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Sandra Merrick

Sandra Merrick

Sandra Merrick

Sandra has always been a Featherstone fan and her children have been involved in rugby league and cricket. Her son David was a Grade Two Referee and now coaches at Featherstone.

Sandra started going to matches at Featherstone Rovers at 16 with friends first and then with her husband, later.

After she became pregnant with her son David as soon as she was told she had a son her first words were, “I’ve got my scrum half”. David was just 6 weeks old when he went to first match and he loved it from the start and starting his career as a ball boy at Featherstone Rovers. He went onto play and later became a referee. Once before a match he was playing in…

“Paul Coventry once asked me to go into the changing room when David played for the Traveller Saints to give him a pep talk before a match. When they played at Redhill at Castleford they always lost so I said it’s not the team, it’s the colour of the shirts that you are frightened of, so just go in and think it’s a different colour. It didn’t work they still lost… so my pep talk weren’t much good”

Sandra used to be on the Ladies Committee, helping raise funds at jumble sales, stalls in the park on Gala Day, sell Lotto tickets for the lions, help with teas, wherever Sandra was needed.

“David became a referee. I remember the first match, me and him (my husband) stood on the touch line and everyone started shouting and name calling… I had to shout back… “hey, just a minute, it wasn’t one of them when he was born, cause I’m his mother and that’s his Dad, so stop calling him that and if I hear you calling him that again I’ll hit you!” ha ha they never shouted at him again. He used to get embarrassed at me”.

“We used to go all over to watch him referee but I had keep sctung, bite my lip, David used to say to me “don’t open your mouth, just watch the match” But I used to shout at him if I thought he was doing owt wrong”

Sandra and her husband travelled all over to matches to see David referee, my only advice was “just be fair with both teams” The best advice that could be given to a referee!
They travelled home and away with Featherstone as well, their loyalty to Featherstone because they were born and bred in the town ‘it gets into the blood’

Sandra remember one match Salford when she was pregnant with her daughter Julie, when they had to open the big gates because she was too big to go through the turnstile. Banter on the terraces was part of the fun and Sandra could give as good as she got

“I stand my ground, I won’t let anyone put on me” “I said it as it was”

“I remember a match at Keighley, when Billy Thomson (ref) was robbing us of the game and I had to be escorted away because her passion for the game took over.

“We went to Wembley to watch the matches. We missed the match 1967 when they won against Barrow, because we were getting married and had to save up but we did watch the match on the telly at the pub. 1 upset the Bingo by rushing in and shouting “Told you we’d win it “ and the caller had just called house and he dropped all the balls and they couldn’t check. I wasn’t the favourite that night. “

There were some comedians at the matches and we’ve had some fun. It’s a great family game.

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