I’VE really got into rugby league since I published ‘Access All Areas’, which is a book of photographs I took when following Leeds Rhinos on and off the pitch last season.
Rhino Rob Burrows’ father Geoff is the secretary of the Yorkshire Sports Section of the GMB Union and he invited me to an event at Castleford Tigers’ ground, The Jungle, last week.
The union has been created to protect professional sports people from such pitfalls as signing unscrupulous contracts they don’t understand and they are encouraging all young sports people to join.
Former Yorkshire boxing star Herol ‘Bomber’ Graham was there and he gave a speech telling of how he’s lost out on millions of pounds from signing contracts in the past that weren’t exactly looking after his interests.
Castleford Tigers have been attracting so much publicity lately following the arrival of Dwain Chambers at the club.Š
The disgraced sprinter is currently undertaking a one month trial in his quest to find a new career outside athletics.
Dwain was at the event and he seems like a nice enough guy.
ŠI thought it an odd cross-over for him to make to rugby, which is so much more physical than running, although I guess he knew that already having tried out as an American Football player, too in the past.
He makes his debut as a reserve player for the Tigers next Sunday in a friendly game against York, scheduled mainly to give him a run out.
If this works out then perhaps he’ll finally turn his back on athletics – unless he appeals against his lifetime ban from competing in the Olympics this year.
Castleford or Beijing – I wonder if he regrets his past?
I think the other Castleford players must be trying to keep up with Dwain in the hunt for media coverage, as they have all started growing beards in a competition to see which one can grow theirs the longest.
I can just imagine a whole team of ZZ Top look-alikes running onto the pitch!