Harlequins back Jon Wells has been granted a testimonial year by the RFL for the 2010 season.
Wells, 30, has played in every year of Super League since its inception in 1996, and is the first London player to be awarded a testimonial.
Wells began his career at Castleford and, after a season at Wakefield, joined Harlequins in 2003 when they were known as the London Broncos. He has since become one of the club’s longest serving players as well as a favourite amongst the fans.
Wells said: “I’m very excited about this testimonial and proud to have been given such an honour. It’s a great opportunity for my family and I, as well as the club and Rugby League in London.
“I’m also delighted to use this opportunity to support the Melanoma Foundation, a local charity which is very close to my heart.”
General manager Paul Blanchard said: “Jon is a gentleman both on and off the pitch. To be granted the honour of the very first London Rugby League Testimonial is true representation of both him as a person, and the growth of the sport in the capital.”
Head Coach Brain McDermott praised Wells’ contribution to the club: “Jon is one of a dying breed that will soon be gone forever; a player that was present at the beginning of Super League and has seen all its changes and progressions.
“It is amazing to think that any player can adapt and improve to a level that Jon has over a number of years to such a degree that he is still a regular within our starting team. I hope the whole of Rugby League in London and Castleford – where it all started for him – get behind Jon and give him and his young family a good start to life after Rugby League.”
The testimonial year will be marked with a series of special events, details of which will be announced in due course.
The Melanoma Foundation is a local charity which helps to fund studies into the causes, prevention and management of malignant melanoma.