Thursday, April 20, 2017

News: Industry titan signs on at Clifton Lane

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Rotherham Titans, the borough's rugby union club, has appointed a new board member – former Rugby League President John Whaling.

The former Wath Grammar School pupil initially served his rugby apprenticeship as an union front row forward with his local Wath club and then at Dinnington, where he went on to become skipper while representing South Yorkshire before a back injury halted his playing days and then becoming involved with the Sheffield Eagles.

Whaling started out as a rookie helper at the rugby league outfit and ended up as the troubled club's chief executive officer while also serving as the RFL President in 2011/12. He spent nearly three decades with the former Don Valley club, now exiled at Wakefield, before calling it a day at the end of last season.

John studied at Sheffield City Polytechnic and went on to join local company, Sheffield Insulations Limited (which later became SIG plc) in 1979 as a trainee computer programmer. He had a number of promotions over the coming years and was appointed to the board of directors in April 1989 where he served for 22 years seeing the turnover of the business rise from £100m to a peak of £3 billion.

Other roles include being the technical consultant on the construction of Rotherham United's New York Stadium, being a trustee at Rotherham Hospice and holding directorships at local companies whom he mentors. He joins the Clifton Lane board with the brief of developing the commercial side.

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It was around this time in 2015 when it was announced that Nick Cragg and Martin Jenkinson wanted to take to step back from their custodianship of the club. The successful Rotherham businessmen were part of a consortium that saved the club in 2004 after the previous owner withdrew their financial backing.

New CEO and investor, Richard Lamb was unveiled in 2016 alongside a three year plan of forging closer links to the community and engendering a passion for the team - which is hoped to become a competitive Championship side again.

The Titans recently finished bottom of the Greene King IPA Championship and were only saved from relegation following London Welsh's expulsion.

John Whaling, board member at Rotherham Titans, said: "I think I can add something and I'm looking forward to working here and getting the club back on the right track.

"We all think it'll be a good fit. I like Martin and Nick and that's important, so from that point of view it'll be an easy settling-in process and let's see if we can get the club back up that table."

Nick Cragg, Chairman of the Titans, added: "We're very fortunate to have a man like John joining us. He's a very accomplished man in sport and in the business world and he will be helping us to rebuild and he'll bring something back to the club.

"We need to rebuild and have the right quality and the right values. John does what he says and we're very lucky to have someone of his calibre joining us.

"He will mainly work on the commercial side but he will also have involvement on many fronts."

Rotherham Titans website

Images: Titans Rugby


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