Ken Broadfield may have turned the ‘wrong’ side of 40, but the Leyland Warriors Rugby League Club player will realise a lifelong ambition today.
The 41-year-old is set to make his international debut for Great Britain Masters in a mouth-watering match against auld enemy Australia this afternoon.
Held at Crosfield ARLFC ground in Warrington, the game will pit some of the best League players, who are aged 35 and over, from the two countries against each other.
The British team have always held the upperhand in past matches between the two having yet to taste defeat – and that is something Broadfield hopes will continue when he make his GB bow.
“We have never lost against them before,” said Broadfield. “So there is a bit of pressure there – hopefully we will keep that record up.
“But as long as the game is played in the right spirit that is all that matters in masters rugby.”
Today’s match will be particularly special for Broadfield as he originally hails from Warrington, although has lived in Leyland for the past 16 years.
He began his rugby career at Latchford Albion and then moved to Ryland Sharks in his mid-20s.
Work commitments and family ties resulted in Broadfield ending his rugby-playing days prematurely.
But when his sons James (10) and Matthew (5) started to play for Leyland Warriors, he got back involved as a coach at Moss Side Way.
Bitten by the bug once more, Broadfield pulled out his boots again and turned out for newly-established Warriors’ masters XIII.
His impressive performances caught the attention of national selectors and he is set to take his place in the second row for Great Britain.
“I made my debut at 16 for Latchford Albion,” Broadfield recalls. “There were no youth or kids teams back then.
“I was straight into adult rugby at 16, which came as a bit of a shock, but I just carried on from there.
“I then moved to Ryland Sharks for a couple of seasons, but I had to stop through work commitments. It was difficult for me to to get to training,
“I used to play on the wing when I first started playing, then moved to centre and stand-off.
“I’m a bit of a chunky lad now – I don’t move as quick as I used to, so these days I play as a ball handling forward.
“But like I say I gave up when I was 26, but I got back involved when I started watching my son at Leyland and I ended up coaching.
“We then got a few of the parents together and that’s when we started up the masters team.
“A lot of the parents had never played before and they decided to give it a go.We probably play a game once a month.”
Broadfield admits there will be a huge amount pride when he pulls on the GB jersey today.
“A lot of my family are coming to watch so it’s going to be a realy proud moment for me,” he said.