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

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.

Thursday, 15th June 2017, 4:27 pm
Updated Friday, 16th June 2017, 12:18 pm
Former Wakefield Trinity Player Ken Rollin talks about how he recovered from a stroke.

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.

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“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.

Trinity legend Ken Rollin entered Rugby League Hall of Fame when he scored fastest try ever in a Challenge Cup Final

in 1999 he suffered a stroke and lost his speech - condition known as aphasia

after battling to get his speech back, in 2001 he became chairman of Wakefield Speakability which is a self help group for people with aphasia and their carers

after more than 15 years he is now taking retirement and group is looking for volunteers to help with arranging meetings

anyone interested can call Ken on 01924 275147

Graham Johnson, who founded the group in 2001, of Pontefract, aged 51

former deputy principal at New College

he had been retired for a short time and was volunteering as an ambulance driver. got speaking to someone about aphasia and was asked to form a group for people with aphasia

wanted it to be a support network and a way people could meet friends with the same condition

“It’s a very nice atmosphere. It’s all about bringing people who have lost their speech and lost their confidence together.

“People very often lose their speech after a stroke, either partially or totally and they can struggled to read and write.

“It is a very distressing condition.

“It’s know as a hidden disability because a lot of people don’t understand realise you have it or know much about it.

on Ken Rollin, 78

after retiring as a rugby league player went to work in a local printing firm

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