Lions’ Legend Bob Fleet strengthens ties with Devon Sharks!

01 April 2021

In August 2020 we were thrilled to announce a community partnership arrangement with Devon Sharks ARLFC of the Southern Conference League. Despite covid restrictions the partnership has continued to strengthen, to the point where we can now proudly announce that Swinton’s very own most famous son of Devon, Bob Fleet, has agreed to become Honorary Patron of the Sharks.

Bob of course needs no introduction in Swinton or Devon rugby circles. Born at Torquay, he played for his county at Rugby Union before joining the Lions in 1960. He went on to become a star in the Swinton team that won back-to-back Championships in 1963 and 1964, before captaining the Lions to their 1969 Lancashire Cup triumph. He made a total of 376 appearances for Lions, scoring 90 tries. As a former Swinton player, coach, director, county representative and avid match day supporter, he certainly holds the most unique set of positions in the history of the club!

Stuart Fletcher, Chairman of Swinton Lions, said, “I am extremely pleased to confirm that Bob Fleet has agreed to become Honorary Patron of Devon Sharks. Bob needs no introduction to Lions’ supporters having had such an illustrious career at the club, whilst his personal links to Devon will enable his vast knowledge to be utilised to assist the Sharks’ progress in their inaugural season in the Southern Conference.

“This appointment reinforces the longstanding link between the Lions and Sharks which goes back to 2006 when Swinton donated their very first kit – the blue and white colours of which the Sharks have returned to for the 2021 season.”

Bob pictured in Devon RU colours before signing for Swinton.

Phil Johnson, Director of Rugby at Devon Sharks, said, “We at the Sharks are very pleased to welcome Bob Fleet as Honorary Club Patron, alongside Andrew Henderson who we announced last year. Bob played for Torquay and Devon before signing for Swinton Lions and his vast knowledge will be of great assistance as we progress to become the most successful Rugby League Club in the South West. Welcome Bob to the Sharks family!”

Bob responded in typically modest fashion. He added, “I am greatly honoured to accept the invitation to become Honorary Patron of Devon Sharks ARLFC. Some 60 odd years ago I played my last games for Torquay Athletic and Devon RU before commencing on a wonderful career with Swinton Lions RLFC. Upon retiring from playing I then became President of the Lancashire County Rugby League…and it took a Devonian to do it!

“Indeed there is much pride in coming full circle and back to where it all began, especially in encompassing the exciting partnership between Devon Sharks and Swinton Lions. Long may it continue! Meanwhile, I look forward to being with you all in the not too distant future … sans boots! Best wishes, Bob Fleet.”

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