OK we've had the Man of steel awards and the VBFG awards IMO
it's time for a bit of fun an nostalgia.
Yes we all like the Paul's, Newlove's, Connolly's and Goulding's
of this world but c'mon the blokes we really love are the nutcases,
yes I think it's time we paid tribute to all those hard-knocks and
psycho's which we have had in RL over the years :)
I'm going to start by nominating my top ten "Hard Bastards",
see what you think.
Number 10: Chris Arkwright (St. Helens) - Centre***loose forward
who's most famous exploit was knocking Wally Lewis up and down
Knowsley Road until he was black and blue. Arkwright's actions prompted
Lewis into one of the most famous statements of all time :
"St. Helens are THUGS, they're not supposed to tackle ME!"
Number 9: Dean Bell (NZ, Carlisle and Wigan) - It was in his early years
in Cumbria that Dean Bell acquired the nickname of "Mean Dean", a world
class centre who possessed blistering pace, Bell presence was nothing
less than fearsome when he took to the field.
Number 8: Ronnie "Rambo" Gibbs (Aus, Castleford) - A real Aussie headbanger
who liked nothing better than to stand toe to toe in the centre circle
with anybody which caught his fancy, his battles with ex-Saint Stuart
Evans were worth the entrance fee alone. Once tore up the Saints dressing
room in a fit of rage after being sent off for flattening Paul Loughlin.
Number 7: Clayton Friend (NZ, Carlisle) - Not many scrum halves gave Andy
Gregory a tough time but this bloke was an exception. Probably NZ's greatest
modern scrum half this iron man gave Gregory a pasting (in every sense of
the word) he would never forget in 89.
Number 6: Les Boyd (Aus, Warrington) - A man with a fearsome reputation in
Australia and when he was "suspended" from their competition he came over
to England to deal out his own version of rough justice. Boyd was hard -
bordering on psycopathic but he was a class player in his own right.
English packs around the league breathed a sigh of relief when Boyd decided
to call it a day.
Number 5: Eddie Syzmala (Barrow) - Only ever saw him play twice but you
only needed to look at this man's face to know that he was ULTRA-hard.
When Les Boyd arrived in Britain with his hard man reputation Syzmala
decided he was having none of it, when the Australian team coach arrived
in Barrow he was waiting on the pavement outisde the ground with a T-shirt
which had "Who the f*** is Les Boyd?" stencilled on the back.
Now that's what I call BALLS!
Number 4: Des Drummond (Warrington, Leigh & others) - In the mid 80's
there was always one golden rule which all new recruits we taught before
they set foot out onto the paddock. That rule was "DONT MESS WITH DEZZY D".
Drummond was only small of stature but his body was made of cast iron.
Phil Veivers will testify to this, he was once on the end of a Drummond
shoulder charge which left him unconcious!
I'll never forget Kelvin Skerret deciding that he was going to show Drummond
who was the boss, DD (who incidentally held black belts in several martial arts)
swung round a struck a Bruce Lee pose. After a moments thought Skerret decided
that he may have been a little rash in his actions.
Number 3: Brendon Tuuta (NZ, Aus, Fev and Cas) : Acquired the nickname "The
Baby Faced Assassain" after his "***" on Wally Lewis in a NZ v AUS test
match. As hard as they come and a damn good rugby player to boot. Tuuta
fears no man and whilst his methods are "borderline" to say the least he
always gets the crowd going :)
Number 2: Kevin Ward (Cas & Saints) - This man was SO hard he didn't need
to prove it, not the fittest forward in the world nor the fastest but this
colossus of a man was literally a one man wrecking crew. When the Aussie
forwards were at their peak this man came saw and conquered. Only ever saw
him lose his temper twice at Saints the consequences were terrible. If he
copped a high one or a stray elbow he would simply pull his shorts up into
his bollocks (his trademark) and crank up the V8.
Number 1: David Bishop (Wales RU, Hull KR) Well some of you might shake your
heads and say "nah!" but IMO this bloke was the meanest, baddest, toughest pound for
rugby player which I have ever seen. Bishop only played a few seasons of RL but
his fierce uncompromising style of play left no-one in doubt as to who the
"daddy" was on the field. I remember Roy Haggerty (Who was no soft touch himself)
once butting DB at Craven Park, within the space of a few seconds Bishop had
landed ump*** blows on Haggerty's skull and had left him dazed on the ground.
His private life mirrored his rugby career - when he wasn't saving children from
drowning in the river he was laying out four men outisde of a nightclub in Swansea.
I'll never forget him playing for the Welsh RL side against England as a ***,
Bishop dislocated his finger in the first half and the injury looked horrific,
he shouted across to the trainer who promptly came on and put the finger back into
place without him even grimacing, within the space of a couple of minutes he was
setting up a try down at the other end of the pitch.
Bishop was without a doubt a proud addition to the ROCK HARD club!
Geff Foster |"The Zone
St. Helens, Merseyside | of it's own"