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Lionel Hurst discusses his life in Gloucestershire and his love of rugby league

All Areas > Entertainment > Local Answers, Local Personalities

Author: Patrick Baines, Posted: Friday, 21st September 2018, 11:00

Lionel Hurst Lionel Hurst

Lionel Hurst has been living in Cheltenham since the early 1980s. After a successful career as a criminal defence lawyer, he now dedicates his time to promoting the sport of rugby league here in the south-west. The former London Broncos CEO has been a major force in the expansion of rugby league and is now the man in charge of All Golds Rugby League who recently completed an unbeaten 2018 season, capped off with success in the prestigious Harry Jepson Trophy.

What brought you down to Gloucestershire?

"After finishing my law degree, I moved down to Cheltenham and joined an established law firm, that would have been in the early 1980s, it seems like only yesterday! I quickly realised I wanted to establish my own firm and that’s when I moved into my offices on the promenade in Cheltenham."

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

"I’m a passionate historian with a particular interest in the English Civil War. Gloucestershire is home to so many ancient buildings, I very much enjoy visiting all the wonderful churches. I enjoy a good bottle of wine every now and again. People who know me will of course know my main passion is the sport of rugby league. Back in the 1950s my father was the team doctor for the mighty Warrington, many of my most treasured memories come from that era. Nowadays I enjoy watching games on television and of course working with all the great lads at the All Golds."

Where’s your favourite place to visit in Gloucestershire?

"I love visiting all the beautiful villages in the Cotswolds. Chipping Campden is a particular favourite. A lot of those villages look exactly the same as they did hundreds of years ago. If Charles I was around today he’d say the villages look exactly like they did in his day!"

What’s your favourite restaurant/eatery in Gloucestershire?

"That’s such a tough question because there are so many great restaurants in the county. If I was thinking of somewhere local I’d say The Royal in Charlton Kings, their Sunday roast is nothing short of magnificent."

Do you support any local sports teams?

"I love sport so it’s great to be in an area with so many well-established teams. My major passion is rugby league but that’s not to say I don’t enjoy rugby union. There are so many wonderful old clubs here in Cheltenham including the boys down at The Old Patesians."

What is your favourite film?

"One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – it’s just so delightful in every sense. Jack Nicholson is quite superb in the lead role. I must have seen it over a dozen times, it’s one of those films that you can watch over and over again."

What’s your favourite book?

"I think it would be one of John Milton’s books that I studied at school called Samson Agonistes. I must get around to reading it again. I’ve got a vast collection of books on the English Civil War as well, some of those would definitely be my favourites."

Do you ever attend any shows at theatres here in Gloucestershire?

"I’m a regular visitor to the Everyman Theatre in the town centre. I’ve seen some superb productions there over the years. A very long time ago I did appear in an amateur production which was tremendously exciting. Going to the theatre is a lovely way of switching off for a few hours. I’m looking forward to visiting a few theatres in Gloucestershire in the next few months."

What achievement are you most proud of?

"To receive the All-Party Parliamentary Award for services to the sport of rugby league was a day I shall never forget. I was invited down to the Houses of Parliament and received my award from Vince Karalius, one of the greatest rugby league players there has ever been."

What do you hope to achieve with the All Golds?

"What we’re trying to do is build a great organisation. One that is successful not just on the pitch but off it as well. I’m absolutely convinced that the city of Gloucester will one day have a top-class rugby league club. It will take many years of course but we’re now laying the foundations for success. Next summer we’ll be hosting our hugely successful schools’ competitions to inspire the children of Gloucestershire to get involved in the great sport of rugby league."

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