Three legends to be inducted into Rugby League Hall of Fame

Drew Darbyshire

Andy Gregory, Derek Turner and Johnny Whiteley will be inducted into the Rugby League Hall of Fame next month.

The trio will be elevated to the sport’s most exclusive club at the Rugby League Hall of Fame and RLIF Golden Boot dinner at Elland Road, Leeds, on Wednesday, November 7.

All three are former Great Britain internationals who achieved considerable success at club and representative level. Gregory was a multiple Challenge Cup winner with Wigan and Widnes, Derek was captain of the all-conquering Wakefield Trinity team of the 1960s and Whiteley guided Hull FC to two finals at Wembley, as well as enjoying Ashes-winning success as a player and a coach.

Gregory and Whiteley will be joined by their families at the induction dinner, which will also be attended by current Hall of Fame member Neil Fox MBE, Billy Boston MBE, Lewis Jones, Garry Schofield and Malcolm Reilly, as well as family representatives of Jim Sullivan and Mick Sullivan.

Head of Rugby League Cares Chris Rostron said: “Hundreds of thousands of players have played Rugby League since 1895 and Johnny, Derek and Andy represent the best of the best.

“The three players had stellar careers and quite rightly deserve their place in Rugby League’s Pantheon alongside the existing 25 members of the Hall of Fame.

“It is an enormous honour and privilege for Rugby League Cares to have the responsibility of hosting the Hall of Fame dinner and we are looking forward to celebrating the sport’s greatest heroes at what will be a very special event.”

The Rugby League Hall of Fame is the highest honour any player can aspire to and has been awarded to just 28 players since the sport’s inception in 1895.

To qualify for membership of the Hall of Fame, a player must meet stringent criteria including a record of outstanding achievement at the very highest levels of the game; have a reputation that transcends the era in which he played; and made a contribution to the game that will last as long as rugby league is played.

Players are only considered for inclusion once they have been retired for 10 years; they must also have played at the highest level of Rugby League for a minimum of 10 years.

The 28 members of the Rugby League Hall of Fame, with the year they were inducted, are:

Billy Batten (1988)

Brian Bevan (1988)

Billy Boston (1988)

Alex Murphy (1988)

Jonty Parkin (1988)

Gus Risman (1988)

Albert Rosenfeld (1988)

Jim Sullivan (1988)

Harold Wagstaff (1988)

Neil Fox (1989)

Vince Karalius (2000)

Roger Millward (2000)

Tom van Vollenhoven (2000)

Eric Ashton (2005)

Douglas Clark (2005)

Ellery Hanley (2005)

Martin Hodgson (2005)

Lewis Jones (2013)

Martin Offiah (2013)

Garry Schofield (2013)

Mick Sullivan (2013)

Willie Horne (2014)

Malcolm Reilly (2014)

Shaun Edwards (2015)

Albert Goldthorpe (2015)

Andrew Gregory (2018)

Derek Turner (2018)

Johnny Whiteley (2018)