11th August 2006 saw me in the heart of Benidorm, sat in the 'Yorkshire Pride' eating one of the finest curries Iíve had in my life. I was in heaven because The 'Yorkshire Pride' was furnished with Yorkshire and rugby league memorabilia making me feel very much at home in an alien country. The icing on the cake was the bar owner, who supported Castleford all his life, was a Leeds fan for the night.
Just before kick off time the bar was filling up with rugby league fans from all different clubs. From what I remember we had Leeds, Wigan, Bradford and Castleford fans gathering for the mid summer Super League fixture between Leeds and Wigan.
Wigan ran out eventual 20 - 18 winners thanks to Kevin Sinfield leaving his kicking boots at home, meaning he could only knock one goal over. The most controversial feature of that match was Stuart Fielden, because Wigan broke the salary cap in order to transfer him from Bradford mid season. 2006 will always be remembered as the season where Wigan Warriors broke the rules to ensure that Castleford Tigers went down instead of themselves.
Thank goodness we now have a franchise system so that we no longer have to witness such wrongdoings in our great game of rugby league.
After the match I stormed out like a sour loser and ordered some big blue WKD to drown my sorrows. I always do that when Iím on holiday. I remember when Leeds lost to Bulls in 2002 and I released my frustration out by diving in the pool late at night which didnít please the mental hotel manager.
To close this column off Iíd like to thank the Yorkshire Pride and many other places like it for showcasing our beloved rugby league games in tourist destinations all over Europe . Thereís an old saying that if its outside Yorkshire then its not worth visiting. Well thank goodness thereís a little bit of Yorkshire all over the world.