DFP – Head Script

Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

Sinfield pays tribute to former Academy team mate

12th January 2018 | 9:30 am

By Phil Daly

From Left to Right Back Row: Paul Daley; Andy Poynter; George Raynor; James Brown; Ryan McDonald; Nick Smith; Jamie Jones-Buchanan; Chris Chapman; David Wrench; Hewitt; Neil Kite; Tommy Gleeson; Roy Adams Front Row: Dave Foster; Gary Hewitt; Mick Horner; Kevin Sinfield; Mark Campbell; Andy Speak; Gary Smith; Michael Wainwright; Scott Rhodes

This week Leeds Rhinos Chief Executive Gary Hetherington joined our former captain Kevin Sinfield MBE at the funeral of former Rhinos Academy player Nick Smith, who passed away just before Christmas.

WP – In Article MPU

This week Leeds Rhinos Chief Executive Gary Hetherington joined our former captain Kevin Sinfield MBE at the funeral of former Rhinos Academy player Nick Smith, who passed away just before Christmas.

Smith was a member of the same Academy Championship winning side as Sinfield back in 1998 before joining Sheffield Eagles to continue his professional career. He returned to his amateur club Siddal after that, where he played he remainder of his career and became a club legend as skipper of the Halifax club.

Tragically, Nick was struck down last year when he was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease aged just 38.

Nick leaves his wife Rachel, young children Hadyn and Georgia, sister Helen, mum Viv, grandparents Jim and Maura, plus so many nieces and nephews and other family and friends.

Sinfield commented, “Nick came to us on trial from Siddal and stayed all season as a fully fledged part of a very good Championship winning side that included a host of players who would go on to play professionally. As is often the case, players who don’t get a contract with the Rhinos from the academy are quickly sought after by other clubs and Nick moved to Sheffield where he played for a few years. It was to his credit that he then returned to his amateur club at Siddal and was part of everything that made that club so special. He was a nice lad and a great rugby player. Our thoughts are with his family and everyone at Siddal at this very sad time. I only knew Nick for a short time but he was a great man and will be sadly missed.”