Neil Fox MBE and former RFL and Wakefield Trinity chairman Sir Rodney Walker give support to Featherstone Rovers' Super League application

RUGBY LEAGUE legend Neil Fox MBE hopes that Featherstone Rovers will be a Super League club next season.

Tuesday, 1st December 2020, 4:45 pm
Neil Fox MBE. Picture: Simon Wilkinson/

Featherstone have applied to join the top flight for 2021 following the decision last month to reject Toronto Wolfpack’s proposal to rejoin the competition.

The Sharlston-born former player holds rugby league’s all-time points record, scoring 6,220 points during his career which spanned over 750 games.

Both of his brothers, Peter and Don, played for Featherstone while the former was also head coach at the club between 1971 and 1974.

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Fox, who played over 550 times for Wakefield Trinity, feels that Rovers’ history of producing quality players sets them in good stead to be a Super League side in 2021.

James Bentley played for the club at scholarship level and became a Super League champion with St Helens last week following their dramatic 8-4 win over Wigan Warriors in the Grand Final.

“Featherstone means a great deal to the Fox family, and also the many supporters and generations of families over the years,” said Fox.

“My father started there, followed by my two brothers, Peter and Don.

Post Office Road, Featherstone. Picture: Allan McKenzie\

“After leaving school, I joined Featherstone’s Under-18 team. About eight players joined them as professionals, all local lads. Many of them played for Yorkshire and Great Britain, it is a great area for producing players at that level.

“I couldn’t sign for them as you had to be 16-years-old and I was only 15 at that time but Wakefield came and signed me.

“I am grateful for all the help I had at Featherstone; it has always been a good club for producing good rugby players.

“I do hope they can get into Super League, where they belong, for all the supporters and all the hard work that has gone into the club over the years.”

The deadline for applications was on Monday with a decision expected on December 16. Lord Jonathan Caine will chair a seven-strong panel, further made up by three members from the

Rugby Football League (RFL) and three from Super League, that will make the decision.

York City Knights, Bradford Bulls, Leigh Centurions, Toulouse Olympique and London Broncos are also vying for a place amongst the game’s elite.

Former Wakefield Trinity and RFL chairman Sir Rodney Walker has also backed Rovers’ bid.

He believes that the pull of two more derbies will benefit the competition and argues that Featherstone have some of the best facilities in the Wakefield district.

“The club is one of the oldest in rugby league with a proud record and widespread latent support,” said Sir Walker, who is the chairman of the British Basketball League.

“They were unfortunate not to be included in the list of teams which formed Super League.

“Whilst recognising the desire to expand the sport out of its heartland, post Covid-19 survival will be paramount and Featherstone’s inclusion will provide two local derbies of benefit to all three clubs in the Wakefield district and fixtures throughout Yorkshire.”