Former Hull FC veteran takes up surprising new career path

Hull FC legend Kirk Yeaman is embarking on a new career with the prison service, but he will be staying at Hull FC in a new role within the club’s academy.

After more than two decades with the club, on and off the field, Yeaman has made the decision to step away from his first-team role to fulfil a new career within the prison service.

One of the club’s most notable players of the Super League era, the 37-year-old retired from playing following the historic Challenge Cup winning campaign in 2016, moving on to the club’s backroom staff as assistant conditioner.

Yeaman will now join the prison service, taking on a role as a prison officer at HMP Humber in South Cave, allowing him to spend more time with his family, including kids Dylan and Honey, after a hectic two decades involved in Rugby League.

However, the former Great Britain international will not be departing the club, instead he will take up a part-time assistant coach position within the club’s new-look academy and reserves programme, sharing his skills, knowledge, and experience with the next generation of Hull FC stars.

During his playing days he notched up 375 appearances, placing him in the top 15 appearances makers in Hull FC’s history, whilst only Clive Sullivan and Ivor Watts have scored more tries for the club.

Speaking to hullfc.com, Yeaman said: “It’s been an incredible two decades with the club, and I’ve loved every minute of it, but I’m close to hitting forty now, and I feel like this is the right time for me to head down a different path.

“I want to give some time back to my wife and kids – I’ve made some huge sacrifices throughout my career but I feel like this is the right move for me to allow me to spend some more time with them.

The club could not have done more for me and my family from start to finish, which is something we will be forever grateful for.”

He continued, “Going into the prison service at some point in my career has been something I’ve always had in my mind since I retired from playing in 2016.

“Strangely, a lot of the skills are transferable from my role at the club, in terms of working in teams and forming good relationships with people, so I feel like that’s something I can take into my new role with me and make a difference.”

The opportunity to stay involved with the club has made Yeaman’s decision easier, admitting he is relishing the opportunity to stay involved and work with some of the club’s future stars.

He said: “It was a sad moment when I told the club I would be leaving, but to be asked to still be involved in some capacity is really pleasing and I am really grateful to the club for that.

“Hull FC is a loyal club and we have good people here. I love this club and it was an opportunity I wasn’t going to turn down, it’s a role I feel I can contribute a lot to.

“I’m really looking forward to working with those younger lads; they’re like sponges who listen and want to learn.

“I’ve got over twenty years’ experience in the game in various forms and this gives me the chance to pass on that knowledge and the skills I’ve learnt onto the next generation of players.

“It’s going to give me great satisfaction to be involved with that side of the game. If I can help those lads just one percent in their game, I’ll be pleased.”

Yeaman was given a surprise send-off by the club at the last home fixture against Castleford Tigers, with a special event held in the board room in the company of his close friends and family – along with a special framed shirt and image montage charting his twenty-year period at the club.

The event was hosted by club chairman, Adam Pearson, who paid the following tribute to the long-serving player and coach, who he believes will continue to be a great asset in the club’s new academy structure.

“Kirk has and continues to be a tremendous ambassador for our club, yet he remains so humble about the contribution he has made to Hull FC over the last two decades,” he said.

“We fully understand and support Kirk’s decision in his change of career path and the need to spend some time with his family who are growing up fast, but we are delighted to retain him in a new role at the club.

“He is genuinely excited about the prospect of being able to help nurture and mentor some of our brightest young players and I am sure they will be equally as excited about the opportunity to learn from one of the modern-day greats of the game.

Pearson continued, “Kirk’s genuine passion for the club, his loyalty and humility, are fantastic traits that will have a great influence on these young players and he will become a key part of our new-look Centre of Excellence staff over the months and years ahead.

“I’d like to thank him for his unwavering service to the club over the last twenty years and wish him the very best as he embarks on a new journey in his career, as well as his new role with the club.”

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