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Saturday, 01 November 2014

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Cueto’s Copeland connection

THERE’S always a Copeland connection – this time to rugby union World Cup star Mark Cueto.

And we have former publican Walter Wright to thank for pointing it out.

He tells us that in the mid-1960s, while he was landlord at The Globe at Hensingham, his friends Dick Smith and wife Rose (née Cueto) were running The Pineapple pub in Whitehaven Market Place (now long gone and home to a bookies).

“Rosie hailed from Maryport and would be a relative of Mark Cueto’s,’’ says Walter.

Workington-born and Sale Sharks winger Mark owes his surname to a Spanish great-grandfather Antonio, who sailed from Santander in the 1900s to north-west England.

He was looking for work and settled in Maryport, where he set up a fish and chip shop.

Now there’s a newsagents, a fish and chip shop and a pub all belonging to members of the Cueto clan.

Mark’s proud grandparents Dorothy and Philip Cueto live in Maryport, and that’s where the seeds of his rugby career were sown.

His native West Cumbria is of course an area more associated with rugby league than union.

When he was five or six his father Frank started him off at Netherhall Rugby Club before moving his family to Crewe through his job as a civil engineer.

Mark took up football rather than rugby, becoming a keen Manchester United fan. He did not play rugby again until he was 17.

There is a recent new addition to the family as last year Mark and partner Suzie Richards became the proud parents of Max, now one.

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