“Headingley feels like a second home” – Rhinos fans ready to get back!

This Friday Leeds Rhinos will welcome back capacity crowds to the stadium for the first time since March 2020 and for Rhinos fan Nicola Suggitt the chance to support her club back at Emerald Headingley means the world to her and Friday’s game can’t come soon enough!

Nicola who has been coming to games at the stadium for the last decade, says being a Rhinos fan is more than just watching the game it is about being part of a family and she credits supporting the club with helping her mental health.

“I can’t wait to be back, I have missed it so much,” she said.  ”The last game I came to was in March 2020 so I am counting down the days until I am back. I’ve changed jobs and which has meant this is the first opportunity I’ve had to get to a game.

“I suffer with anxiety and supporting the club has really helped with it, Headingley really does feel like a second home.  I watched the club on TV and then ten years ago my friend Diane asked if I would like to go to a game and I was scared to be in a big crowd, but I went along with her and I absolutely loved it and have never looked back.  I became a season ticket holder in the South Stand and on Friday I will be there again.  I used to stand, but I have a bad back so am now in the seats, but I love it.

“I have missed coming so much, it is a massive part of my life.  My dad died in 2019, and I’ve had a lot to deal with in the last few years, but coming to watch the Rhinos really helps me and gives me something to look forward to, it is like being part of a big family.  I have even been to games on my own and I wouldn’t go anywhere else on my own.  I now know the people who sit around me so it will be lovely to catch up with them again.”

The dedication to watch the team means Nicola has to drive almost 60 miles to get to Emerald Headingley, but that doesn’t stop her taking her place in the stand to cheer on the team.

“I live in Driffield so travel from the East Coast to watch the matches.  My husband is a Hull KR fan so we have a bit of rivalry between us so it will be good when we play each other again.  I would describe the atmosphere at Headingley as electric, it’s the best feeling being there.  I took my son and his friend to a game and they loved it and they said it was just phenomenal.”

There have been many special days involving the club that Nicola fondly remembers, but there are two in particular that stand out.

“I got to meet all the team a few years back when I entered a competition on Facebook and got the chance to be in the team photo, it was one of the best days of my life.  I have so many happy memories supporting the club, one that stands out was the game for Rob Burrow last year. It was an unbelievable atmosphere and tribute to a great player and there were lots of tears that day.”

Although supporters have been able to watch the Rhinos on TV this season, Nicola says nothing beats a home match night and she thinks the fans can play a big part in giving the team a lift for the rest of the season.

“I can’t wait to see a packed stadium again and I think the team really need it too.  All clubs need their fans behind them and I think it will help the team.  Konrad Hurrell is my favourite player in the current team so I am looking forward to seeing him play and hopefully giving us all a wave at the end of the game.  It’s going to be amazing to be in that stand again cheering on my team.”

The club would like to say a huge thank you to all our supporters over a challenging sixteen months and we can’t wait to welcome you all back this Friday.

Tickets are available via our online ticket office tickets.therhinos.co.uk or call 0371 423 1315.