Meet the Green Machine – Sam Lyles

This week’s guest on “Meet the Green Machine” is our club doctor, Dr. Sam Lyles. In addition to his Saturday duties pitchside with the 1st XV, Sam leads our outstanding medical team and, as our designated “RugbySafe” lead, has overall responsibility for medical provision across the whole club. Definitely one of our key unsung heroes.

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

36 years! Dad took me to Keighley RUFC when I was about 6 and I hated every minute. But I became good friends with Sam McGuinn at primary school and he brought me up to Wharfedale. Never looked back! When Julian Allen stepped down as the club doctor, I somehow mysteriously just inherited the job – didn’t apply and wasn’t interviewed! I still enjoy the nerves of match day without having to take the field.

2.       What’s the day job?

I’m a partner in Affinity Care, a multi-location GP practice with 8 surgeries in the Bradford area. I qualified from Edinburgh Medical School in 2001, did basic surgical training but decided that wielding a scalpel wasn’t for me so, after a couple of years in A&E at Bradford Royal Infirmary, trained as a GP. Away from Wharfedale, I’ve also been involved on the dark side with Rugby League, initially helping out at Keighley Cougars before becoming club doctor at Halifax RLFC. Working with a professional side has been great and, with both Toulouse Olympique and Toronto Wolfpack having been in the RFL Championship, I’ve had trips to the south of France and to Canada to the Lamport Stadium on Lake Ontario. Beats South Leicester any day!

3.       Who’s at home?

Wife Rachel, daughter Martha, son Joe, dog Bob, 2 ponies (Barbie and Dotty) and a load of chickens.

4.       What is your earliest rugby memory?

Being introduced by Sam McGuinn to the Peel brothers and Hodge at Pete Hartley’s Sunday training sessions at the Avenue aged 8.

5.       What is your favourite Wharfedale memory?

So many to choose from but winning the Yorkshire Cup as a member of Pete Hartley’s Colts side in 1993 probably wins out.

6.       What is your favourite away ground?

Always enjoyed beating Harrogate on their own soil. As juniors we seemed to spend a lot of our Sundays at West Park Bramhope or Bradford & Bingley so they stick in the memory as well.

7.       Three things that you like

Bikes, beer and curry.

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

Beaches, sun tan lotion and broad beans.

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

My dad, Billy Connolly and Keith Richards.

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

a. Following a heavy night of post match celebrations and having run out of money, I once paid a taxi driver with a whole salmon I pinched from my parents’ freezer. He seemed very grateful but Mum and Dad weren’t impressed!

b. I appeared on stage dressed as Baby Spice in a university rugby club Spice Girls tribute band for Edinburgh University’s Rag Week.

c. I once exited a hotel in Bradford after a charity dinner on a luggage trolley, having negotiated a full flight of stairs and a pane glass window. I was asked not to attend the following year….

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