Leeds Rhinos: Schofield set for Headingley return

editorial image
Have your say

Headingley legend Garry Schofield is preparing to pull on a blue and amber jersey again for the first time in 22 years.

Schofield will take to the pitch at Emerald Headingley Stadium on Saturday, June 23 to take part in Leeds Rhinos Foundation’s physical disability rugby league (PDRL) game against Warrington Wolves.

The ‘Return Leg’ fixture against Warrington Wolves Foundation’s PDRL side, who Leeds defeated in the UK’s inaugural physical disability rugby league game in February, will see Schofield and radio presenter Mark Wilson don the Rhinos colours as able-bodied players.

Schofield, who was this year inducted into the Leeds Rugby League Hall of Fame, is counting down the hours.

“These guys are proper heroes, aren’t they,” he said of the physical disabilities players.

“Although they all face challenges with their own disabilities they still want to play this great game of rugby league and they want to be part of this magnificent club.”

Schofield, now 52, last played for Leeds in 1996 before turning to coaching and sports punditry.

“I haven’t put the Leeds shirt on since I left here in 1996, so I can’t wait to be on the field with these heroes come to the 23rd of this month,” he added.

“In some cases they can’t do everything they want to be doing in everyday life, so this is the enjoyment they get and a chance to get some of their frustration out, but it’s going to bring enjoyment and a smile on everyone’s face, so come down and support it and really see some proper heroes on this great rugby league pitch.”

Wilson says he is honoured to be taking part.

“I admire the lads that play it and we’ve always said on our radio show how great it must be to represent your club and those guys are lucky enough to represent Leeds,” said Wilson.

“I’ve been lucky enough to be asked to play and it’s an honour to take the field with some of those guys.

“We’ve met a lot of them and they are genuine heroes, with the things they have overcome to play and it will be a pleasure for me to get on the pitch with them and I’m genuinely looking forward to it. It’s going to be a great day.”

Wilson added: “It’s going to be an honour to play at Headingley.

“It will be a special moment, but my biggest worry is I’ve not played rugby for 24 years, that’s going to be a problem straight away!

“I’ll get the excuses in early, but it’s not letting the guys down because this is not messing around, this is proper rugby league and I’m going to have to pull my weight if I want to be included again so I genuinely am looking forward to it.”

The Leeds side will also include former Rhinos hero Barrie McDermott and Alex Brooker of comedy television show ‘The Last Leg’.

The Warrington team will boast a number of celebrity players, including Channel 4’s ‘The Last Leg’ presenter Adam Hills and ex-Super League star Shaun Briscoe.

The game kickes off at 2.30pm on June 23, with gates - on St Michael’s Lane only - opening at 1pm.

Entry is via donations on the gate, with all money going to Leeds Rhinos Foundation.