Paul Reilly (rugby league)
||This biography of a living person needs additional citations for verification. (March 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
10 May 1976 |
|Height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Weight||13 st 7 lb (86 kg)|
Paul Reilly (born 10 May 1976 in Huddersfield, England) is a rugby league player who played for the Huddersfield Giants for 11 years until signing for Wakefield Trinity Wildcats for the 2008 season. He played in the full back position.
Reilly was not interested in rugby league as a child and only watched a few Huddersfield matches until a friend at school encouraged him to play for a local amateur side. Paul started playing for Moldgreen Under-14s and discovered a real talent for the game.
He was playing well at Moldgreen and as a result he attended trials at Halifax. They offered him a contract for the following season, but as the 1996 season was only halfway through Paul found himself back at his hometown club where he turned up for training to keep himself fit. After four or five weeks the then coach of Huddersfield Giants, Darryl van der Velde had seen enough and offered him a deal. In 2001, he spent a month on loan at Batley.
Reilly established himself as the first choice full-back at Huddersfield, and he was a stand-out player in both the successful 2002 NFP campaign and then later in the Super League, where his passionate, whole-hearted performances were a key factor in the Giants establishing themselves as a competitive club.
Towards the end of 2006 Paul released a testimonial booklet entitled "The Life of Reilly" which celebrated his 10 years with the Giants and featured contributions from many past players and coaching staff. Paul had a joint testimonial match with Keith Senior of the Leeds Rhinos on 26 January 2007. The game was played at Headingley.
Paul announced at the start of the 2007 season that he had signed a one-year extension to his contract and intended to retire at the end of the season after 11 years with his hometown club. He scored 8 tries in the season and helped to steer the Giants to a memorable 5th-placed finish in Super League. It was announced in August 2007 that the Giants would not be renewing Reilly's contract, respecting his wish to retire, and he was proudly carried off the field by team-mates following the club's 22-16 play-off defeat to Hull F.C. at the end of the year.
Despite intending to retire, Reilly was offered a lucrative contract by Wakefield Trinity Wildcats in September 2007 and signed for the club. However, after only four appearances it was revealed that he had sustained a serious neck injury and it is unlikely he will play again.
However, he overcame this injury and played for Oldham Roughyeds in the Co-operative Championship 1.