Former rugby league professional Paul Broadbent is a real star of his sport having represented both Great Britain and England in international matches.   In a career spanning 17 years, prop forward Paul played over 450 first grade games for teams including Sheffield Eagles, Halifax, Hull and Wakefield.

An average pupil at school who was challenged academically, Paul found in sport the one school subject he enjoyed. Introduced to rugby at 11 years old, Paul found his sporting passion.  He wasn’t as naturally gifted as some of his teammates and had to train hard to improve his game and compete with more talented players but his passion and commitment to the game would see him develop into a respected professional player and coach.

Paul didn’t become a full time sportsman overnight.  He turned professional with Sheffield Eagles aged 19 signing up as a part time player while also doing an apprenticeship to become a plasterer.   Paul continued to pursue both careers for a number of years before the Eagles approached him to work full time as a schools coach around Sheffield, coaching during the day and training in the evenings with the club.

In 1996 the Rugby Super League was formed and, with all Sheffield Eagles players becoming full time, Paul was given the opportunity to be a full time rugby player for the first time. Paul embraced the chance to be a full time professional player and swiftly became team captain.  In 1998 he helped his team reach the Challenge Cup Final beating Wigan against all the odds. Paul was delighted to lift the winning cup for his team – finally achieving a life long goal.

Paul went on to tour Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Papua New Guinea with England and Great Britain gaining 15 international caps. After 11 years with Sheffield Eagles he moved on to play for Halifax, Hull, Wakefield and finished his career as a player coach at York. 

Giving Back

"When I began playing rugby I was well down the pecking order and often overlooked – I watched eight players from my junior league be signed up to clubs before I was offered a place but I wasn’t deterred.  I stuck with rugby, worked hard, believed in myself and actually ended up with a career that lasted longer and achieved more success than those boys who had been signed before me.

I feel extremely lucky to have experienced such a varied career and to have represented my country.  As a humble Yorkshire man, I hope the story of my success will inspire the students I meet to reach for their dreams however distant they may seem, as I am living proof they can be achieved. 

Passion, determination and commitment can outshine any talent."

Competitive Record

Great Britain – 8 international caps

England – 5 international caps

World Cup finalists 1995

Challenge Cup winner 1998

Sheffield Eagles 11 years [5 years as team captain]

Halifax RLFC - 1 year

Hull RLFC -2 years

Wakefield RLFC -1 year

York RLFC – player coach 1 year

Super League assistant coach 5 years