Craig Littler

Date published: Monday, March 29, 2010

CENTRE Craig Littler’s four-season stay at Oldham has ended because of the demands of his full-time job.

The 24-year-old former St Helens threequarter was restricted to 23 senior appearances for the Roughyeds throughout the 2008 and 2009 seasons, largely because of work commitments, but he is now starting a new job which makes it even more difficult for him to carry on playing.

He has, therefore, taken the decision to retire from the sport, it was announced by Roughyeds today.

Said chairman Chris Hamilton: “Craig has had continuing problems getting to training sessions during the week because of his shift patterns at work, but he is now starting a new job which means he will have to work every Saturday as well. As a result of that, he has had to retire.”

Although most games in the two Co-operative Championship divisions take place on Sundays, it is generally regarded by clubs that Saturday is one of the most important days of the week for coaches and players because that is when the final preparatory session usually takes place ahead of the weekend game.

Roughyeds thank Craig for his service to the club and wish him well in whatever direction he heads in the future.

His first season at the club, 2007, was by far his best when he was centre to his former Saints team mate Gareth Langley. Craig rarely missed a game from the time he joined the club, finishing with 27 appearances and six tries.

In 2008 he scored seven tries in 15 games and in 2009, when he had a spell on loan to Swinton Lions, he added another three tries in only eight games.

This season he played in the first three competitive games against Leigh, Hornets and Hunslet in the Northern Rail Cup, scoring one try, but he has not figured in the last four in which Mick Fogerty and Marcus St Hilaire filled the centre positions.

Roughyeds have appeared in three second division Grand Finals during Craig’s time with the club, but he appeared only in the first of the three — a 24-6 defeat by Featherstone Rovers at Headingley in 2007.