Rob Purdham

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Rob Purdham
Rob Purdham Quins.JPG
Personal information
Full name Robert Purdham
Nickname Purdo, Purds
Born (1980-04-14) 14 April 1980 (age 36)
Egremont, Cumbria, England
Playing information
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Weight 95 kg (14 st 13 lb)[1]
Position Loose forward
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1999–2001 Whitehaven 55 18 13 3 101
2002–11 Harlequins RL 197 36 167 2 480
Total 252 54 180 5 581
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2001 England U21 1 2 0 0 8
2003 England A 2 1 0 0 4
2003–10 Cumbria 2 0 1 0 2
2006–08 England 7 3 15 0 42
Source: [2][3]

Rob Purdham (born 14 April 1980 in Egremont, Cumbria) is a retired English professional rugby league footballer. An England international representative loose forward, he previously played for Whitehaven and Harlequins. Purdham also operated as a stand-off, as a centre or in the second row. Purdham is a former captain of the England national team, although this was during the period that Great Britain was seen as the top-tier international team for English players.

Early career[edit]

Purdham started his career in his hometown with amateur side Egremont Rangers. In February 1998, he played and scored a try in the club's 18–0 fourth round Challenge Cup win against the professionals of Workington Town.[4] In 1999, he signed professional terms with Whitehaven in the Northern Ford Premiership.[5] During his three years at the club, he went on to make 55 appearances.[6]

London Broncos[edit]

London Broncos (2002–2005)[edit]

Purdham joined London Broncos in December 2001,[7] following his selection for the England under-21 tour of South Africa and an impressive start to the season with Whitehaven. He made his debut for the Broncos in a Challenge Cup game against Batley Bulldogs.[8]

Harlequins RL (2006–2011)[edit]

Purdham in action for Harlequins

On 20 May 2006, Rob set a new Quins club record by scoring 34 points (2 tries, 13 goals) in Harlequins RL's 82–8 defeat of Barrow Raiders in the Challenge Cup. The 13 goals in itself surpassed the previous record of 12 held by Paul Sykes.

In 2007, he was appointed the club's captain, replacing Mark McLinden.[9]

In July 2011, Purdham announced he would be leaving Harlequins at the end of the season, and returning home to the family farm in Cumbria.[10] He made a total of 197 appearances for the club, five games less than the club's record appearance holder Steele Retchless. Although he initially showed interest in re-signing with former club Whitehaven, he announced his retirement from playing altogether following medical advice.[11] He played a total of 264 games during his professional career (252 appearances at club level, and 12 representative appearances).[6]

Representative career[edit]

Purdham in action for England in 2008

Purdham made his representative debut in 2001 for England's under-21 team during their tour of South Africa, scoring two tries in a 112–6 win against the hosts.[12]

In 2003, Purdham represented England A, appearing twice during the 2003 European Nations Cup.

England coach Paul Cullen named Purdham as captain in his 20-man training squad for the 2006 Federation Shield tournament. Purdham lifted the trophy with a 32–14 victory over Tonga.

In September 2008 he was named in the England training squad for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup,[13] and in October 2008 he was named in the final 24-man England squad, making two appearances in the tournament.[14]

Purdham also played twice for Cumbria.

Career highlights[edit]

  • Junior Clubs: Egremont Rangers, Whitehaven
  • First Grade Stats: 246 career games scoring 46 tries
  • International Debut: 22 October 2006 against France

Personal life[edit]

Purdham's brother, Garry, who was also a rugby league player for Workington Town, died on 2 June 2010, south of Whitehaven, Cumbria, during a shooting spree in which a further 12 people were killed.[15] Purdham was given compassionate leave by his club to travel back to Cumbria and has subsequently said that the positive response of the rugby league community has convinced him he was right not to give up his playing career following the tragedy.[16]


  1. ^ "Harlequins Rugby League". web page. Harlequins Rugby League. 2011. Retrieved 13 June 2011. 
  2. ^ "Career Statistics". Robert Purdham Testimonial. Archived from the original on 21 June 2011. Retrieved 17 August 2014. 
  3. ^ "Robert Purdham – Career Stats & Summary". Rugby League Project. Retrieved 17 August 2014. 
  4. ^ Graham, Helen (5 January 2006). "1998: When Egremont nilled Workington Town". Whitehaven News. CN Group. Retrieved 17 August 2014. 
  5. ^ Bose, Mihir (3 May 2011). "Pain of brother's loss won't stop Rob Purdham preaching rugby league gospel". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 17 August 2014. 
  6. ^ a b "Rob Purdham, former England international, retires on medical advice with shoulder injury". Telegraph. 9 December 2011. Retrieved 17 August 2014. 
  7. ^ de la Rivière, Richard (29 December 2010). "Rob Purdham". WordPress. Retrieved 17 August 2014. 
  8. ^ "Barrow boys target Cup shock". BBC Sport. 8 February 2002. Retrieved 17 August 2014. 
  9. ^ "Harlequins & Hull name skippers". BBC Sport. 22 January 2007. Retrieved 17 August 2014. 
  10. ^ "Rob Purdham to leave Harlequins and return to Cumbria". BBC Sport. 22 July 2011. Retrieved 17 August 2014. 
  11. ^ "Cumbria RL star Rob Purdham forced to retire from pro game". News & Star. CN Group. 9 December 2011. Retrieved 17 August 2014. 
  12. ^ "Turley Spearheads Young Guns' Rout". Archived from the original on 1 December 2001. Retrieved 4 January 2015. 
  13. ^ "Myler gets England call". England Rugby League. 29 September 2008. Retrieved 3 October 2008. 
  14. ^ "Purdham earns World Cup call-up". BBC. 7 October 2008. Retrieved 7 October 2008. 
  15. ^ Taylor, Matthew (2 June 2010). "Derrick Bird's brother was the first victim before random spree in Cumbria". London: The Times. Retrieved 3 June 2010. 
  16. ^ Riley, George (16 July 2010). "Purdham interview leaves its mark". BBC. Retrieved 17 August 2014. 

External links[edit]