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Wartime and the scholarship to Grammar Schools allowed access to Rugby Union, an amateur game played by gentlemen in Rugby Clubs like Liverpool and Blackheath. Since the schism with Rugby League in 1895 the antipathy between the two codes was stark.My story opened the door for hundreds of boys from Lancashire to play for England Schools. However, the suggestion that I might go to Rugby League was enough to prevent selection for England. The story of how this happened, and my subsequent success as a semi professional rugby player, reaches its climax in Championships and Challenge Cups with the great St Helens RL side of the 1960s.Running parallel to this story is the training necessary to become a teacher and head teacher, and those people who helped me on that journey.The final chapters tell of rugby stars of the 1960s who I played with or against and the subsequent joys and fellowships of past players associations. It is a unique view of social history from coalmine to classroom, 1940 to present."