Love of rugby a real family affair as Stotts take pride in Vale of Lune work

One Lancaster family has rugby union running through its daily lives and has seen three members pull on the Red Rose county shirt with one also embarking on a fledgling international career.

Wednesday, 24th August 2016, 1:03 pm
Updated Wednesday, 24th August 2016, 2:04 pm
The Stotts pose for the camera after one of Sallys England appearances.

The Stott family hail from Vale of Lune club on Powderhouse Lane with dad Phil wearing the Lancashire colours before his two children Sally, 20, and Sam, 18 followed in his footsteps.

Wife and rugby mum Lisa is actively involved in the club as assistant treasurer and is an avid supporter.

Phil, now the Vale’s director of rugby, said: “I started playing rugby union as a six-year-old kid at Vale and eventually moved into rugby league.

“I spent two years at Wigan and then Barrow. I did have a stint with Lancashire Colts and returned to the Vale when my children took up mini rugby.

“I became involved with coaching and set-up the girls team when my daughter Sally moved away from the boy’s team.

“Both my son and daughter have developed through Vale of Lune and played for Lancashire and, in Sally’s case, England under 20s.”

Phil is proud the North One West club emphasises player development ahead of results.

He describes Vale of Lune as a family centred community club with a recognised development path into senior rugby.

He said: “We promote the club around the local community and local schools and anyone who wants to play rugby can join us.

“Our catchment area is Lancaster and Morecambe and it’s not really renowned rugby territory.

“That means we do rely on home-grown players and we have a good route from the Colts to the senior team.

“The Colts have seen nine players through to the first team over the last 18 months.”

Meanwhile, mum Lisa has now seen her two children emulate their dad by representing the Red Rose county and picks up the story.

“It’s phenomenal watching the children pull on a Lancashire shirt considering their dad has also played for the county,” she said.

“It’s a continuation of what has now become a family tradition.

“Seeing both of our children captaining Lancashire is amazing.

“For Sally to then progress to England makes me a very proud parent.

“A tear does come to the eye on occasion.”

Sam currently figures in the Lancashire Colts side while Sally is in her third, and last, season with England Women’s Under 20 team.

An undergraduate student at Edinburgh University, she combines rugby with aspirations to join the army as a veterinary officer, having an army scholarship through Sandhurst.

Her national call-up came when just 17 and she was a regular in her first season, but a serious hand injury restricted her second term with the national side.

“I was captaining Lancashire under 18s when I was called-up by England,” she said.

“I played against the British Army and France both home and away that first season.

“I suffered a training injury and that held me back for a long period of recovery and physiotherapy.”

Sally is indebted to both the Vale of Lune and Lancshire for her progression through to international honours, the top prospect currently with the national side taking on visitors Canada in a three-match series.

“I’m enormously proud to captain the county side.” she said.

“I owe a great deal to Vale of Lune.

“They set me on the path to county and international honours and my dad has been a huge part of my development.”

The youngest member of the clan is son Sam.

The county under 17 skipper wears his armband with pride and has a mature outlook on his responsibilities.

“I quite like the pressure of wearing the armband,” he said.

“Captaining the side was personally a step-up and it put me in a leadership role.

“The coaches have confidence I can do a good job and I see the role as being the link between them and the squad.”