Paul Faires

Paul started following rugby league in Hull – where he fondly remembers seeing Clive Sullivan play for Hull FC v Swinton at the Boulevard – in the seventies.

After Fulham joined the league in 1980 he started to follow the game fanatically both in England and France and also played amateur rugby league for Peckham for several years (his claim to fame was once kicking 14 goals in one match v Hemel Hempstead – Bob Brown even played that day).

Following Paul’s attempt to start professional rugby league in Kent in 1983 he continued with the game, finding sponsors for several clubs in the eighties.

“Looking back, I was young and naive when starting Kent Invicta and what seemed like a good idea at the time – getting into bed with a football club – was a complete disaster as they spent most of the money that was raised,” he recalls.

“Also in those days transfer fees – things that nowadays are not needed to raise a decent team – were a killer. I met up with Gary Freeman, who was coaching the Kiwis, back in 2002 in France and he actually thanked me for giving him a break. The rest is history.”

Since those days Paul has raised millions of pounds in sponsorships for rugby league including naming rights shirt sponsorships and LED advertising such as Engage (who sponsored Super League for several years), Gillette, Arriva Trains (Northern Rail), Think Don’t Drink Test Series, Lion Bar, Castlemaine XXXX, Heinz, Nissan and many other global blue chip companies. There have been many club shirt sponsorships including P&O Ferries for Hull FC and others for Wigan Warriors, London Broncos, Catalans Dragons among many. In addition he has entertained over 2000 clients at VIP hospitality at matches in England and France, raising over ¬£80 million for the game over the last 25 years. Paul was also responsible for SKY SPORTS broadcasting the varsity match for several years, having initially raised the money to cover the costs.

A committed expansionist and lover of the international game, Paul also over the years found shirt sponsors for Great Britain, France, Samoa, Fiji and New Zealand. Paul was also a founder shareholder of the Catalans Dragons in 2006.

Nowadays Paul assists his partner’s company in finding sponsors and LED advertisers for rugby league and cricket in addition to running several radio stations including¬†¬†(Oldies station). Fans will often see advertising at Super League matches and on TV that Paul generated and negotiated. He is busy helping look after his young family which certainly keeps him busy – especially the youngest who has special needs hence the sponsorship of Epilepsy UK.

It was recently discovered that maybe Paul holds the record for attending the number of LIVE rugby league matches. It is estimated that he has attended between 4000/4500 – sometimes as many as four and five a week between England and France.

A real rugby league tragic, Paul lives between a little village in Kent near Sevenoaks and Peralada in Catalonia (Spain) near to the border with France and only 35 mins to the Dragons. HAPPY DAYS.

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