Rugby star who lost his speech from a stroke calls for volunteers

Former Wakefield Trinity Player Ken Rollin talks about how he recovered from a stroke.
Former Wakefield Trinity Player Ken Rollin talks about how he recovered from a stroke.
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A rugby league star who lost his speech following a stroke is calling for volunteers to come forward to help run a support group for others in the same condition.

Ken Rollin, who played for Wakefield Trinity, has been chairman of the Wakefield Speakability group since it was founded by former deputy principal at Pontefract New College Graham Johnson in 2001.

Mr Rollin, who entered the Rugby League Hall of Fame when he scored the fastest try ever in a Challenge Cup Final, is now taking retirement after 15 years. And the group, which gets together once a month, is looking for volunteers to help with arranging meetings.

Mr Johhnson, 51, of Pontefract said: “People very often lose their speech after a stroke, either partially or totally, a condition known as aphasia.

“It is very distressing.

“The group has a very nice atmosphere.

“It’s all about bringing people who have lost their speech together under a support network, to help them and to boost their confidence.”

Mr Rollin, now 78, suffered a stroke in 1999 and lost his speech. In 2001 he became chairman of the Speakability group, which supports people across the district.

Mr Johnson said: “Ken is a great guy. He said Speakability had been a key factor in helping him to build back his speech. And he has been incredibly supportive of other people with the condition.”

Anyone interested in volunteering is asked to call Mr Rollin on 01924 275147.