- Ex-Nottingham Acadamy coach inducted into Sport Nottinghamshire Coaching Hall of Fame
- “I hope my story will help to inspire other coaches to develop themselves” – John Widdowson
Photo: RFU Archive
Nottingham-based rugby coach John Widdowson has been inducted into the Sport Nottinghamshire Coaching Hall of Fame.
Widdowson, who recently qualified as an RFU Level Four coach, joins the likes of Mick Newell, Director of Cricket at Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club, among the county’s elite sports coaches.
Widdowson played all his rugby in the Prison Service and began his coaching career at the Swinfen Hall Young Offenders Institute near Lichfield where he introduced rugby.
He progressed to Burton RFC where he was appointed colts coach then first team coach before taking charge of Staffordshire Under 18s.
Widdowson has also coached the Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Notts, Lincs & Derbyshire senior county teams and is currently Director of Coaching at National Two North club Hull.
He also coached Nottingham’s academy for six years and is currently the Sport Academy Manager at Central College in Nottingham.
Widdowson, who has Tongan ancestry, has also helped to coach Tonga youth sides at Junior World Cups in Wales and Scotland.
“It has been a long old journey and this honour was something that I didn’t expect,” Widdowson said.
“To be included in a Hall of Fame alongside someone like Mick Newell is a great accolade.
“Coaching has provided me with the opportunity to work with many players and support the development of young players like Charlie Davies (Wasps), Ryan Hough and Tom Calladine at Nottingham and Phil and Chris Murphy.
“Without the support offered by Central College Nottingham, NLD and Nottingham and family friends, players and coaches over the years, the possibility of achieving a lifetime’s work would have been impossible.
“I hope my story will help to inspire other coaches to develop themselves and others to bring the enjoyment of rugby to a whole new generation of young players.”