Meet the Green Machine – John Sykes

This week’s guest on “meet the Green Machine” is John Sykes.

Although known officially as our Health and Safety officer, John is much more than that and, over the past year, his contribution to the club has been nothing short of outstanding. We owe him a huge debt of gratitude (or at least a beer or two!). As H&S guru, John has been critical to our Covid response, whether in establishing protocols for clubhouse use and operation or working closely with our medical team and coaches at all ages to make sure that our protocols for Covid-secure training have been watertight. In addition, John has given countless hours to work with Roger Tiffany on project-managing the replacement of our boilers – all while running a busy consultancy business where his professional services have been in great demand. Respect!’

Meet the Green Team – John Sykes

1.       How long have you been involved with the club?

2007 when my eldest boy Charlie joined the U6’s followed, at least for a while, by his brother Barnaby. I’ve had continuing involvement since through Hedley’s School Cluster tournaments (what a great thing for rugby these are!)  with Boyle & Petyt School (where I’m now proud to be a governor), spectating, then latterly on the Committee in my role as Health & Safety Officer. It all adds up to a fairly busy life, but the club has a great set of people behind it!

2.       What’s the day job?

Mechanical Engineer, working for my own company; currently busy getting ready for the hydrogen revolution. Active with the Addingham Environment Group too, who also do a great job supporting the Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust though I’m still waiting for my first pint from Jack Hirst!

3.       Who’s at home?

Single dad with 2 grown up sons & cat; hard to say who’s the daftest of the three. It feels like a full time job keeping them all fed & watered!

4.       What is your earliest rugby memory?

As a small boy, listening to & watching the Grandstand teleprinter on a Saturday afternoon reporting on the day’s football & rugby results & being fascinated by the names: Wasps, Saracens, Harlequins, London Irish, Upper Wharfedale…

5.       What is your favourite Wharfedale memory?

Far too many to mention….. running Exeter close in the National Cup was up there. Finally winning the Yorkshire Cup has to get a mention too, but I think beating Macclesfield the last game of the season to stay up was the best even though we still needed Sale to step up to the plate!

Being support baritone to Ed Williams while selling sausages at Kilnsey also brings a smile.

6.       What is your favourite away ground?

Tynedale Park; they can understand me there! I’ve lived down here for 26 years now & still can’t pass as a local.

7.       Three things that you like

A good laugh; travel with some live music & reading; a capacity crowd at The Avenue. (I’ll be surprised if I can get away with all of these!)

8.       And three things that you can’t stand…

Dishonesty, inhumanity, environmental damage & poor arithmetic.

9.       Which three people would you most like to have round for dinner?

This is a difficult one! Ricky Gervais for his humour & humanity; Daniel Barenboim for his musical experiences & peace initiatives in Israel/ Palestine; my GF, Lisa, because I value my life (haha)…

10.   Three statements about yourself – two true and one a lie….

a. I was Boys Champion at my then golf club.

b. I’ve done some fashion modelling.

c. I skied the men’s downhill course at Sestriere in less than 14 minutes.

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