August 2012 Volume 2 Issue 8
Twitter users and readers of our June edition will be all too familiar with rugby league’s @alljoinjack campaign, set up by former Wigan, Salford, Castleford, Huddersfield and London player Andy Johnson as a way of raising awareness and funds in the fight against the Duchenne muscular dystrophy afflicting his son.
Its symbol - linked fingers - is now being used by everyone from Super League try scorers to television celebrities to charitable members of the public, each won over by a moving story guaranteed to tug at the heart strings of any parent.
Latest to promote the cause is Britain’s first-ever winner of cycling’s Tour de France and Olympic gold medallist Bradley Wiggins - a true sporting superstar in anyone’s language - who shared the Joining Jack sign with millions of viewers as he stood on the winner’s podium at the top of Paris’s Champs Elysees. Never mind spraying everyone with Moët et Chandon, it was the very first thing he did.
And almost the very second thing the London-born mod did, once back home in Lancashire the following morning, yellow shirt packed safely in the bottom drawer, was take his league mad son, who plays for Orrell St James, to Wigan’s summer training camp for children.
Not surprisingly, the Warriors’ very own superstar, Sam Tomkins, is thrilled at the connection. “I don’t very often get starstruck, but I was when I met him,” he told Forty-20, shortly after scoring his 100th try in the cherry and white. “What he’s done in a sport and in an event as tough as that is quite unbelievable.
It’s gruelling - something I respect. Team Sky altogether did excellently and Bradley is a modest guy. He wouldn’t take credit for it all himself.”
As for Joining Jack: “It’s a great charity everyone is backing. Anyone who knows knows what AJ [Andy Johnson] is going through... the more awareness we can raise the better. There’s no bigger stage to do the sign than after you’ve won the Tour de France, is there?”
Speaking of fund-raising, nip over to www.justgiving.com/tonybates80 and read all about Bradford fan Tony Bates’s ‘Shirt of Hurt’ campaign in aid of his fellow NHS worker pal Tehseen Khan. Tony will - wait for it - actually wear a Leeds Rhinos shirt at what may well turn out to be the last ever Super League game at Odsal - versus Hull FC - on Sunday 2 September.
Fantastic - and under-reported news came in last month, just as Forty-20went to press. On the weekend of July 7-8, in Hull, England won the Wheelchair Four Nations.
England RL head coach Steve
McNamara was in town to present the medals to a side that had a 3-0 clean sweep over Scotland, Ireland and Wales in the first tournament of its kind with uncapped internationals.
That Watkins Review, in full: The chance to consult across a wide range of stakeholders was both illuminating and terrifying. However, we, the governors of rugby league, have found the governance of rugby league to be in rude health. Nigel Wood, the RFL’s chief executive and a camera-shy architect of licensing, bonus points in the Championships, Club Call, and the Magic Weekend, will now lead a review into the RFL’s policies on competition structure, Super League licensing, and expansion of the sport. Triffic. (Did someone mention Crusaders?)
To be fair, at least the Watkins review and 2011 annual report, published on the same day, were an encouraging step towards greater transparency on the part of league’s governing body. But some habits die hard. One particular press release last month was the funniest of all time.
‘Super League begins search for new title sponsor’ it read, before going on to describe the voiding of a controversial three-year contract with sponsors Eddie Stobart less than a third of the way through as a “successful marketing collaboration”.
Commercial Director James Mercer reckoned: “The partnership has placed the sport in a wonderful position to move into the next cycle of our commercial strategy in 2013.” The release went on: “The decision to end the partnership was based on teamsheet
Inside your next generation rugby league monthly
The Angela Powers Interview
5 Mick Potter
Andy Wilson’s monthly profile 21 BBC up to challenge
The Clare and Sally show 24 Bulls bought out
Forty-20’s assessment 30 Match of the Month
Barrow win promotion 38 World Cup countdown
All the latest news
12 The Reality Is... 17 Richard Mathers 36 Louie’s Lip 43 Christopher Irvine
In profile 22 David Ferriol 34 Tony Rea
28 Blackpool 40 Lodz 42 Auckland
44 Singing Saints 45 Good Pub Guide
Dave Hadfield hits Batley 46 Parting Shot
Cherry and white superstar: Team GB’s Bradley Wiggins poses with his Olympic gold medal at Hampton Court Palace, after winning the Men's Cycling Time Trial
Northern Rail Cup final 28 Dave Fletcher enjoys a thriller
August 2012 Forty-20 3