26th September 2019, 09:53 | masters

Historic First Great Britain Masters tourists celebrate 10 years

Historic First Great Britain Masters tourists celebrate 10 years

As the 4th Great Britain Masters touring team goes to Australia, the very first Great Britain Masters tourists celebrated 10 years since they made the historic first Great Britain Masters tour to Australia. The 2009 Masters Rugby League tourists got together at Siddal Rugby League club.

At the end of 2008 following the first incoming tour to UK by Australia , the Rugby Football League decided to organise a Great Britain Masters Rugby League tour to Australia in September 2009. So group of lads signed up to travel to Australia to play Masters Rugby League for the very first Great Britain Rugby League touring side. Everyone of the players, from those with semi- professional experience to those who had played many years at amateur Rugby League, were excited to be the very first Masters touring side to visit Australia.

Back in 2009, the players and tourists met up for a run out at Brighouse and for a pre-tour get together at the birthplace of Rugby League, the George Hotel in Huddersfield and a march round at Headingley before they all set off to make history and memories in Australia.

The reunion 10 years on was a night of stories and memories, including contacting some of the lads abroad, waking up Joe Nolan at 06.30 am in Australia! The oldest tourist, Ray Timpson and wife Christine, who was also on the 2009 tour, travelled down from the North East to join the celebrations. And of course life and soul of the 2009 tour, Sutty and Donks (aka Paul Sutcliffe and Steve Donkersley) were in great form at Siddal!

The full playing register with Heritage Numbers, for the historic first Great Britain Masters tour to Australia is:

  • Ray Timpson 12
  • Paul Sutcliffe 13
  • Paul Field 18
  • Jeff Chappell 21
  • John Connell 22
  • Chris Cunnif 23
  • Steve Donkersley 24
  • John Exley 25
  • Julian Fisher 26
  • Paul Graham 27
  • Tim Healy 28
  • Shaun Hudson 29
  • Dean Johnson 30
  • Peter Longbottom 31
  • Ian Morgan 32
  • Joe Nolan 33
  • Richard Oates 34
  • Paul Phelps 35
  • Paul Royston 36
  • Dean Skilling 37
  • Steve Walton 38
  • Niel Wood 39
  • John Wroe 40