John Stephens becomes Thunder president

Newcastle Thunder are delighted to announce the appointment of a new President for the club and to welcome former England international John Stephens into that role.


Stephens, who enjoyed a prolific career in the sport in the 60’s and 70’s, played over 400 games at prop, with 238 of these coming for Wigan and three in test matches against Wales and France.

He also enjoyed spells with St Helens and Widnes and was part of the former’s side that beat Leeds 16-13 to lift the Challenge Cup in 1972.

Having recently moved to the North East, Stephens was invited to become Thunder’s first President by club chairman Bill Midgley OBE and is an exciting appointment who will help in the club’s growth.

Midgley said: “John was referred to me by a fellow director at Tyne Met College knowing my Thunder connection. I invited John to a couple of games and then extended the invitation to become the club’s first president, which I’m delighted he has accepted.

“John has a track record at the highest level of Rugby League and he will bring his wide knowledge of the game and its history to us.

“He will be an excellent ambassador for Thunder, and give us a credibility that will otherwise take us years to achieve before we have our own home grown English International.

“John’s appointment is great news for Thunder and we will learn from his experience”.

John Stephens said: “”I am delighted to accept the role of President of Newcastle Thunder and very much look forward to being involved with the Club in the future. I attended the York Knights game ahead of the “Magic Weekend” which was a huge success in Newcastle and I am very impressed.

“The new set-up at Kingston Park for Newcastle Thunder is impressive, as is the ground being made available for the junior rugby league clubs in the area who play pre match and at half time.  Their enthusiasm for the game is second to none.

“The quality of Thunder’s rugby has steadily progressed this season and I hope that we can finish by winning the League 1 Shield, which would stand us in good stead for the 2017 season.”