Starting out – writing match reports

The first bit of writing I ever did was writing match reports for my rugby team when I was seventeen. Every Monday I would email the Widnes World and the Widnes Weekly News with the latest match report – carefully containing the surnames of every person who had played the day before.

I had started coaching my team when I was sixteen, a few weeks after finishing my final year at school. My Dad had been coaching my brother and his friends for a few years (they were under 9s) and one day while I was watching them train I was asked if I could step in and help train two young boys who had come along but were too young.

I was only doing it for a couple of weeks “until a Dad took over” but ended up coaching them for five years. We won lots of tournaments all around the UK – it was an amazing time in my life. Here’s a picture of us when the boys were under 10s and I was twenty. I was only just bigger than our prop Geoff!

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