Rugby League & 'The Magic Sponge'
I have seen the game of rugby league from every possible angle. As a supporter, junior player, district rep player, retired player, injured player, junior physio, lower grade physio, second team physio, first team physio, junior representative physio, county physio, international physio, winning physio, losing physio, retired physio, father, sponsor, administrator and historian.
I have worked with teachers, coaches, assistant coaches, managers, administrators, directors, conditioners, doctors, other physios, masseurs, old players, young players, average players, good players great players, international test captains and legends. I have worked at schoolboy level, amateur level, under 18’s level, under 19’s level, under 21’s level, reserve team level, first team level, county level and international level and on international tours.
I have sampled play offs, cup finals, a RL Challenge Cup Final, Grand Finals, international test matches and a World Cup; worked in the First Division, Second Division, Super League, Australian Winfield Cup, GB Test level and Australian State of Origin level. I have been a rugby league physiotherapist for 30 years and a fan for over 40 years.
Rugby league has been a large part of my life. I first started watching the game when I was about 6 or 7, started playing at about the same age, retired at the age of 19 after too many broken bones and injuries and became a physiotherapist - starting with Wakefield Trinity in 1985. For the next 20+ years I worked locally and travelled the world, treated some of the league’s finest and the world’s stars gaining international honours before “hanging up my sponge” and retiring to concentrate on my practice.
I initially gained professional experience with Wakefield Trinity (1985-93) as well as time with junior Yorkshire and England teams, two Winfield Cup teams in the top Australian league, French rugby league, six years with Dewsbury Rams and Featherstone Rovers and more recently with Huddersfield Giants and Hull FC in Super League.
My overseas experiences saw me work for a period in the South Sydney Sports Medicine Clinic in Australia, also spending time with Balmain Tigers and South Sydney Rabbitohs rugby league teams, as well as time with the New South Wales State of Origin team, Penrith Panthers and Eastern Suburbs Roosters. I have also assisted French team, Villeneuve Leopards with their physiotherapy needs during their English tours.
It is this time and experience in the game that has given me a passion for rugby league and contact injuries, and the clinic is still regularly attended by senior, youth and junior rugby league players from the Wakefield community and surrounding areas.
I have known Lee since my playing days at Dewsbury Rams in the late 1990s where his physiotherapy skills were first class in helping the club to achieve numerous trophies in my time there.
His skills also served me well in my playing and coaching roles at both Featherstone Rovers and Hull FC where his professional attitude and knowledge of the game were second-to-none.
Lee is a 'rugby tragic' where his knowledge, interest and passion of the game go 'hand-in-hand' with his skills in treating the game's injuries.
His diagnosis was always spot on, and management of players through injury, instilled confidence in the team and contributed enormously to the strong culture and success of the club.
I would recommend him to anyone if they want a speedy recovery from their injuries.
Richard Agar is present French national coach and assistant coach to Warrington Wolves. His coaching CV has also included head coaching roles at York City Knights, Hull FC and Wakefield Trinity Wildcats
I have known Lee for over 15 years, mainly through his role as head physiotherapist at Featherstone Rovers during some of my playing days there. He is a very experienced physiotherapist and looked after my injuries and me very well during my playing time at the Rovers, thanks to his knowledge of rugby league and sports injuries.
Since he left Featherstone I have still visited him at his clinic on a number of occasions when I have been suffering injuries and on each occasion have received successful treatment.
Stuart Dickens is assistant coach at Wakefield Trinity Wildcats and played over 400 first team games for Featherstone Rovers between 1998 and 2012
I have known Lee for many years through Rugby League. He was club physiotherapist at Dewsbury Rams for a number of years and played a big part in assisting us to win the Northern Ford Premiership Grand Final in the year (2000).
Lee was ahead of his time with his methods of treatment and rehabilitation and speeded up recovery time in players injuries. He is well known locally in the Wakefield area with many sports clubs using him as their first point of contact for diagnosis of injury and treatment and rehabilitation including. I can highly recommend Lee as a very thorough and professional physiotherapist.
Barry Eaton is head coach of Hunslet Hawks and assistant coach to Leeds Rhinos. His coaching CV also includes Keighley Cougars and Crusaders RL aswell as a fourteen year playing career that took in Wakefield Trinity, Doncaster Dragons, Dewsbury Rams, Widnes Vikings, Batley Bulldogs, Keighley Cougars and Wales