Robbie Paul

Former New Zealand International and Bradford Bulls hero, now playing for Salford Reds, Robbie
Paul, studied HNC Art & Design at Bradford College in 1999.

Robbie PaulRobbie began playing aged 4 for Te Atatu Roosters in Aukland, New Zealand, alongside his brother Henry. He came to the UK in August 1994 to play for what was then Bradford Northern.

Signed by the Reds from Huddersfield Giants during the close season, Robbie has won every honour in the game whilst at Bradford Bulls, including being the first player to score three tries in an RL Challenge Cup Final at Wembley that earned him the Lance Todd Trophy. Having skippered the Bulls to Grand Final wins in 2001 and 2003, a World Cup Challenge Victory in 2002 and the RL Challenge Cup in 2003, he joined Huddersfield Giants in October 2005. Robbie is also a former New Zealand test star who played 30 times for his country. Robbie missed the start of the season due to back surgery but made his debut for the Reds against Bramley Buffaloes in the first knock out round of the Northern Rail Cup at the Willows on Friday 4 April 2008.

“I finished high school in and went on to Art School in New Zealand but I never finished the course as I was offered the contract with Bradford. I had a choice of staying in education or following my dream.

I am a painter. I have set up a studio in every house I have ever been in. After a few years of cracking on with my own stuff I decided I would like to learn some new techniques. During an off season I came along to Bradford College to see what I could do and joined the HNC Art & Design programme. Lecturer Brian Hindmarch was so welcoming to me. I thought he was such a talented artist and a really lovely guy. Brian understood my situation and let me to participate as an associate student for my own development without having to complete the course, as when training started I couldn’t attend. I picked up so much in my time there, especially in the life drawing classes.

I am still painting. I have spent a lot of time trying to find my artist’s voice. At the moment I am doing a lot of semi-abstract symbolist stuff and contemporary pieces. Art is extremely frustrating. I find sport relaxation and a release compared to art, which is such a personal and mental thing. When I am painting I am creating anxieties in my mind by pushing barriers. Rugby is much less intense!”

Photograph supplied by Salford City Reds