Rugby League: Offiah to play in spite of tragedy
Dave Hadfield was a schoolboy convert to rugby league, the game which, one way or another, has dominated his life ever since. After working for newspapers in Shropshire and Blackpool (where he covered the fortunes of Blackpool Borough) he travelled the world, working mainly in Hong Kong and Sydney. He became The Independent's rugby league man in 1990 and has written five books on the game and broadcast extensively for Sky and the BBC. Dave played his last game at the age of 53 and would have set up a try if anyone could have been bothered supporting his break. When not writing about the sport, he now limits himself to a bit of tick and pass with his local club, the Bolton Mets. Family includes supporters - of varying degrees of dedication - of Salford, Wigan, Sheffield Eagles and St George Illawarra.
Wednesday 03 March 1999
The 32-year-old Broncos star is "utterly devastated", said his agent, Alan McColm. "His father was in his Mercedes. He was challenged by a group of individuals and shot dead."
The killing happened in the south eastern city of Onitsha, Nigeria's second largest commercial city.
The St Helens winger, Chris Smith, will miss the start of the new Super League season after being banned for three matches. Smith was ordered to appear in front of a disciplinary hearing yesterday after a tackle on the Leeds centre, Brad Godden, in Saturday's Silk Cut Challenge Cup tie was picked up on video.
He was found guilty of a late high tackle and his suspension increases the probability of the Wales international winger, Anthony Sullivan, being recalled to Saints' line-up after being left out of the cup tie.
Sheffield Eagles' forward, Darren Turner, has been fined pounds 1,000, half of it suspended, for making an obscene gesture to the crowd at Salford when he was on his way to the sin-bin near the end of the tie.
Turner is already suspended for six matches for the tackle for which he was sent to the sin-bin. "It was only a small gesture but it was seen by two and a half million people on television," said the Rugby League's media manager, John Huxley.
Gateshead's preparations for their match against Leeds on Sunday have been disrupted by their coach, Shaun McRae, slipping a disc. The new club's assistant coaches, Tony Anderson and Glen Workman, have taken charge of training.
The managing director of Super League, Maurice Lindsay, said at yesterday's launch of the new season that every club had reported an increase in season ticket sales this year.
Wigan have signed a young player with a famous name - Billie-Joe Edwards. The 16-year-old is the younger brother of the London Broncos captain, Shaun Edwards.
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