Robbie Hunter-Paul autobiography: Thanks bro! Henry fixed it for me to move to Bradford (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Robbie Hunter-Paul autobiography: Thanks bro! Henry fixed it for me to move to Bradford
10:00am Thursday 23rd August 2012 in Bulls
Robbie Hunter-Paul relives some of the most amazing experiences of his life in his new book ‘Robbie: Rugby Warrior – The Autobiography’. In this first of four extracts he recounts how he came to be a Bradford player.
Once Henry emerged on Wigan’s radar, they wanted him. All the time he was at Wakefield, though, Henry was selling the English game to me and how I would love it over there. He even gave a press interview talking about how his kid brother back in New Zealand was better than himself; perhaps he meant better looking. At long distance I could see Henry’s career taking off.
Henry, however, was persistent. He told David McKnight, who was representing him in England, just how much he would love to have me over. David told him he would see what he could do.
It was at that point he told the Bradford Northern chairman Chris Caisley that he had Henry Paul’s little brother if he fancied signing him. That was one weekend and I had my answer on the Monday via a fax machine that mum and dad had invested in to keep in touch with Henry, as it was cheaper than phoning.
When it came through, the fax had distorted lines all over it, but when I picked up that piece of paper, I just thought ‘wow’. A fully professional contract to become a rugby league player in Bradford, England. I signed there and then.
For a kid finally on his way to the big time, I was just so excited about the prospect, without really knowing anything about this team called Bradford Northern.
I had watched Challenge Cup finals and Test matches from England but Bradford was a mystery. Wigan were the team who won everything, the team Henry had signed for, but the 1993-94 championship table didn’t lie, surely?
Wigan finished top, again, but with Bradford up there with them in second place on the same number of points, both having won 23 games and lost seven. This was the Bradford I was joining, a team as good as Wigan.