Former Wakefield Trinity coach reveals social media abuse and impact on family

Aaron Bower
Mark Applegarth Wakefield Trinity Alamy

Mark Applegarth has lifted the lid on how social media abuse aimed at not only him, but his close family became difficult to deal with during his time in charge at Wakefield Trinity.

Applegarth was in charge of his hometown club last year but was ultimately unable to keep them in Super League, with Trinity relegated to the Championship for the first time in over two decades.

He is currently out of the game after the new hierarchy at Wakefield opted to replace him with Daryl Powell for 2024 but, speaking on BBC Radio Leeds, Applegarth lifted the lid on threats that had been made towards him and the impact it had on his family.

Applegarth said: “There were a few that came back, threatening certain things. I ultimately said to anyone that if anyone wants to come and chat to me, just turn up to the stadium and knock on the coach’s door and I’ll happily take an hour with anyone and tell you where I feel I’ve gone wrong and where we can improve.

“I’ve never been one of these people who distance themselves from their community. At the end of the day I live in Wakefield, I’m about two minutes down the road from the ground, but it’s my wife and close family, they don’t sign up for that.

READ NEXT: The shocking statistics behind Hull FC’s dismal Super League start in 2024

“As a head coach you sign up for that and you understand it, you deal with it. It’s the people that have to deal with those consequences of your action which is signing up for that job. They don’t sign up to read that abuse. But it is what it is, it’s part of sport unfortunately and the modern world. People can say what they want without consequence.”

Applegarth also revealed how he confronted one supporter after Trinity’s relegation last summer.

He said: “When we got relegated at Leigh, I walked over to the away fans and I’d say 99 per cent of the fans understood the situation last year.

“The people I spoke to were very nice to me and very understanding, but I remember the Leigh game, there were a fan absolutely yelling abuse at me. He caught my eye out of luck more than anything else so I went over and asked what he wanted to say to me. He just started crying and said he wasn’t angry at me, it was the situation.”

NOW READ: Rugby league winners and losers: Bradford Bulls and Widnes Vikings flying as Hull FC stutter