WEST Bowling gained some publicity 10,000 miles away last week, after the Canberra Times gave a little insight into how top rugby league stars, and Bradford natives, Elliott Whitehead and John Bateman first became friends.

The duo play out in Australia now for the Canberra Raiders, although Bateman is leaving to rejoin Super League side Wigan Warriors ahead of 2021.

Whitehead, who is four years older than Bateman at 31, told the Canberra Times newspaper how he used to pick Bateman up for Bradford Bulls training when the latter was a teenager living on a housing estate in West Bowling.

The pair have wound each other up about the story for years, with Whitehead saying he used to make Bateman walk up a hill before picking him up so he could lose some weight, while Bateman claims Whitehead was always late to arrive.

It was 27-year-old Bateman who used to idolise the older Whitehead when he was younger and the pair of course began their amateur rugby league careers at big Bradford rivals. Bateman at Bradford Dudley Hill and Whitehead at West Bowling.

Both played for Bulls before leaving in 2013, with Whitehead going off to play for Catalans Dragons and Bateman for Wigan.

The former joined Canberra in 2016, with Bateman travelling Down Under to play for the same team three years later, where they were able to rekindle their long-standing friendship.