Ben Steele

Ben Steele

By Nick Doyle
6 December 2021
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With over 30 years loyal service, Ben Steele has finally decided to hang up his boots.


Ben is a rare breed within the rugby world, committing himself to just one club throughout his career. Starting in the Under 7s at Otley, he made his way through the age groups during which he also played for Yorkshire at Under 15, 16 and 18 levels, North U18s and England U20s.

Ben also represented Yorkshire Under 20s and Under 21s, playing in the Yorkshire v Devon Under 20 County Championship final at Twickenham.

Aged 19, Ben made his league debut on 15 November 2003 at Henley. Not even on the bench, Peter Clegg Otley’s head coach called him up as Mark Luffman and Duncan Sayers were both unavailable with injuries. Putting him between Justin Wring and Kris Fullman, the subsequent report on the 23-16 win says Steele filled the role excellently and worked tirelessly throughout the match

Since then he has been a stalwart of Otley’s frontline, notching up an amazing 347 league appearances scoring 25 tries along the way. Add to that the cup and Saracen appearances Ben has made, and you get a sense of what Cross Green and rugby means to him. He stayed loyal to the club when, in the near-ruinous period in 2009 the club looked like it could go to the wall, and helped it come through.

On hearing of Ben Steele’s retirement, Peter Clegg said “He has been great for Otley RUFC, loyal, ever present and totally committed. I honestly believe he played his best rugby in his last couple of seasons. Earlier in his career he played like he wanted to remove to a testicle and always wanting to start World War 3. That surgery would have been a little harsh, but probably wouldn’t have resulted in his four fantastic children his wife Laura presented him with. Well done Ben, it has been a pleasure having him playing.”

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