Written by Callum Walker
Whilst a number of Rugby League players go into coaching, strength and conditioning or simply join a family business, Salford’s Kris Welham will be going down an unusual route when he retires. His family business is one certainly out of the ordinary – pest control!
The golden-haired three-quarter has already completed his qualifications to specialise in that kind of work, and, despite having no actual goal to retire just yet, the 33-year-old is making necessary plans for when he does.
Once he does retire, it will bring down the curtain on an action-packed career that currently spans 15 years. Welham came through the ranks of boyhood club Hull KR where he scored 102 tries in 191 appearances before making the switch to Championship side Bradford ahead of the 2016 season.
It appeared as though the centre’s career was on a downward spiral, but 29 tries in 30 games put him on Salford boss Ian Watson’s radar. A move materialized and Welham has since registered 30 tries in 86 appearances over the course of three-and-a-bit seasons.
Of course, the high point of Welham’s career was reaching the Grand Final with massive underdogs Salford last season – a moment which, as a former Hull Kingston Rover and Bradford Bull, must have come as quite a shock.
We all know how that night at Old Trafford ended with the Red Devils going down 23-6 to St Helen’s, but it was a superb 2019 for Salford who was previously tipped for relegation before the season began.
Welham played a key role that year – as he has done throughout his career – and despite approaching the twilight of his time in the sport, looks every bit still the part.
A move from tackling centres and wingers to rodents, birds and even wasps’ nests is not exactly a streamlined path, but it is one which the tricenarian seems committed to. And, naturally, someone has to do it. So if you are in the Lancashire area and see Kris Welham addressing your pest grievances in the near future, don’t be alarmed!