Legends Night 2016

The Legends are Back!!!

Front row: Malcolm Lord (MC), Rotary President Chris Sharp, and Big Jim Mills. In the back row l to r: Ken Rollin, Brian Lockwood, Nick Fozzard, Paul Mallinder, Ian Brooke, Neil Fox, Terry Crook, Bob Haigh and Joe Bonnar

Once again the Legends of Rugby League (and some Rugby Union) have come together in the 15th annual Sporting dinner organised by the Rotary Club of Wakefield Chantry at the Hotel St Pierre at Newmillerdam in Wakefield. 

Main organiser, Ray Spencer, a member of the Chantry Rotary Club and himself a Wakefield Trinity and Wakefield RUFC ex player has been involved for all of the 15 years it has been running. Ray said “Over the years this has been runnin,g we have raised over £43,000 for the Charities supported by the Rotary Club.” Main Speaker this year was Big Jim Mills, one of the real hard men of Rugby League! Jim has the distinction of being the most sent off player in Sydney! Jim was born in South Wales and played Union for Cardiff before moving north and playing League for Halifax, Widnes, Workington, and North Sydney as well as for Great Britain. Jim kept everyone amused with his stories of his time in the game perhaps best summed up by his story of his first two games for North Sydney after being persuaded to move to Australia. 

Obviously his reputation as a hard man had preceded him and the Sydney press had built up that reputation before his first game. When that game came Jim was a bit of a target for the opposition so after some attempts by them to get at him he took the first opportunity and floored one of them with a right arm jab! Sent off in his first game he was called before the League Disciplinary Committee to explain himself. Wondering how to explain it away he used the excuse that it was his first game in Australia, he was unused to the conditions and it really was very,very hot so he was disoriented. To his relief the Committee reluctantly accepted the excuse but warned him of his future behaviour!

Second game, the opposition, Cronulla, tried to get to him again. Same result Jim floored another one with the same right arm jab!! Called back before the same disciplinary committee who obviously wanted to know what excuse he had this time. Jim’s only comment “Bl…dy hot wasn’t it!!!!” Typical Jim Mills!!

President of Chantry Rotary Club, Chris Sharp, said “What a great night! This was the 15th edition of our popular Legends Night and by general agreement one of the best.

It was a real honour for me to host such a gathering of great rugby players who between them have played both codes of Rugby and represented England and Great Britain at the highest levels. It was sad to reflect that Roger Milward, a real Legend of Hull KR, who has been a regular at these events sadly passed away during the year. A great player who is sadly missed by all involved.

Having Big Jim Mills as our guest speaker was a real honour. He regaled everyone with his stories and reminiscences of a long and varied career and kept us all entertained.”