Rugby League’s historic role in the rich and colourful story of Wembley is to be recognised by the unveiling of a new statue at the national stadium.
Following discussions with Wembley Stadium, the RFL’s Chief Executive Nigel Wood has secured agreement for the sport to be commemorated at a venue which hosted its first Rugby League match 82 years ago.
Rugby League will return to Wembley in three weeks’ time on Saturday November 5, when the stadium hosts a Gillette Four Nations double header, Wales v New Zealand and England v Australia, and Wood believes the timing of the agreement could not be better.
“It’s terrific news for the sport that our association with one of the world’s greatest sports venues is to be acknowledged in this way,” said Wood.
“Wembley has been synonymous with Rugby League since the stadium hosted the Challenge Cup final for the first time in 1929 and since then its famous hallowed turf has been graced by some of Rugby League’s greatest individuals and teams.
“Millions of people have wonderful memories of Rugby League at Wembley and I am sure that many of them will have a view on who should be the subject of this historic statue.
“Our plans are at a very early stage but we intend to consult with all our stakeholders, including the public, before deciding how we commemorate the very special relationship between Rugby League and Wembley.”
Wembley Stadium’s Managing Director Roger Maslin said: “We are very proud that Wembley is to have a new statue to celebrate the bond that has always existed between Rugby League and the national stadium.
“Our statue of England football great Bobby Moore is cherished by fans of football the country wide.
“We hope that fans of Rugby League will be thrilled that their sport is to be honoured in this way at a stadium that has witnessed so many special Rugby League memories.
“We are fully in support of the RFL’s decision to invite fans of Rugby League to have their say in who from their sport should be remembered in this very poignant way at Wembley.”
Further details of how fans can become involved in the process to identify a subject for the commemorative statue will be released in the coming weeks.