Interviews

Pay and life away from the pitch.

Despite the flourishing state of the game in the 1950s, there was little change in the money that could be earned from playing Rugby League. But although Phil saw virtually no increase in wages throughout 13 or so year professional career the sport was not his only source of income. During this period, and for some years after, professional Rugby League was a part time occupation and players also worked in full time jobs outside the game. So playing as a professional provided a second wage and winning pay could more than double Phil’s weekly income. Yet there were other reasons for pursuing a professional career in the sport. In the areas where Rugby League is played, reaching professional level offers a unique status which many aspire to but relatively few attain. For many players, like Phil, reaching professional level also fulfilled a boyhood ambition of playing for their hometown club and they became well known figures in the local community. Then there was the special camaraderie that built up between these men as together they faced the incredibly tough challenges that the sport provided on the field of play.