Leeds Rhinos Foundation

Leeds Rhinos Foundation

Changing Lives Through Sport

Simon Brown
PDRL star grateful to Leeds Rhinos Foundation for giving Rugby League back to him
13 June 2018, 5:06
By Leanne Flynn
On Saturday 23rd June Leeds Rhinos Foundation's Physical Disability Rugby League (PDRL) team will be ready for the Return Leg at Emerald Headingley as they take on Warrington Wolves PDRL for the second time this season.
For PDRL player Simon Brown playing for new Rhinos' team has given him back the sport that was once taken away from him.

"I spent thirteen years in the army and on my third operational tour to Iraq I was shot by a sniper in the face," Brown said. "I remember waking up from the coma and being told that I'd lost my left eye totally and there was very little hope of getting my right eye back and after 10 years of rehab I've now got 20% vision back in my right eye but I'm still registered blind.

"When I was lying on the hospital bed and got told about my prognosis I thought everything I'd loved had gone and one of those things was Rugby League, both watching it and being part of the community and I thought I wouldn't be able to get involved again.

"A few years down the line, I'm older and wiser and have been through rehab and learnt a lot about myself in that time and this opportunity has come along for me to play rugby league again be back part of that community and be involved and I can't say how grateful I am to the Leeds Rhinos Foundation for supporting this project getting on board and giving us the opportunity we have got here today.

"We went and did the try outs and I've met a great group of lads who all were coming from different backgrounds and had different stories and different disabilities and I thought at the time the first thing that provided was an opportunity to share and realise that that's what rugby league does, it brings people together and this was a great opportunity for that.

"This isn't a weakened version of rugby, this is people getting stuck in and people feel alive when they are doing it, they feel like what their heroes do and playing proper rugby and this is not rugby feeling sorry for us, this is rugby showing what we can do."

Brown has been thrilled with the support the team have received since they formed at the end of last year and he is hoping a big crowd can get behind the PDRL side for their home game against Warrington and he knows Rugby League fans will not be disappointed with the contest on show.

"The PDRL game has not been softened, it's quick, there's some big hits going in, there's an Australian player for them and we are all going to target him, so you're going to see us smash an Aussie. It is good fun and it's a great day out and these kids will impress you, they are athletes, whether it be a missing limb a muscular skeletal disease, they run out there, they put their heart and soul into the game, so come along and join in with the Rugby League community because it is a great community to be part of."

Gates will open at 1pm on St Michael's Lane only and the game will kick off a 2.30pm. Entry is via donations on the gate, with all money going to Leeds Rhinos Foundation.

Latest News
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Youtube
© 2018 Content Copyright Leeds Rhinos Foundation Privacy & Cookies delivered by Sotic powered by OpenText WSM