James Roby to receive freedom of the St Helens borough

Drew Darbyshire
James Roby St Helens News Images

St Helens captain James Roby has been nominated for freedom of the borough by St Helens Borough Council for his service to the club and town.

The 37-year-old holds the record for most Super League appearances. He is expected to overtake Kel Coslett as Saints’ most capped player this season.

Roby is regarded as not only of the best players in the club’s history, but one of the great British players there has ever been.

Roby has lifted 12 trophies during his 20-season career with his boyhood club. He has been a major part of their side that has won the last four Super League Grand Finals. Most recently, he helped Saints claim a historic win over Penrith Panthers in the World Club Challenge in Australia.

St Helens Borough Council Leader Councillor David Baines paid tribute to Roby at a Borough of Culture launch event at the World of Glass Museum on Saturday. It was announced the former Man of Steel winner will join darts world champion Michael Smith, Marie Rimmer CBE, MP and the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment on an illustrious list of names to receive Freedom of the Borough status, the highest honour a council can award.

Baines said: “It’s been debated in recent seasons, but I think it’s settled. James Roby is the greatest of them all.

“The length of his career at the top level and the success he’s achieved is unmatched; and deserves the highest praise.

“I’ve been watching Saints since I was seven. In that time, I’ve seen some very special players, but none better than James.

“It is my honour to nominate him for Freedom of the Borough, and to say thank you for everything he’s done for St Helens, for the club; and for the game of rugby league.”

James Roby “honoured” to be nominated for Freedom of the Borough

The legendary hooker said:  “I’m incredibly honoured to have been nominated for the Freedom of the Borough.

“This town means so much to me. I’ve always been so proud to play for not only St Helens as a club, but for the town.

“I feel very lucky to be part of such a special team, full of remarkable people.”

The nomination will go to full council for formal approval at the earliest opportunity, with the Freedom of the Borough scroll to be presented at a special event later in the year.

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