The long and rich history of Featherstone Rovers Rugby League Football Club

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

John Newlove, Shaun Newlove, Paul Newlove and Richard Newlove

John Newlove is a member of one of the most exclusive of clubs. Alongside Malcolm Dixon and Terry Hudson, he has captained Featherstone Rovers to win the Challenge Cup at Wembley. John received his cup from Earl Mountbatten of Burma in 1973 after scoring two tries in a big Rovers win. It was a fitting accolade for one of Featherstone’s classiest ever backs, who excelled at centre or stand-off. He signed for Featherstone in 1966 from Ackworth, and was soon into the first team. He went on to chalk up 381 appearances (seventh on the all-time list) and a phenomenal 147 tries, second only to Don Fox on the all-time try list. He had a successful benefit year in 1977/78, and left soon after to finish his career at Hull

Ten years later, John’s middle son Paul was ready for the first team at just 17 years old, and such was his impact on the pro’ game that a little over a year later he was ready for his GB debut too. In five seasons at Featherstone, Paul Newlove’s devastating centre play thrilled the fans and rewrote the record books. He finished with 122 tries from 150 games, a try ratio he kept up at Bradford, and later St. Helens where he won all the game’s major honours in eight seasons for Saints. He still holds the record for most tries in a season at Featherstone (48 in 1992/93). He won 20 Great Britain caps, touring Australia in 1992 and playing in the 1995 World Cup Final.

John’s oldest son Shaun did well enough in the local amateur scene to merit a trial, and after showing up well in the A team, made his first team debut off the bench against the New Zealand tourists in November 1989. A length of the field try from full-back against Hull gave promise of things to come, but then a broken leg set his career back, from which he never recovered. He played a total of seven games, two of which he played as Paul’s wing partner.

In March 1995 Rovers snapped up Richard Newlove to complete the full set of brothers. After a slow start (only 27 games in his first seven seasons), he really hit the straps in 2002 scoring 25 tries. He then had a year at Wakefield in Super league before heading back home. Although he never played alongside his brothers for Featherstone, he did face Paul in a cup-tie in 1998 when Rovers played St. Helens. After scoring 71 tries in 112 games, he left for Doncaster, then Sheffield before retiring. This brought the Newlove family try total for Featherstone Rovers to an astonishing 341!

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