Family connections

I am very often struck by the number of family connections there are in this wonderful game of ours. nnFor example, my own club Warrington RLFC had Jack Awkright playing for it, while his son Chris gave great service to St Helens. nnWidnes had the formidable ‘Big Jim’ Millis turn out for them in the 1970s while his son David had a few games for the same club during the first months of the 2002 season. I don’t know what became of the lad after July of that year, but he seems to have ceased playing for Widnes at any rate.nnWidnes seems to have had a good many sets of brothers down the years. I can think of the Hulmes, the O’Neills, the Faimalos and many more, but surely the Mylers must rate as one of the finest footballing families in the history of the game. nnOf course I should mention Henry and Robbie Paul, Kieron and Eddie Cunningham and who could possibly forget Andy and Anthony Farrell? nnMrs Cheshire and myself were blessed with three daughters who we named after Warrington legends. The Vicar of St Drummond the Immaculate was quite surprised when we named the young Cheshire sisters Fish, Fisher and Fishwick, but he was from South Wales and with all due respect, these people know nothing of rugby league football and probably never will.nnIn our early married life, Mrs Cheshire often used to say that what the house needed was the patter of tiny feet. One day I decided to surprise her and hired a team of clog dancing pygmies to greet her as she returned home from her evening at the Bewsey and District Sherry Tasting Workshop. For some reason she was unimpressed. nnAlthough I loved our three daughters dearly, I soon realised they were never going to make up the Warrington front row unless the Rugby Football League changed the rules before they grew up. Repeated letters to Mr Bill Fallowfield for a rule change to allow young ladies to play our great game were dismissed. nnAfter several years of lobbying, I was surprised and not a little honoured to have Mr Fallowfield call at our house one afternoon. My surprise soon turned to dismay as Mr Fallowfield landed a perfect right-hook to my chin which sent me stumbling back up the hall and into the Harry Bath Commemorative Grandfather Clock I had been presented with that year by the Warrington Supporters Club and their amazingly good fanzine “Gerrout of it!” My dream of having the younger generation of Cheshire’s playing in the famous primrose and blue was gone forever.nnAgain on the subject of families, I was very pleased to see James Graham being selected as ‘Man of Steel’ by his fellow professionals.nnI well remember his father, the Reverend Billy Graham preaching at Earls Court, London in the 1950s. I recall the Reverend asking the question “How would YOU like to spent eternity?” I stood up and shouted “Watching Warrington RLFC, with an endless supply of Lyon’s Tea and chocolate digestives at my side!” Suddenly I was seized by two burly nuns and thrown out onto the street.I will not hold this against young James and wish him well for the future. nnSo, let me remind all those parents out there that when you decide to have that “early night”, it may well result in yet another rugby league legend!nnRegards to you all,nnM Cheshire of Warrington.

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