Leeds Rhinos Foundation was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Oulton Raiders legend Stephen ‘Rocky’ Whitehead this week.
Rocky, who spent more than three decades working at Oulton, coached hundreds of young players in the city, with many getting their first taste of playing Rugby League through his famous ‘Rocky’s Giants’ which was for children aged 3 to 6-years-old. Many of the players he coached have gone on to play professionally in Super League and beyond.
In 2012, he was recognised for his contribution to the community game at Leeds Rhinos Foundation’s Celebration of Rugby League Dinner with a lifetime achievement award. He was commended for his inclusive approach to coaching, recruiting and inspiring children and adults of all abilities. He was also given the BBC Unsung Hero Award for the Yorkshire Region at the Sports Personality of the Year Awards.
Sam Horner, Community Clubs Development Officer at Leeds Rhinos Foundation said: “Rocky Whitehead was a man who taught me and many others about life and people and always saw the positives.
“He spent the vast majority of his spare time inspiring children to take up the sport, remain fit, socialise and develop their confidence. He was a legend of Junior Rugby who developed many players over many years. The world has lost a true superstar.”