ONE thing that is just as refreshing as Castleford’s brilliantly intoxicating football is the fact that rugby league always, constantly and consistently, looks after its own
Yes, okay, sometimes the #RLFamily hashtag can be overused on occasions and, by that token, it might get a little watered down.
But, in general, you know there are plenty of people in the sport who will seek to do a good turn wherever and whenever possible with no need for acknowledgement.
That is why it is no surprise to see both Leeds Rhinos star Ryan Hall and Hull FC boss Lee Radford offering to help out at a charity game in July.
They’re just the famous names. Then there’s countless others who are all doing their bit, too, generally because one bloke has asked them.
For those who don’t know him – and there probably aren’t many in the sport who have not come across him at some point – Sasch Brook is essentially a rugby league nut which, when writing that, brings back golden memories of those weird little statue things from the 80s.
Anyway, I digress. A stalwart of Oulton Raiders ARLFC and just as much ingrained at Hull FC – he is currently the player welfare/football manager at City of Hull Academy – there is not much this lad does not know about the sport.
His mum once told me he’d end up marrying a rugby ball. Pretty certain that won’t happen, but you get my drift.
Regardless, Sasch is in the process of organising a Candlelighters Charity Event on Sunday July 2 at Oulton Raiders ARLFC in Leeds after his nine-year-old nephew William Coley, who lives nearby, was diagnosed with leukaemia last year.
William is currently undergoing chemotherapy and his uncle is intent on raising as much money as possible for the charity initially by virtue of a planned Youth RL Festival.
However, following that comes a game between an Oulton Raiders Select Side 1998-2014 – the seasons he did his stuff there – and a National Conference League All Stars from the same era.
That’s where Hall comes in (he came to the fore at Oulton as a teenager the season they won the national title) with the England international kicking off the game alongside William while Challenge Cup winning coach Radford, once East Hull ARLFC chief, will be taking charge of the opposition.
Players from Castleford Lock Lane, Siddal, Hull Dockers, York Acorn, East Leeds, Myton Warriors, Normanton Knights...the list goes on… will take part.
Ex-Bradford Bulls centre Matt Calland and former Hull KR scrum-half Phil Hasty, who both have big links with the NCL, will also feature.
For Oulton, there’s plenty of ex-pros, too: Hunslet legend Mick Coyle, former Dewsbury Rams second-row Billy Kershaw and ex-Wakefield full-back Mark Field.
It should be a brilliant day, especially knowing Sasch’s attention to detail.
The raffle and auction list is already looking mightily impressive – a signed Hull FC playing jersey from Man of Steel Danny Houghton? – for anyone interested in memorabilia.
If anyone want to help in any way, either via sponsorship or simply attending, email him on Sasch.Brook@cofha.co.uk