Ray turns out to play rugby league at 67 and backs our Doncaster World Cup campaign

Ray Green, pictured at Toll Bar Rugby Club. Picture: Marie Caley
Ray Green, pictured at Toll Bar Rugby Club. Picture: Marie Caley

He may be 67 - but that does not stop Doncaster grandad Ray Green playing rugby league.

And Ray, who has been involved in the game as a fan, player, and a coach for well over 50 years, has revealed why he is backing our campaign to bring the sport's world cup to Doncaster.

Ray took part in a game last week which saw former players take on current players at one of the borough's amateur rugby league clubs, and even scored a try into the bargain.

It was the latest involvement in the sport for Ray, who first watched a game as an 11 year old back in 1961, when he saw Doncaster Rugby League Club in action.

He went to the game with his dad and a number of miners from Hatfield Main, and was hooked.

He started playing as an amateur for Bentley. He had trials for Doncaster, but did not make the grade at that level.

But he remained involved in grass roots rugby league and was secretary and coach at Bentley in the 1980s, and went on to work for Doncaster Rugbly League Club

He introduced his son Peter to the game, and he went on to play professionally for Doncaster and Sheffield. Now his grandson has started playing as an amateur at Toll Bar, where Peter coaches and Ray still remains involved.

He said: "It's never been boring. At Bentley, one year the ground flooded. We once had a fire there, and I even once got robber with a sawn-off shotgun!

"I'm certainly backing the Free Press' campaign. Having World Cup games in Doncaster would showcase the Keepmoat Stadium, and I think it would give us a chance to get lots of young kids down there who have never seen a game.

"From a juniors point of view it would help get more youngsters playing at clubs like Toll Bar and Bentley, and it would be great to put Doncaster on the map. It would be great to let the kids see international rugby league here, and maybe some of those will start watching the local club, too.

"There will be a lot of competition to host games, but if we get it it would be great."

We launched our Rugby League World Cup 2021: Touch Down in Doncaster campaign to support efforts to make the borough a host town for the sport's most glittering showcase event.

We are also urging schools to join in, by designing posters in support of the campaign. We will print as many of them as we can in the paper. Children whose schools are not taking part are welcome to send us their own poster designs.

If you want to get involved email david.kessen@jpress.co.uk, marking your message World Cup Campaign.

A joint bid is being put together involving Doncaster Council, Business Doncaster, and Club Doncaster, the umbrella organisation which works with the borough's professional sports clubs.

They are putting together a case which will be presented to the organisers of the Rugby League World Cup, who will select where the games will be played during the tournament in 2021.

In total, 16 teams will play 31 matches during the tournament. There will also be 14 venues hosting games. The men's Rugby League World Cup, the Women’s Rugby League World Cup, and Wheelchair Rugby League World Cup will all be played at the same time.