Ben Crooks told Boots 'n' All about comparisons with dad Lee

Last Updated: 27/06/13 11:02am

A family affair

Ben Crooks is proud of what his father achieved in rugby league - but is determined to carve his own triumphant path.

Goal-kicking prop forward Lee Crooks, who featured in four Challenge Cup finals, caught the eye whilst playing for Hull, Castleford, England and Great Britain throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

Son Ben has gained plenty of attention for his exploits with Hull this term, though, with the 20-year-old centre scoring 16 tries, including four in the Airlie Birds' recent defeat to Lee's old club Castleford.

"I am very proud my dad but while I'll follow in his footsteps, I'll make my own tracks in the game."

Ben Crooks

And the younger Crooks, who has formed a lethal partnership with Hull wing Tom Lineham, told Boots 'n' All that he will replicate his father's success - albeit in a different way.

"I've had to bear [the comparisons to my dad] on my shoulders since I was six but I think it has made me a better player and person," said Crooks, whose uncle is rugby league legend Steve Norton.

"I've had to get past all the snide comments; I am very proud of the great career that my dad achieved but while I'll follow in his footsteps I'll make my own tracks in the game."

Lee Crooks, who made over 200 appearances for Castleford, added: "A lot of people say to Ben that you have only got to where you are because your dad is Lee Crooks and your uncle is Steve Norton and that hurt him a lot, especially when he was a junior.

"But he has proved that he has got where he's got because he's got ability- and he now has the challenge of fulfilling people's expectations and he has to rise to that."

Alight

Boots pundit Terry O'Connor, meanwhile, believes Crooks should have been selected for England's summer duel with the Exiles, but does not think it will be too long before the Pontefract-born player makes his international bow.

"I think Crooks and Lineham are top quality and I would have picked both of them to play for England as they have set Super League alight this year," said the ex-Wigan stalwart.

"I think Crooks' mum should put a tenner on him being named Young Player of the Year - and an international within the next two years; he is mature and has all the assets you need to become a top player.

"He is one of the excellent young players England are blessed with at the minute as we now have depth at hooker, in the outside backs and three quarters.

"People used to say we struggled on the edges (of the England team) but now there are so many athletes coming through the system."

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