The story about Bradford's exciting young prospect, Sam Burgess, caring for his father who has motor neurons disease, brought a tear to my eye. As a father, if I can bring my son up to have this level of decency and character, I too will be extremely proud, as I'm sure Sam Burgess' dad must be.
Combine this, with the recent story about Tommy Martyn selling his Challenge Cup Medal to support the cause of ex-team mate, Steve Prescott, and those outside the game will need not ask why I would be proud for my own son to grow up inside the rugby league family, where he will learn the value of the virtues these men display. At a time when parents worry what drugs are getting into their kids, they're best preventative measure is to get their kids into rugby league as early as possible. In this sport, like no other, will they learn that the physical qualities required on the field, of strength, stamina, skill, speed, and aggression, must be matched in equal measure by the personal qualities off the field, of commitment, comradery, resilience, focus and humility. There is no better school for such values, and I look forward to my own son striving to emulate the achievements of rugby league role models such as Tommy Martyn and Sam Burgess.
My sincerest thanks and respect to them both.