WHEN Marc Johnston got a call to help the Lowca Rugby League Club, he had not choice but to accept.

As a player, he had been involved and enjoyed almost 20 years with the club so stepped up, happy to give something back, when he was asked to help coach the Lowca Lions Under 16s.

And he got his reward for his efforts last weekend when he and coach Ian Thompson saw their under 16 Lowca Lions team beat Yorkshire’s Illingworth team in a match that had the locals down as the complete underdogs.

“We and the boys were ecstatic – and if they can keep believing in themselves, we can only see how far they go,” he said.

It made volunteering worthwhile – although his support of the club is not dependent on any results.

“It is just a matter of giving back for all the good times I have had there,” he said.

Marc has been helping at the club for nearly three years now.

He says he only spends about three yours a week training and “maybe a bit more on match days.”

But what he fails to mention is that he is also the team physiotherapist and, in that capacity, attends the open age games on a Saturday.

He also supports the coaches of the younger players when his physiotherapy skills are needed.

“I had to do courses to qualify for this and I attend regular sessions to keep up to date.”

He agreed that this doubled the time he probably spent at the club but said: “My wife Nicola is a great support, too. She will come down and help when necessary.”

The couple have a 14-year-old daughter, Ruby, but she show no sign on wanting to be involved with the sport.

Marc, 35, who works at Sellafield, said the next few weeks are going to be exciting ones and he has appealed to the community to support the young Lions.

“There were around 100 people in the ground on Sunday but we need even more for our next cup match on February 13.”