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Yarn Of The Month (some Great Stories)

03. Roy Dickinson, a Leeds prop from the 1970's in response to whether he would of prefered to have been a modern day professional.

Posted by... quigs eraofthebiff - on ... Saturday, May 05, 2012

YARN OF THE MONTH #03 ..... (original entry date) April 2005.


Get some more beers, or make another
coffee, take your time and have some fun.

Just a quick note here. This is where Quigs selects the best "Your Story" received for the month or a selection of a favorite older yarn - no correspondence will be entered into and the winner gets bugger all.
All yarns are unsubstantiated and are posted in good faith. Its just meant to be a fun thing, share some of our great memories from the Greatest Era of the Greatest Game of All.


Yarn from Gary Kitchner, Leeds,

A story by Roy Dickinson, a Leeds prop from the 1970's in response to whether he would of prefered to have been a modern day professional.

Heres the story as promised, as told by Roy Dickinson, a Leeds prop from the 1970's. He now speaks at sportmans dinners so I'll use his words in the story ...

"I am often asked by the present day supporters as to whether I would have prefered to have been a professional rugby player today, with full time pay, all of the training facilities, sponsors car, and summer rugby ? I like to answer it with this example...

It was mid winter and I was picked to play for Leeds in a Wednesday night match at Whitehaven,

(GK Note to Aussie readers - Whitehaven is second most god-forsaken place in the UK to play or support rugby league, being at least a three to four hour drive away from the RL heartlands, tucked away in the top left hand corner of England in an otherwise beautiful area of the country known as The Lake District, a mountainous region of breathtaking scenery, Whitehaven and its RL neighbour Barrow (the first most god-forsaken place to play RL) are the haemorrhoid on the arse of this otherwise gorgeous area of the country).

I woke up at 6am on the morning of the game and got ready to go to work as my full time job was as a labourer on a building site, it was still dark when I left the house at 6.30am, cold and raining. I worked all morning until dinnertime when I left the site to meet the team bus at Kirkstall, for which I was deducted a half a days pay, I was wet and cold, and got wetter and colder waiting for the bus, during which time the rain was starting to come down as sleet.

On the bus ride north it got darker through the afternoon and the rain had turned to sleet and then snow on the higher ground, the bus got slower and slower in the traffic on the motorway and the last 30 miles were on a single track road into Whitehaven, in the dark, in blizzard conditions.

We arrived at the ground with half an hour to kickoff and with the snow coming at you at right angles to the ground to find that the match was still on, to the Cumbrians it was just another plain day. They also did that intimidation trick in the dressing rooms where they fix your clothes peg seven foot off the ground to make you think they all must be giants, as most of them were.

The game was one of those games where you forget the score after five minutes and just concentrate on surviving the cold, it was that sort of cold where your fingers go first, then your hands and feet and your asking your mates in the scrum to kick you to see if you've still got feeling in your legs.

We lost by dozens of points and I got my nose broken again, and afterwards in the bath we were so numb with cold that no-one could tell whether the water was cold, warm or scalding hot, and then the coach driver came in to tell us that we had 20 minutes to get on the bus or we wouldn't be able to get back over the hills with the snow conditions.

I could only manage five pints and four pork pies before it was time to get back on the bus and make our way back to Leeds, we didn't get back to Kirkstall until 2am when it was still cold and raining and I had to walk the two miles back up the hill to my home in Bramley, where I had three hours sleep until it was time to get up for another cold wet day on the building site, made longer by the fact that I had to do overtime to make up for the half day lost because our £20 losing pay didn't cover the lost time or the bar bill ...

And you have the fookin nerve to ask me if I'd prefer to play today ....." .


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