owlerton Stadium, he then had to move to Doncaster’s KeepMoat stadium. None of this was ideal, shall we say, but all the time producing a team in the top three or four.
He’s now having to play at Bawtry Road, which is, not ideal either.
Then the final kick in the teeth, he had to scrap his academy and reserve team because the facilities don’t reach the rugby league requirements.
Now I don’t go to watch the team, although I should, because my father-in-law was a professional rugby player. Also I’m a football fan first, but my mate follows them both home and away and he tells me that their proposed move to the new multi-purpose sports arena looks like falling through because a couple of the sponsors have pulled out because of some ‘red tape’ nonsense with the council.
Now if anybody needs a break, it’s this guy. I’m sure there’s someone out there who could back this gentleman like he has backed our city.