Written by Mike Carter, Hull KR Shirts.
Welcome to Getting Shirty With Ben Cockayne. I had the opportunity to ask former Hull KR player Ben Cockayne some questions about the shirts which he has worn in his Rugby League career.
NAME – Ben Cockayne
CLUBS – Doncaster, Hull Kingston Rovers, Featherstone Rovers, Wakefield Trinity and York City Knights
POSITIONS – Full Back and Wing
STATS FOR HULL KR – (2006-2011 & 2014-2017)
HERITAGE NUMBER – #1064
APPEARANCES – 231
TRIES – 78
(A special thank you to Bryan & Jonathon for providing the stats)
In 2005 when Ben was playing for Doncaster in National League One, a stand out performance at Craven Park against Hull KR could be considered the catalyst for his move to East Hull the following year. During his first season at Rovers, Ben and the rest of the squad, under the guidance of Head Coach Justin Morgan gained promotion to the Super League. A Man-of-the-Match performance in the National League One Grand Final was the perfect end to a debut season at Craven Park.
A Super League debut followed in the Round 1 fixture against Wakefield, where his last gasp try sealed a famous and memorable win for the Robins. In 2007 Super League status was confirmed for the following season, a fantastic achievement. Ben was a part of the squad who finished 4th in the Super League in 2009 and also featured in Rovers first Play-Off victory in 2010, a 21-4 victory over City rivals Hull FC.
Off the field, issues lead to Ben’s exit from Hull KR in 2011 after over 5 years in East Hull and Ben found himself on a short term deal with Featherstone Rovers for the rest of the 2011 season. A successful stint at Post Office Road leads to a Championship Grand Final victory and a deal back in the Super League with Wakefield Trinity in 2012. Ben’s form during the 2012 and 2013 season lead to a first call up to the England Knights side. Financial issues at Wakefield lead to his services becoming available and former employers Hull KR came calling ahead of the 2014 season.
Ben’s second stint at Hull KR was just as eventful on the pitch as his first. A Challenge Cup run in 2015 where he has to consider himself very unlucky to not be selected for the final at Wembley. The following season saw Rovers lose the Million Pound Game and a return to the Championship for the first time in 10 seasons. Ben was one of the players who committed to Hull KR for their return to the Championship and was a part of the squad who sealed promotion back to the Super League at the first time of asking.
In 2018 Ben joined a plethora of former Hull KR players at York City Knights and retired from playing Rugby League in 2019. Ben is now apart of the Academy set-up at Hull KR, a Club that truly means the world to him.
Getting Shirty With Ben Cockayne
MC – Ben, what is your favourite Hull KR shirt you’ve played in?
BC – It has to be the 2006 home shirt with Platform1 as the main shirt sponsor. 2006 was my debut season with Rovers after signing from Doncaster and that signalled the beginning of a truly amazing journey with the Club.
MC – What is your preferred squad number and why and does this reflect your favourite playing position?
BC – I loved playing at on the wing at #5 at Wakefield. I feel that I had my best 2 years in that number. I was working with a free role under Richard Agar and that allowed me to play the best Rugby of career, in those years at Wakey.
MC – Do you have a favourite shirt which you’ve acquired in your career?
BC – Yeah, I absolutely do. It has to be my England Knights shirt for obvious reasons. Being able to represent my country against Samoa in 2013 was a real honour.
MC – If you could choose a Hull KR shirt from the clubs’ history to have played in, that you never had the chance too, which would it be and why?
BC – I am a huge fan of the traditional Red and White, Riding Bitter shirt that the Club wore in around 1990. I’d have loved to have played in that shirt.
MC – What is your proudest moment in a Hull KR shirt?
BC – I have so many fond memories from my time with Rovers but gaining promotion to Super League in 2006 is my proudest. It changed my life for the better and I will be forever grateful.
That’s everything from Ben Cockayne in this Q&A with Hull KR Shirts. I’d just like to once again thank Ben for taking the time do the Q&A and wish him all the best for the future.
Here is Ben’s 2015 Challenge Cup Final Shirt which was issued to him for the cup final against Leeds Rhinos at Wembley. Unfortunately, as we know, Ben didn’t feature in that game so this shirt is only player issued and not match-worn. I also wonder what may have been if he had…
I hope you have enjoyed this edition of Getting Shirty With Ben Cockayne. Who else would you like to Hull KR Shirts have a Q&A with? Tag them on this post on Twitter and we’ll see who is interested in getting involved.