THE man who became Britain’s first hand transplant patient is joining the Giants.
Mark Cahill is to be guest of honour at Huddersfield Giants’ opening Super League XVIII home game of the season.
Former top amateur rugby league player Mark will take his place in the directors’ box after being invited by Giants chairman Ken Davy to Sunday’s match against London Broncos at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Mark underwent pioneering surgery on December 27 when he was given the hand of an anonymous donor after years of suffering from severe gout, which left him unable to do simple tasks.
The man who was brought up in Lindley but now lives in Greetland had been a rugby player with Pennine League side Greetland in his younger days.
And during his rugby league playing career, Mark became good friends of the sport’s famous Fairbank family.
He grew up watching the likes of Karl and Dick play for Halifax and Bradford.
And the latest member of the Fairbank clan to make his name in the game, Giants’ Super League player Jacob, called in to the Cahill home to present Mark and his wife Sylvia with their VIP tickets to this weekend’s contest.
They were invited to the game after Mr Davy read Mark’s story in the Examiner, and they were delighted to accept.
“Mark has been a big supporter of rugby league all his life and, as a club, we thought this was the least we could do for him,” said Giants marketing and media manager James Brammer.
“We’re looking forward to meeting him and joining him for what I’m sure will be a great occasion.
“After our stunning opening-night success at St Helens, we can’t wait to see the boys in action at home for the first time in Super League this year.”