Luke Gale believes Keighley move will reignite passion as half-back reveals retirement doubts

Josh McAllister
Luke Gale. PA

Luke Gale admits he had doubts over if would play on again in 2023, but now believes his move to Keighley will reignite his passion for the sport after a turbulent season with Hull. 

Gale, 34, found himself a free agent during the off-season for the first time in his career following his release from the Super League outfit.

The England international only played one season at the MKM Stadium, and was named captain ahead of the campaign. 

He was limited, largely due to suspensions, to just 19 Super League appearances as Hull suffered a disappointing season, with Brett Hodgson departing the club at the end of the year.

Gale continued training during the off-season with Chris Black, Keighley’s conditioner, and explained that he didn’t know if 2022 would be his last in the professional sport. 

Luke Gale: The minute I didn’t have any fire I’d retire anyway

“I’ll be the first to admit I’d come home some days and say to my partner, I could be done here,” Gale said. 

“Thats’ why Keighley was such a good thing, because the longer you’re out of training and the club environment, you start to think. 

“The time out did good. But it was a fine line between how much time you take out and getting back into it. 

“That’s why coming down to Keighley was good.

“I’ve been lucky enough to spend time with my kids and take a step back from rugby league which I’ve done for 15 years. 

“I was thinking about the next step and I thought the Championship was an open one this year. I like the way Keighley play and there’s a buzz about it. 

“The minute I didn’t have any fire I’d retire anyway.”

Gale on back to enjoying rugby league

Arguably the off-season signing of the year in the Championship, Gale is hoping to play with a smile on his face again after a whirlwind 2022.

Keighley enjoyed a perfect campaign in League 1 last year, winning promotion under head coach Rhys Lovegrove.

Gale joins the likes of new signings Ben Crooks, Brad Walker and Mark Ioane at Cougar Park in 2023 ahead of an exciting new season. 

“I play my best footy with a smile on my face and if you saw me last year, I did become a bit disillusioned with the game,” he said. 

“You could see that I wasn’t happy and I probably had no love for it, hence the reason I took a bit of time off at the end of the year and tried to freshen things up. 

“It’s worked and hopefully I can get back to playing with a smile on my face and playing the rugby that I want to play. 

“Whether it’s a year or two, I’ve definitely got some more footy to play.”

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