Tag: Rochdale Hornets

DEON CROSS JOINS RED DEVILS

Salford Red Devils are delighted to announce the signing of Deon Cross on a one-year deal, with the option for a further year.

The winger arrives from Betfred Championship side, Widnes Vikings, where he won Try of the Year and Fans’ Player of the Year awards in 2021.

Cross started out at Rochdale Hornets in 2018, before moving to Barrow Raiders in 2019 for one season. The 25-year-old signed for Widnes ahead of the 2020 season, stating his dream was to play in Super League one day.

Speaking on signing for Salford, Cross said: “I’m really excited about the move, Super League has been the target since i started playing rugby.

“Salford is a fantastic club who have reached new heights more than once over the last few seasons, and I hope I can help this club achieve again.”

Director of rugby and operations Ian Blease added: “It’s no wonder why Deon was voted the fans’ Player of the Year this season at Widnes. He’s a very talented winger who is still only young, so has plenty of time to develop his game even further.

“Being around the likes of Ken Sio, Joe Burgess and Rhys Williams, who are all established Super League players, can only help Deon mature and improve.”

Get behind your Red Devils next season by purchasing a season ticket HERE.

Red Devils recruitment is sponsored by Morson Group.

RUGBY LEAGUE’S QUALITY STREET GANG (7) – BILL SHEFFIELD

Salford’s former long-serving second row forward, Bill Sheffield, relates memories of his rugby league career.

CONTENTS

Part 1 – HIS EARLY CAREER

Part 2 – MEMORIES OF HIS TIME WITH SALFORD

Part 3 – HE REMEMBERS HIS SALFORD TEAMMATES

Part 4 – HIS POST SALFORD CAREER

                                                          Part 1 – HIS EARLY CAREER

Hailing, as he does from St Helens, Bill Sheffield found it very easy to become a supporter of the Saints, on account of the fact that the very first game he ever attended was watching them play in their 13-2 Challenge Cup Final triumph over Halifax, at Wembley, in 1956.

“My father was an avid supporter of St Helens and after that first introduction to the game, I became as big a fan as he was.  I played a bit of rugby at school, but, in those days, they didn’t seem to have a lot of competitive games.”

Indeed, it was not until he left school and took up work in a local garage, that, as a result of three of his colleagues there, Frank Barrow, Dickie Evans and David Harrison, playing for the Saints, Bill started to go with them at lunchtime into the local park, for a throw about with a ball.

“It was Dickie who really encouraged me to go to St Helens, which I did, and being only sixteen, I was put into the ‘C’ team, which was for under seventeens.  I had never really played in a competitive game before, but there were some very good coaches there at that time, who gave me a lot of advice and encouragement, and so I made my way through into the ‘B’ team for under nineteens.

“We had a really successful side that year playing in four finals, two of which we won.  Twelve of the lads were actually signed by St Helens. Not all of them made it through to the first team, but people like Alan Bishop, Joe Robinson and Les Jones all became top-flight players.

“We used to train twice a week in the evenings because of course we all had jobs, with the games being played on the Saturday afternoon.  That was the case for almost every club, and it wasn’t until I came to Salford that I first  experienced Friday night rugby.

“I spent two seasons continuing my progress through the ‘A’ team, and then, aged twenty, got the opportunity to make my debut in the first team.  It was the televised 1969 Champions v Cup Holders game, away at Castleford, following their Wembley victory over Salford, with St Helens having finished the season as Champions.

“I had gone with the team as travelling reserve, and not expecting to play at all, but prop, Cliff Watson, went down with a very bad migraine, which led to me being drafted into the team at second row, alongside Eric Prescott.  Part way through the second half I surprised everyone by taking the ball up and breaking through before rounding the fullback to score.”

Players’ contracts, in those days were primarily around their signing on fee, which in Bill’s case was a thousand pounds – a most substantial amount at that time – alongside weekly wage details, but, unlike today’s contracts of two to three seasons duration, players back then signed for life!  Or not, as Bill was shortly to discover.

“I was at the ground one day, part way through my first season, and was sent for by the Chairman, who informed me that Rochdale were interested in me, and that St Helens were keen on a player exchange deal involving Kelvin Earle, who had twice been on Challenge Cup winning teams, and upon leaving Saints at the end of his first stint there, had gone to Bradford where he had won yet another medal.”

Rochdale, at that time were one of the lowly sides in the league, so for Bill it was very much a case of one extreme to the other, but not always the way round that one might have expected.

“At Saints we had to provide all our own training kit, including our own boots.  I even had to share boots and running spikes with one of the other players because neither of us could afford both.  When I went to Rochdale, though we were really well looked after, with everything we needed, including new boots, being provided,”

On the field, however, things were nowhere near as good.

“We went to Hunslet for the last match of the season, where one time great, Geoff Gunney, by this time in his forties, won the man of the Match award, and we were well beaten.  Fortunately, during the close season there was a change of coach, with the renowned international centre, Frank Myler, coming in, which led in turn to the signing of a number of better quality players.

“Frank then moulded that group into a really good team, which, within a relatively short period of time, ended up in both the John Player and the BBC2 Floodlit Cup Finals, in the 1972/3 season.  So, after that initial set back, I ended up having a couple of really good years with them, and I have had a great deal of time for Rochdale, ever since.

“En route to the Floodlit Cup Final, we had to play Salford at the Willows, in the semi-final, on a rather unpleasant evening in the depth of winter.  The pitch, in those days held water quite badly and the middle even had to be covered with sand.  The Salford backs were all speedsters but on that quagmire, they couldn’t make any impression on us, and we controlled the game extremely well.

“Warren Ayres, our centre, had a superb match, and ran in two crucial tries, to take us through to the final against St Helens.  I’d played against the Saints a couple of time since leaving, but this time it was going to be in a cup final.

“Whenever you return to a former club, you always have a certain extra keenness about you to do well, but, on this occasion, it was the crowd that really got onto me as they always used to with one of their former players, and it was that which geed me up all the more so.  We didn’t win but were extremely unlucky to lose 5-2, because we had a try disallowed for an alleged knock on, but I wish we had had a video referee that afternoon to have checked it out.”

Squad | Adam Lawton joins Rochdale Hornets on a one-month loan

Salford Red Devils can confirm that Adam Lawton has joined Betfred Championship side Rochdale Hornets on a one-month loan deal. 
Lawton joined the Red Devils ahead of pre-season after spending time away from the professional game in Australia. The back-rower broke onto the scene in 2014 with Widnes Vikings.
Director of Rugby and Operations, Ian Blease, said: “Adam has been great since joining the Club at the start of pre-season.
“We feel this short-term loan will provide Adam with a great opportunity to get some regular first team game time and further his development.”
Adam Lawton could feature in Rochdale’s upcoming fixtures against Toronto Wolfpack, Toulouse Olympique, Batley Bulldogs and Barrow Raiders.

Dual Reg/Loan Watch | Bennion in action for Rochdale Hornets

Salford Red Devils forward Gavin Bennion made his first appearance for Rochdale Hornets since joining on a one-month loan deal this past weekend.
Unfortunately, it was an afternoon to forget for the Hornets as they fell to an 80-4 defeat against Featherstone Rovers at the LD Nutrition Stadium.
Bennion – who joined the Red Devils from Rochdale at the start of the season – began the game at prop-forward.
Brad Dwyer – on dual-registration from Leeds Rhinos – crossed for six tries while James Lockwood notched a hat-trick. Jason Walton, Brad Knowles, Anthony Thackeray and John Davies also scored while Rob Massam went over for Rochdale’s solitary score.
Bennion could feature next weekend against Swinton Lions before also being available for fixtures against Leigh Centurions and Toronto Wolfpack.

The Tigers are in Town, but we’ll roar louder! 
Tickets for our next home game against Castleford Tigers on Friday 13th July are available to purchase at the Club Ticket Office, over the phone or online here.

 

Gavin Bennion – “Quite surprised and a bit giddy”

Salford Red Devils newest acquisition Gavin Bennion has spoken about his delight at signing for a Super League side.
The 23-year-old forward joins Derrell Olpherts, Tyrone McCarthy and Manu Vatuvei as the Red Devils latest 2018 recruit after a successful season with Rochdale Hornets in the Championship.
Bennion, speaking to Rochdale’s official website, said: “I know Watto [Ian Watson] from playing with him at Swinton Lions a couple of years ago, and initially he was thinking about signing me, and Alan Kilshaw got in touch and recommended me.
“Watto brought me down to the stadium for a chat about my ambitions and it went from there basically.
“Salford is one of the clubs in the past few years I’ve wanted to play for in a way, so when they got in touch I was quite surprised and a bit giddy.”
Bennion, who began his career with Warrington Wolves, has spent time in the Championship with Swinton and Halifax but really made a name for himself at the Crown Oil Arena in 2017.
“I’m massively proud to have earned myself a Super League contract,” Bennion said.
He added: “To have done it the way I have, after being at Halifax and joining Rochdale, to then have got myself a move to Salford within a year is a good achievement which I am proud of.
“At Halifax I was in and out of the team all year, but Alan knew me and put a lot of trust in me by giving me the opportunity to play week-in, week-out.
“I only missed a couple of games due to injury so it was good that Alan played me evert week and I thank him for that.”
 
Season Tickets are on sale for the 2018 season and are available from the Club Ticket Office, over the phone or online here. All the price details are here and a breakdown of Direct Debit payments available as part of the ‘early bird’ deal are here.

Salford Red Devils confirm the signing of Gavin Bennion

Salford Red Devils are delighted to announce the signing of Gavin Bennion from Championship side Rochdale Hornets.
The 23-year-old joins the Red Devils after a successful season with the Hornets which saw him become a regular in the first team helping Rochdale to Championship survival.
Hornets Coach Alan Kilshaw took Bennion to the Crown Oil Arena at the beginning of the 2017 season Where he became a pivotal forward for Rochdale.
Bennion enjoyed loan spells with Swinton Lions and Featherstone Rovers before signing for Halifax in 2016 from Warrington. The Red Devils newest acquisition has also played for Intrust Super Cup side Mackay Cutters in Australia.
Head Coach Ian Watson said: “Through our good relationship with Alan Kilshaw, we’ve been keeping tabs on Gavin throughout the 2017 season and he’s put in some massively impressive performances for Rochdale.
“He’s a young, hungry forward with a great work ethic and excellent attitude and we believe he can grow into a quality Super League player.
“I first came across Gavin at Warrington where he showed plenty of potential. Gavin then choose to go across to Australia to help with his rugby education where he was selected for the Queensland residents team.
“Gavin has shown his development this year while working with Alan at Rochdale and hopefully he can continue that here at Salford Red Devils. I’m excited to work with him next season and I feel he’ll prove to be a good signing for Salford.”
Red Devils CEO Ian Blease said: “Gavin is the first of a few signings we’re hoping to announce in the coming weeks and months.
“We feel he’ll be a great addition to the squad, and under Coach Watson’s guidance I’m expecting Gavin to challenge for a first team position at the start of the new season.
“Gavin is the first of a new batch of Red Devils who we feel can help continue our growth on the field in 2018.”
 
Season Tickets are on sale for the 2018 season and are available from the Club Ticket Office, over the phone or online here. All the price details are here and a breakdown of Direct Debit payments available as part of the ‘early bird’ deal are here.