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Supporters Direct has two subsidiary democratic bodies, the England & Wales Football Council and the Rugby League Council. These bodies assist the Board by monitoring activity against budgets, development plans and other Key Performance Indicators in their particular area and contributing ideas and suggestions regarding SD strategy in their area for consideration by the Board. Several seats are reserved on the main Board for individuals who serve on these Councils.

Positions for these two Councils are made available on an annual basis and will be advertised through normal Supporters Direct channels, and are usually for a 3 year term.

Here you can find details of the Rugby League Council members and minutes from their recent meetings.

Rugby League Council

Martyn Cheney - Chair 
Elected until 2021

Martyn has worked in the Rail Industry since leaving school, working in various Yorkshire locations, ending up at East Coast Mainline Company as Payroll Manager. Previous roles have included analytical positions and various HR positions.

As well as being the Payroll Manger, Martyn is one of the Management Representatives for the company, representing the managers in the company. He is also very active in his local Constituency Labour Party.

He has been watching Bramley since 1979 and became involved with the Buffaloes following the original club\\\'s demise in 1999. He has been involved from the start with the Trust, firstly as Web Designer, then Secretary and, since 2005, Chairman. He has overseen the most successful period in the club\\\'s history, winning five consecutive minor premierships, two championships and five consecutive grand final appearances.

David Bulcock
Elected until 2021

David has worked within the social housing sector for nearly 30 years, initially as a joiner/carpenter, rising through the organisation, to his current position within the management team. The company has now become the first employee/tenant social housing co-operative in the UK.

He has watched Rochdale Hornets since the sixties, travelling home and away.  He initially became a member of the Hornets Nest Egg, a supporters organisation which raised funds for the Club.  Then, in 2009, when the club went into administration, he became a member of the Trust that reformed the Hornets as a supporter owned club. He has volunteered for the club in various ways and, in 2013, he became an elected member of the club’s board and stayed on the board until 2016. He was elected to the SD Rugby League council in 2013.

David was a volunteer for the 2013 Rugby League World Cup and still volunteers for Team13 the RFL volunteers team at rugby league events throughout the country.


Liz Hindley 
Elected until 2019

Liz is a Rugby League council member and secretary of Trust in Widnes since its formal incorporation as an IPS. Liz offers regular advice and support to new members to the RL fraternity.

Within Trust in Widnes, Liz has been responsible for writing funding bids and has used these to help establish a number of community initiatives, including a healthy lifestyles promotion across all the primary schools in Halton Borough delivered in conjunction with Widnes Vikings community team. She has also been involved with the establishment of a Women’s RL team within Liverpool University and the setting up of a Wheelchair Tag Rugby League team named ‘Mersey Storm’. 

Her latest challenge involved the start-up of a community band and, if this is successful, a community choir.

Stephen Johnson
Elected until 2020

A lifelong supporter of Swinton Lions, Stephen was elected to the board of Swinton Supporters’ Trust at its inception in 2002, moving into the newly created role of Vice-Chairman early in 2014.

Stephen became a Rugby League Match Official in 1997 progressing to the role of Touch Judge within the professional game until he withdrew from active officiating in 2013. He now carries out an administrative role within the Match Officials development programme for the north west of England.

He joined Barclays Bank in 2001 on a Modern Apprenticeship and, having progressed through a number of roles, he is currently Team Leader of the Northern Account Management Team within the Bank’s Corporate Office in Manchester.

A keen follower of a number of sports, Stephen regularly attends the matches of Manchester United FC and Lancashire Country Cricket Club, in addition to Rugby League across all levels.


Paul Thexton 
Elected until 2019

Paul is a lifelong Warrington fan and has been an active contributor to online Rugby League supporters' websites and newsgroups since the late 1990s.  He was heavily involved in the early days of the RLFans online supporters network which saw rapid growth when the online fans network decided to withdraw their support for Rugby League fanzines.

Professionally, he is a computer software engineer with 16 years experience.


Chris McMellon

Elected until 2021

Chris is a longstanding Whitehaven RL supporter with some 50 odd years attending games. He's a former professional player at reserve team level, representing Hull FC, Rochdale Hornets and Huyton and a former Company Secretary and club legal adviser to Whitehaven RL Club. He has also advised several other professional RL Clubs.

He was previously on the Board of the Carlisle United Supporters Trust. 

Professionally, Chris is a Legal Director and Company Secretary to several global organisations, is married and lives in the West Country working within the Mining Industry.