My Set of Six: Rochdale chairman Andy Mazey featuring Northern Rail Cup triumph & The Shay

Drew Darbyshire

In our new feature, we’re asking you, the fans, plus players, coaches and other rugby league personalities to give us their answers to our set of six questions.

Rochdale Hornets chairman Andy Mazey is the latest guest on My Set of Six…

Favourite away ground?

I’ve always had a soft spot for The Shay, Halifax. The hospitality as a visiting director with Leigh and more recently as chairman of Swinton has always been first class. The Halifax-Leigh games in the time I was involved never lacked drama and would always get you on the end of your seat.

Favourite player?

I have to say my good mate Andy Gregory. Putting aside the fact he’s a pie eater and a personal friend, I spent hours on the local park as a kid trying to throw a bullet pass like he used to do. To be the first player to win five Challenge Cups, first player to play in eight Challenge Cup finals, and one of only two players to have played in six Ashes series against Australia speaks for itself. He should, in my opinion, be on that statue outside Wembley.

Favourite memory?

One of the reasons I have a soft spot for The Shay is largely due to the 2013 Northern Rail Cup final. Being part of the board at the club you grew up supporting (Leigh) is an honour in itself but to travel to a cup final and come away with the silverware is something very special. Celebrating on the pitch after the game with colleagues, staff and volunteers then taking the cup back to the town and throwing the doors open at the Leigh Sports Village so everyone could enjoy the moment was something that will live long in the memory.

Worst memory?

A big ‘what if’ moment for me is the 1987 Challenge Cup semi-final between Leigh and St Helens. It is a bad memory looking back now but it could have been all so different. Had it not been for an ankle tap on centre John Henderson who was racing away to the line late on, we could be talking about it as my favourite ever memory instead, fine margins as they say.

Best match you’ve seen (not involving your club)?

The 1989 World Club Challenge between Widnes and Canberra. I was one of the 30,000+ in attendance at Old Trafford as Widnes were crowned World Club champions of rugby league after a breathtaking victory over the Australian champions. Seeing world class operators like Mal Meninga, Ricky Stuart, Laurie Daley and Glenn Lazarus going toe to toe with the likes of Jonathan Davies, Martin Offiah, Tony Myler and Co was something that I will always remember fondly.

Your wish for the future of rugby league?

While the current COVID-19 situation is causing a lot of concern, we have to remain united as a sport despite it being a worrying time. The Rugby Football League have been doing a fantastic job keeping clubs up to date in respect of their discussions with the government on behalf of the sport and hopefully our broadcast partners and sponsors will help protect us. My wish is simple: unity and everyone remaining on the same page as it will be key to a strong and successful united sport moving forward.

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