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

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Carl Hughes, Paul Hughes, Gavin Swinson, Joe McLocklan, Kevin Eadie, Jack Lee

Carl Hughes
The departure of Richard Chapman (#748) left a void difficult to fill. Stuart Dickens (#774) took over as team leader but filling the hooking role was more problematic. Coaches were now using two hookers, one starting and one off the bench, who could offer different skills at different stages of a game, although both needed to possess the basic attributes of strong defence and quick service from acting half-back.

For the 2005 season coach Gary Price turned to Carl Hughes (#859). Carl joined Rovers from Stanley Rangers in 2004 but broke his leg and missed all his first season injured. The following year he made the first team and proved a lively presence with good service from acting half-back. He played for Featherstone for three years, and as other hookers emerged (including his own brother) Carl carved out a niche for himself at loose forward. After 73 games and 34 tries he left to join Keighley, and then York and Doncaster.

Paul Hughes
When David Hobbs took over he preferred Carl’s younger brother Paul Hughes (#875) and Paul settled down to a decent run in the first team. With a similar build to Carl, he also had his brother’s bustling style, speedy service from acting half-back and eye for the try-line. Paul played 58 games for Rovers and scored a useful 19 tries. He later played with York, Dewsbury and Doncaster, often teaming up with his brother again. In 2007 Hobbs brought local lad Gavin Swinson (#764) back to Post Office Road after four years at Rochdale.  Gavin was an integral part of our promotion push and came off the bench in the playoff final at Headingley to help Rovers beat Oldham. Gavin played a total of 126 games for Featherstone in two spells. Starting hooker that evening was Joe McLocklan (#905), signed from Doncaster and who impressed from the start with his work-rate on defence.

Gavin Swinson
Throughout 2008, with Rovers back in the Championship, McLocklan was first choice hooker with a couple of local lads, Kevin Eadie (#907) and Jack Lee (#918) getting the odd chance. Both Kevin and Jack had come through the local junior ranks and got early opportunities to show their potential. When the head coach changed, Daryl Powell’s first year in charge saw him continue to use a combination of McLocklan and Lee. However, at the end of that year both players moved on. Joe had played 63 games for Featherstone and he joined York, then South Wales and Hunslet. Jack had played 42 games and he moved on to a successful career at Keighley and then York. 
Joe McLocklan

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