|Full name||Mark Aston|
27 September 1967 |
Castleford, West Yorkshire, England
|Height||5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)|
Mark Aston (born 27 September 1967) is a former rugby league Scrum-half/Halfback with Sheffield Eagles and Great Britain. He also had short spells with Featherstone Rovers and Bramley but the bulk of his career was spent with the Eagles, who he joined in 1985. He retired from playing in 2004, having been the figurehead in the fight to save the Eagles after their merger with Huddersfield in 1999. In less than three months, a new club was formed that was allowed into the Northern Ford Premiership with Aston as player/coach and a completely new semi-professional team. This must have seemed a long way from the day, only 18 months earlier, when Aston won the Lance Todd Trophy in the Rugby League Challenge Cup final at Wembley Stadium, inspiring Sheffield Eagles to a famous 17-8 win over Wigan.
Aston is now Chief Executive and Head Coach at the new Sheffield club, who play in the Championship. In May 2011 he was named as the new Head Coach of the Irish National Team. He was awarded an honorary doctorate by Sheffield Hallam University in 2012 for his services to sport in Sheffield.
The early years
Aston started playing rugby union at the age of eight in his home town of Castleford. He played one or two games but decided to switch to rugby league. He moved on to Stanley Rangers ARLFC, which is in Wakefield, then after a couple of years on to Oulton Raiders, where his father played as an amateur, until the age of fifteen. He moved to Castleford Lock Lane for one season, then started playing at under 17 level for Castleford. Despite an offer of a professional contract with his home town club, he decided to accept an offer from Sheffield Eagles. At that point he had been playing open age rugby for Selby Gaffers, coached by his father Brian, and had made his first Eagles appearance as an unnamed trialist on Easter Day 1985.
Contemporaneous Article Extract
"Mark Aston Scrum-half. Alongside Daryl Powell, has become very much the standard bearer for League in Sheffield. A prolific points scorer and fine tactician, Aston became Sheffield Eagles' second Test player when he appeared as a substitute for Great Britain against France in 1991. A graduate of the Oulton amateur club near Leeds." 
Challenge Cup final appearances
- Total matches: 389 (Eagles record)
- Total points: 2142 (Eagles record)
- Total goals: 940 + 46 drop goals (Eagles record)
- Total tries: 54
Winning the Man-of-the-Match in the 1998 Rugby League Challenge Cup final was the highlight of Aston's playing career. He controlled the game and drove the team to execute the game plan devised by Eagles' coach John Kear.
He also played for Great Britain against France in 1991 and was selected to go on the 1992 Great Britain Lions tour of Australia and New Zealand.
- Sheffield Eagles website
- Great Britain Statistics at englandrl.co.uk
- Player statistics at rugbyleagueproject.org
- Coach statistics at rugbyleagueproject.org