To Hull and back

See Cooke speak candidly about his tumultuous career

Last Updated: 14/08/12 11:43am

Hull - it's a city united in its love for sport, rugby league in particular.

Super League Super Men

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But what unites it also divides it. In that part of the world you're either Black and White or you're Red and White. Whenever Hull FC and Hull KR play each other, the tension and passion on the terraces is palpable.

Paul Cooke has experienced that rivalry from both sides of the city. First as a Rovers fan growing up, then signing for FC, before doing the unthinkable, and leaving the Black and Whites for their biggest rivals.

Being Hull born and bred though adds another dimension to this changing of allegiances. Not only did he cross the divide, he then had to live in the city where such treachery isn't easily forgotten.

On this week's Super League Super Men, he compares living in Hull to living in a goldfish bowl - where not only are your triumphs seen by all, but your weaknesses are equally exposed.

Paul's career and his private life have been tumultuous in equal measure. He's had all sorts of fights - verbal ones with the game's authorities, physical ones with other men and psychological ones with alcohol; battles that have taken their toll on his health and his career.

He speaks candidly about his life and the pressures he has faced; about the path of self-destruction he seemed set on and the pain of losing his mum to cancer.

Paul Cooke has always been about controversy, but underneath there has always been a vulnerability too. It's an aspect of his life he reveals in this week's show. Honest and open, his is a story worth hearing.

In Sam's Super Tries, there's another Hull link - this time in Lincoln Withers, of Hull KR. Sam takes us back to a try Withers scored against Bradford when he was a player for Crusaders.

It's a real cracker.