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

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Neil Tuffs, Robin Tuffs and Simon Tuffs

Neil Tuffs made his Featherstone debut off the bench on 8th of December 1974 against Dewsbury and straight away began to vie with Harold Box for the goal kicking duties. He made his full debut on New Year’s Day 1975 at Wakefield and marked the occasion with a try and a goal. Despite starting just 8 games in his first season, he kicked 21 goals and scored two tries. Over the next few years, Tuffs established himself at centre despite originally signing for Rovers as a stand-off, a position some believed was his best. In Rovers’ Championship year of 1977 Neil Tuffs played in 31 games, notching 8 tries, and one massively important goal. With Quinn off injured he landed a late conversion at Salford to secure a vital 18-17 win. His career total was 128 games (30 off the bench), scoring 25 tries, 61 goals and a drop. His progress was latterly disrupted by injury, and when Fulham FC decided to form a RL team, Neil Tuffs was sold to the Londoners for £6,000 in the summer of 1980. He gave good service to Fulham and played 60 games for the fledgling club. Later he joined another new outfit Kent Invicta with his brother Phil. Phil Tuffs never played for Featherstone Rovers but played for the Jubilee ARLFC team for a number of seasons.

Older brother Robin actually made his Rovers debut before Neil on 25th of March 1974 on the wing at home to Leeds as Rovers rested players before their cup semi-final. It took Robin  longer to regain his first team spot, and it wasn’t until 29th of December 1977 at home to Dewsbury that Robin (centre) and Neil (wing) appeared together. They repeated the feat numerous times over the next two seasons. Robin went on to play a total of 26 games (12 off the bench) and scored 7 tries. He operated mainly in the three quarters, but also had a spell in the number six shirt.

Youngest brother Simon initially began at Bradford Northern, and it wasn’t until later in his career that Rovers signed the front-rower from Doncaster in the 1995/96 centenary season. He played a total of 26 games for Rovers, mainly in the first summer season of 1996, before moving to Hunslet. He played for them at Wembley in 1997 in the Plate Final alongside familiar faces Craig Booth and Graham Southernwood. He later moved back to the amateur game and had success as Featherstone Lions player-coach for a time.

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