In the summer of 1970 Rovers took two local youngsters from Fryston juniors, and both players turned out to be long serving wingmen for Rovers throughout that decade.
Paul Coventry made his senior debut for Rovers in September 1970, a couple of months before his erstwhile team-mate Ken Kellett. In just his eighth senior game Paul was lining up for Featherstone Rovers against Leeds in the Yorkshire Cup final. He quickly became a first team regular, and established himself as one of those players, like Kenny Greatorex before him and Steve Evans after, who had the ability to operate equally well both on the wing and at centre. Consequently, he was able to slot into either position at any time according to the side’s needs. A look at his career statistics shows just how evenly his time was divided between the two roles. His final tally of 286 starting appearances for Featherstone was made up of 141 games on the wing and 128 at centre (with 17 at stand-off thrown in for good measure). His 15 substitute appearances took him just past the 300 appearance mark, a commendable figure.
At home across the three-quarter line, Paul all the natural attributes to succeed: good pace and good hands, as well as elusive running and defensive solidity. His career total of 86 tries was testament to his ability to get over the line. His third season proved to be his most prolific, when he scored 14 tries. He finished that season by lining up for Rovers in the 1973 Wembley Cup final, on the opposite wing to Ken Kellett. He would have made it back there too the following year, but for a broken arm which unfortunately kept him out of the side for the best part of a year. His contribution to our 1977 Championship winning year was important, although he was also hampered by injuries that season.
After Rovers relegation in 1979, Paul played the only season of his career outside the top flight with Rovers in the Second Division, winning the championship. He therefore joined a select group of players to have won both First and Second Division titles. Granted a benefit in his 11th season, Paul was once again unlucky with injuries that year, as another broken arm put him out for most of the season. After making his comeback in 1982, he decided to move on and finished his career at Wakefield.
Since hanging up his boots, Paul has, of course, continued to be heavily involved with the club, and had a spell as club chairman. He is currently spear-heading the impressive renovations taking place at the Big Fellas Stadium.