Parliament Honours Rugby League
Two motions have been tabled in the House of Commons honouring rugby league.
The first celebrates the 120th anniversary of the creation of the sport; the second praises the installation of a rugby league statue at Wembley Stadium. Both events took place on 29 August 2015, the day of the Challenge Cup Final.
The motions were tabled by the Chairman of the Parliamentary Rugby League Group, Leeds North West MP Greg Mulholland and announced at a reception in Parliament. He said “it is inspiring to think that the founders of rugby league had the vision to create a sport in such a way that would stand the test of time, and was free to innovate and develop into the game we have today. It is only fitting that the sport has a statue at the national stadium – which besides Association Football – is the longest serving sport at Wembley.
The 120th anniversary motion thanks the founding clubs and all those who have contributed to the development in the game; the second motion welcomes the installation of the statue and congratulates all who have been involved in its creation, from the players to the benefactors.
The full text of the motions:
120th ANNIVERSARY OF RUGBY LEAGUE
That this House acknowledges the 120th anniversary of the birth of rugby league football; welcomes the sport’s creation on 29 August 1895 at the George Hotel in Huddersfield; is grateful to the clubs that created the Northern Union, Batley, Bradford, Brighouse, Broughton Rangers, Halifax, Huddersfield, Hull FC, Hunslet, Leeds, Leigh, Liversedge, Manningham, Oldham, Rochdale, Runcorn, Stockport, St Helens, Tyldesley, Wakefield Trinity, Warrington, Widnes and Wigan; pays tribute to all those involved in the game’s development into a globally enjoyed sport; recognises the sport as one of the most innovative and professionally run wherever it is played; and wishes the sport even greater success over the next 120 years.
RUGBY LEAGUE STATUE AT WEMBLEY
That this House welcomes the installation of a rugby league statue at Wembley Stadium; joins with the public in honouring the five players represented by the statue, Gus Risman, Billy Boston, Alex Murphy, Martin Offiah and Eric Ashton; congratulates the artist Stephen Winterburn on a fine and fitting tribute to the game; thanks Wembley Stadium for its support in erecting the statue; acknowledges the role of the All-Party Parliamentary Rugby League Group in campaigning, along with many others, for the statue’s creation; further thanks the RFL and Rugby League Cares for their hard work in commissioning the statue and narrowing down the list of players; and expresses its gratitude to all those who donated to the statue, particularly Ken Davy, Sir Rodney Walker, David Hughes and Tim Adams.