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Rugby League and the community

Today it is a rare treat for rugby league fans to rub shoulders with their sporting heroes (particularly the super league greats) whilst going about their day to day business However, before the introduction of Super League it was a somewhat different story.

For the first 100 years of the game’s existence, rugby league earnings alone were not sufficient for players to live on. So up until 1995 the vast majority of players, if not already in full-time employment, worked part-time out side of the game to subsidise their playing wages.

Not only could players be found working in manual employment, such as mining and engineering, but also in jobs that played key roles within the communities in which they lived, such as delivering milk or even serving in the local fish and chip shop. In most cases, these players lived in the towns they represented on the rugby field. Consequently they developed a strong affinity with local people, as fans found themselves working alongside or socialising with the very men they looked up to and admired from the terraces at the weekend.