English to retire

Rochdale Hornets captain Wayne English has called time on his 18-year playing career.

The hometown hero enjoyed seven years with the club, after a 10-year spell with local rivals Swinton Lions, and has racked up over 350 appearances in the professional game scoring over 150 tries.

After the Hornets’ heroics in France he was given the opportunity to bow out as a champion, and claimed that a contribution of different factors led to his decision to hang up his boots.

“It’s fantastic to be able to go out as a champion,” admitted the 36-year-old.

“I don’t think many people get the chance to finish the way I have, especially with my home town team being a champion.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better finish. It was a contribution of things really that led to the decision.

“I have a new job, different commitments and my kids have been pecking me left right and centre to spend weekends away and I can’t commit to that because of rugby.

“It wasn’t just one thing, it was a culmination of a few things which made it the right time.”

English made his debut for his hometown club in 2010 before going on to earn the captaincy, however after spending such a long period with the Lions he thought his dream of representing the club wouldn’t come true.

It did though, as he went on to make 156 appearances in the Hornets shirt, scoring 65 tries and winning two promotions.

He led the side out in their 2013 triumph over Oldham, scoring in the 32-18 win, and he considers it to be his greatest achievement.

“I always wanted to play for Rochdale at some point, but being at Swinton so long I wasn’t sure that was going to happen so I was really happy when I got the call off John Stankevitch saying that he wanted me,” English said.

“The first promotion is probably my greatest achievement. It was the first trophy the club had won for 91 years and it was something we all strived for, luckily we achieved it.”

With 18 years of service in the semi-professional game he also admitted that it is a lot tougher than being a full-time pro, having to juggle work and family commitments with late nights at training.

“I think it is harder than being a full-time professional, because you finish work and have to go to training and you have to sacrifice time with your family,” English said.

“It is all for days like the one in France though and special days like that.”

It has been a brilliant career, in which he has captained his hometown club and won two promotions with them, been inducted into the club’s Hall of Fame and named in their All Time XIII.

Now though, it is time to repay his wife and two children, who has supported him throughout his career where he has sacrificed time with them in order to play the game he loves.

“My wife has given me 18 years my own way, now it is time to give some back to her and my two girls who want to go on day trips every weekend so it is their time now.”

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