Hero rugby star’s mid flight tackle

Rugby players from Shaw Cross and Dewsbury Celtic joined the BARLA Australian tour in September.'Pictured from left are: Zach Johnson (Shaw Cross Sharks player), Steve Jones  (Shaw Cross Sharks trainer), Mick Turner (Chairman of Shaw Cross Sharks), and Shaun Squires (Shaw Cross Sharks player).
Rugby players from Shaw Cross and Dewsbury Celtic joined the BARLA Australian tour in September.'Pictured from left are: Zach Johnson (Shaw Cross Sharks player), Steve Jones (Shaw Cross Sharks trainer), Mick Turner (Chairman of Shaw Cross Sharks), and Shaun Squires (Shaw Cross Sharks player).
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A Shaw Cross Sharks player sprang into action when he rugby tackled a drunk who was making threats on an international flight.

Zach Johnson was flying from Bangkok to Dubai on his way home from a tour of Australia with the British Amateur Rugby League Association’s (BARLA) Great Britain Lions when an inebriated passenger got rowdy.

He tackled the man to the ground and helped bind his arms and legs, enabling staff to secure him to a seat.

Zach was helped during the incident on September 11 by Trevor Penrose from Skirlaugh ARLFC, Adam Nicholson from Dalton ARLFC, and Sean High, the team’s assistant manager.

Shaw Cross Sharks chairman Mick Turner, who was on the tour in his role as BARLA’s Executive International Manager, alerted the lads as to what was going on.

He said: “The man was pushing the stewardess, trying to get them to give him more drink. He was threatening to kill everyone.

“When we’d boarded the flight, I’d told a steward that if he had any trouble with the lads, to come to me, so when I saw him give me a wink, I got the lads to help.

“It was a bit worrying, but when you’re sat there with 35 rugby lads, there’s only so much he would be able to do.”

Zach, 22, of Cross Street, Gawthorpe, said: “It all erupted. When he started throwing punches, we ran down the aisle and I tackled him to the floor so we could tie him up. It was lucky we were there.”

Also on tour was Shaw Cross player Sean Squires, trainer Steve Jones, and Pat Foulstone from Dewsbury Celtic.