Sam GeeDate published: Wednesday, October 24, 2012
OLDHAM RL Club have ‘hooked’ their second No 9 in 24 hours by signing the grandson of a rugby league legend.
Sam Gee (25), formerly on the books of Super League clubs Warrington Wolves and Wigan Warriors, becomes Scott Naylor’s fifth new face at Whitebank.
He is the grandson of the late Ken Gee, a prop who starred for Wigan and Great Britain just after the war and was generally recognised as one of the sport’s best front-row forwards of all time.
Sam played his early rugby as a centre at Orrell RU, but he was persuaded to turn to league at college and he was soon selected for England Colleges where his performances aroused Warrington’s interest.
He had two years at Warrington, three at Wigan and two at London Skolars before he moved back north to spend last season at Whitehaven where, on his own admission, things didn’t work out for him.
He was so disillusioned that he considered retiring, but encouragement from friends and interest from Oldham, Rochdale Hornets and North Wales Crusaders caused him to rethink his future.
In selecting Oldham as the club to help him to rediscover his passion for the sport he relied heavily on the advice of two friends — Roughyeds prop Liam Gilchrist and former Roughyeds back-row man Alex Thompson, now at Oxford.
Said Gee: “Alex had always raved about how good it was at Oldham and I got similar reports from Liam.
“Other clubs were interested but after I had talked to those two, met Chris Hamilton and done some research on new coach Scott Naylor I knew it was Oldham for me.
“I didn’t start playing either code of rugby until I was 16. I was a late starter.
“Wigan turned me into a hooker, but I can turn my hand to most positions in the backs.”
He was one of London’s try scorers when Skolars pipped Oldham 36-34 at The Stoop in July, 2011.
Said club chairman Chris Hamilton: “Sam was very keen to join us. We targeted him because we still think his best is ahead of him.
“In fact, we expect him to have a strong influence on the team.
“He was disappointed with his season at Whitehaven, but we believe we will create the environment and have the coaching staff to bring out the best in him.”
Gee follows fellow new boys Josh Crowley, Dale Bloomfield, Mark Hobson and Chris Tyrer to Whitebank.