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  • Writer's pictureTwm Owen

Father-Son Duo Shines on Defence for Gateshead Senators in BAFA Division Two North-East Ahead of Father's Day

Father's Day

Credit: Million family

Football is often described as a brotherhood, but family ties run further in Gateshead where the Senators feature a father and son on defence.

When rookie Cornerback Layne Million made his debut for the BAFA Division Two North-East side it was alongside team stalwart, dad Craig – who also serves as defensive coordinator.

On the field, it proved to be a case of like father like son as 18-year-old Layne showed he had his father’s appetite for ball hunting, with a number of pass breakups against the Doncaster Mustangs and he even teamed up with his old man for a combined tackle.

“Layne was excited and proud as that was his first regular season senior game, and he hopes for more,” said 50-year-old Craig who describes himself as no longer a full-time player as coaching is now his priority, but the former Cornerback slots in on defence where needed.

To start the season in April, the 57-6 victory over the Mustangs saw the realisation of an ambition of suiting up and taking the field alongside his oldest child who was born when his dad was already a six-year veteran with the Senators.

“I had never thought about it until two years ago when I realised with me still active, Layne would be around to play with me if I stayed healthy. Then it became an ambition for me. Layne just wanted to play senior ball, but with his old man would be nice.”

Layne came through the club’s Academy, but as it wasn’t running last year the teenager, trained with the senior side he has grown up with since he was a toddler.

Father's Day

Credit: Million family

Layne, who plans to study sports journalism at university, still lives at home in Chester-le-Street with Craig and his 14-year-old sister, a single-figure golfer, with the dad pleased to see his hard work rewarded.

“I’m proud that he loves football but also of his work ethic with technique and at the gym, it is paying off,” said Craig who has played for the Senators since 1999 and is a veteran of more than 30 years.

Dad’s football journey started as a 14-year-old with the Darlington Dragons and after a couple of years off Craig took up the game again while a student, playing for the Invicta Eagles in Kent, from 1994 to 1997 before heading back up north joining the Yorkshire Rams in 1998 and making the move to the Senators the following year.

He describes Layne as having “been around the club all his life” and while their time on the field together has been limited Craig is pleased with the progress his son is making with the Senators who are second in Division Two North East with a 4 and 1 record: “I'm not a full-time player anymore as I am the DC.

“So there’s no notable moments together but I’m really proud that Layne has had two defensive MVP performances this year, but I don't vote when he is in the conversation for obvious reasons.”

Gateshead's next fixture is on 29th June when they travel to the Lincolnshire Bombers to continue their pursuit of the playoffs.

Inside Britball wishes all fathers in our community a very happy Father's Day.



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