Parliament Honours Rugby League

Two motions have been tabled in the House of Commons this week which honour rugby league.

The motions mark the formation of the Northern Union 120 years ago, which went on to become the Rugby Football League; and the installation of the new statue marking our game’s contribution to the history of Wembley Stadium.

The statue, which displays five legends of the sport including Martin Offiah, was officially unveiled on the day of the 2015 Challenge Cup final, August 29.

The motions were tabled by the Chairman of the Parliamentary Rugby League Group, Leeds North West MP Greg Mulholland, a Liberal Democrat.

“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.,” he said.

“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 full text of the motions:


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.


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.

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