Longlist unveiled for proposed Wembley statue

Date published: Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The RFL has announced the list of nominations for the proposed statue at Wembley that will celebrate Rugby League’s long and colourful association with the national stadium.

Fans across the UK and overseas have been invited to cast their vote for the subject of the statue, which will stand outside Wembley in homage to a sporting link dating back to 1929, when the stadium hosted the Challenge Cup final for the first time.

The list, which is by no means definitive – the public can make their own suggestions – appeared in the matchday programme of the Gillette Four Nations double header at Wembley, Wales v New Zealand and England v Australia.

The 10-strong long list features some of the sport’s greatest stars, all of whom have their own unique link with Wembley, a stadium which has played host to countless memories for millions of Rugby League supporters.

“I’m sure everyone who has ever attended a Rugby League match at Wembley, including the thousands at the stadium for the double header, will have their own opinion on who should represent the sport at this evocative venue,” said RFL Chief Executive Nigel Wood.

“We want to hear the views of as many people as possible because it is important the whole Rugby League family, from fans and players to coaches and administrators, are consulted over this special venture.”

The list in full is:

Billy Boston
A prolific try-scorer during his career with Wigan and Blackpool Borough, the Welsh flier lit up Wembley on six occasions, winning three Challenge Cups. A member of the RL Hall of Fame, Boston scored 478 tries in 485 games for Wigan.


Jonathan Davies
Another signing from Wales RU, Davies made a hugely successful cross-code switch with Widnes and Warrington. Equally at home at stand-off, centre and full-back, from where he scored a stunning try at Wembley in 1994 as Great Britain defeated Australia 8-4.


Shaun Edwards
Won nine Challenge Cup finals at Wembley with Wigan and also appeared at the stadium with London Broncos in 1999. Edwards was the lynchpin of the Wigan side. Was sent off for a high tackle on Bradley Clyde of Australia at Wembley in 1994.


Don Fox
A huge talent, Fox remains a heroic figure at both Featherstone and Wakefield Trinity, with whom he won the Lance Todd Trophy as Man of the Match at Wembley in 1968. His place in Cup legend is assured from that final, when he missed the last-kick conversion that would have won the game for Wakefield.


Neil Fox
The younger brother of Don and Peter, Neil Fox scored a phenomenal 6,220 points during a career that took in six clubs, most notably Wakefield Trinity. A strong, powerful centre, his two tries and seven goals helped Trinity to victory over Hull at Wembley in 1960.


Ellery Hanley
Regarded by many as the greatest Rugby League player of all time, the three-time Man of Steel often saved his best for Wembley with Wigan and Great Britain. He won four Challenge Cup finals with Wigan, the first against Halifax in 1988 when he scored a sensational try.


Alex Murphy
The scrum-half captained three different clubs at Wembley – St Helens, Leigh and Warrington – and is still held in high esteem by fans of all three clubs. A precocious talent, Murphy was outstanding in a Great Britain jersey, for which he collected 27 caps.


Martin Offiah
‘Chariots’ is already celebrated at Wembley with a bar named after him in recognition of the wonder try he scored in the 1994 Challenge Cup final against Leeds, when he brought the stadium to its feet on an 80-metre run. He won four Challenge Cup finals with Wigan and represented Great Britain on 33 occasions.


Clive Sullivan
The flying Welsh winger remains a legendary figure in Hull, where he scored 250 tries for Hull and 118 for Hull KR. He captained Great Britain in the 1972 World Cup final and was on the wing for Hull KR in the Hull derby at Wembley in 1980.


Lance Todd
The New Zealander was a member of Wigan’s first Challenge Cup winning team in 1911 and later went on to be a hugely successful manager at Salford. The man of the match award in the Challenge Cup final, the Lance Todd Trophy, commemorates his contribution to the sport.

To vote for any of the 10 players listed – or to submit their own nomination or idea – fans can nominate their chosen player in a special voting form in the Wembley programme (copy attached) or by visiting the RFL’s webpage at www.therfl.co.uk and voting via an on-line poll. Votes can also be placed via any of the RFL’s official Facebook channels.