Wales and St Helens legend honoured

St Helens and Wales icon Kel Coslett has been awarded the British Empire Medal, in recognition of his massive contribution to our great game.

Born in Bynea, Carmarthenshire, Thomas Kelvin ‘Kel’ Coslett began his career in rugby playing union for Llanelli and Aberavon.

He won international caps as a full-back in the 15-man code, playing against England, Scotland and France in the 1962 Five Nations. His performances had already caught the eye of northern scouts, though.

Later that year, he would ‘go North’, and sign for St Helens.

Coslett enjoyed 15 seasons with the Saints, landing 1639 goals and scoring 45 tries in his time with the club. He holds club records for most appearances as well as points scored.

He was captain when Saints won the Challenge Cup at Wembley in 1972 and 1976.

He would leave the club in 1976, becoming player/coach at Rochdale Hornets. He joined Wigan as coach for the 1979-80 season, before returning to Saints to coach them from 1980 until 1982.

Coslett also coached the Wales national rugby league team from 1978 until 1981. He won 13 caps for Wales between 1963 and 1975, and was part of the Wales team which beat England 12-7 in the World Cup in Brisbane.

That result cost the English the title.

Now 72, Coslett is still involved with St Helens, as game day manager and as a life president of the club.

“I am proud, overwhelmed, excited and humbled by this award,” Coslett said.

“To get something like this at my stage of life is superb. I have been here for more than 50 years and I’d like to thank the many people who have helped me along the way.”

 Wales Rugby League president Mike Nicholas, a former Wales team-mate of Coslett’s, was also warm in his praise for the great man.

“This is a well-deserved honour for Kel and for Wales Rugby League in general,” said Nicholas.

“He was and still is an absolute ambassador for game of Rugby League. You can see that from the work he does at St Helens.

“He was actually one of my heroes at Aberavon when I was growing up as he played in their Championship winning side of 1960-61.

“I was later honoured to play alongside him for Wales and he’s now a good friend of mine. A great guy and a humble gent.”

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