Paul Sykes made quite the name for himself in Super League with impressive stints with both Bradford and Wakefield in the top flight, but the halfback is still going strong in the Championship at 40 years of age.
Sykes is remembered by most for his second stint at Odsal as well as his time at Wakefield. He started his career with the Bulls before earning vital experience in the capital with London Broncos who, during his 134 appearances for the club, became Harlequins RL.
From there he re-joined the Bulls making over 100 appearances for one of Super League’s most famous sides helping them to fifth place in 2008. However, when the Bulls were hit by financial strife in 2012, he moved on loan to Wakefield where he’d become a cult hero fairly quickly as his series of drop goals, including one against St Helens, gave the then Wildcats a number of dramatic victories as they went on to secure their place in the play-offs despite starting the season without a squad.
He joined permanently the following season before enjoying a stint with Featherstone in 2015. In 2016, he moved to Dewsbury becoming a key figure for his hometown team and five years on, now in his 40s, the former England international is vital for the Rams and going into 2022 his importance will go beyond playing as he takes on a player-coach role at the start of next season.
An England and Great Britain international, he’ll provide the Rams with vital experience which he’ll now be able to pass on to the other players at the club as a coach.
The change in role was announced at the ‘Rams Forum’ last night before being confirmed by the club’s website today.
Speaking to the site today about his new role, he said: “Having spoke to Lee Greenwood we had the conversation about whether or not I wanted to play on next year.
“My answer was obviously a yes, so he offered me to both coach and play, maybe not every game but if and when needed.
“I have done well to stay fit for as long as I have and played many years although I am not getting any younger.
“I still feel I have a lot to offer as a player for sure and hopefully as a coach too, I love this club it is my hometown and I have been here a good few years now, I want us to play well and compete week in week out.
“Hopefully I can pass on some of my knowledge and help the boys improve both individually and collectively for the good of the team heading into next season.”