Alex Chatterton: 200 Career Appearances. I Just Love Rugby League!
When Underbank Head Coach Richard Knight announced Alex Chatterton would be making his 200th Club appearance in his 10th season with the Rangers, the rugby community tipped their hats to what is a truly remarkable achievement.
I recently caught up with Alex Chatterton, 28 to reflect on his career so far and plans for the future. Here’s what Alex had to say to GRM SPORT:
On his Rugby background
“ I’m from Huddersfield, and I have supported the Giants my whole life for my sins! My first game for Underbank was June 2010 against Nottingham Outlaws, I can’t remember the game, but I was reminded of the date in a recent match day program!
On his most memorable experience
“ We won three back to back promotions with NCL Division 1 being our initial intention. We have now consolidated our position in the NCL Premier Division after lots of hard work which started in 2013! There are bigger clubs across the leagues with thriving junior sections, but to do what we have done with just three junior teams and little resources is quite the achievement. We’re situated in a Rugby Union hot-spot despite Huddersfield being the birthplace of Rugby League, we have the other code to battle with and we get by with what we’ve got.
On his biggest influence
“ Richard Knight, our Coach has been very instrumental in attracting top players to the club including a few lads from as far as Australia which raises our game. Richard’s hard work has been a big influence over the years. In terms of the squad, it’s difficult to name individuals but as a collective, there are some big away days to Cumbria, lots of great memories on the coach trips! I respect all the players who have put the shirt on alongside me and travelled 4 hours to Cumbria to play tough teams with no pay, just the love of the sport.
On his toughest opponents over his 200 appearances.
“ By far the hardest game was back when we was in Division 2, we had just been promoted and Millom had just been relegated. They had a strong set up and some very good players mixed with a few Aussies too! It was 4 games into the season and they absolutely tanked us 44- nil. It was only the 2nd time in my career I have ever been nil-ed and was a massed eye-opener.
On the importance of Rugby League in his personal life
“ Before I joined Underbank I was on a Scholarship with Bradford Bulls and then the Giants. From my perspective I have seen how some players get lost in the system after being released from a club. You always see kids who are pipped to become future superstars and some even play internationally but don’t quite make it as a full professional. For me, it’s massive to continue my involvement, I love the coach rides back from Cumbria. Now that I am working a stable, well-paying job; Rugby is completely social and I love it.
Final message to family, friends and teammates who have helped him along the way to 200 appearances.
“ Thank You! Playing at this level takes a lot of commitment and having done it for 200 games, 10 seasons you can imagine how much I am away from home. I have a Girlfriend and two little girls, and I can’t thank them enough for the support. I would like to thank the coaches for keeping it fresh and keeping it fun and the wider club, including everyone who mucks in to help us do the absolute best we can.
On the future
“ I have played 200 games, and my body is still in the game, but how many more seasons I go on doesn’t depend on my body, it all depends on the missus as it is a really big commitment!”