31st July 2020, 13:04 | 125
As part of the RFL’s 125th year celebrations, we have run a number of ‘World Cups’ for fans to vote for on social media and this weekend sees the ‘World Cup of Captains’ come to a conclusion with four legendary Captains still in the running to take the crown.
Wigan Warriors great Andy Farrell enjoyed 14 years with his boyhood club and was named as Captain at just 21 years old in the 1996 season.
His first season as Captain saw him named Super League’s Man of Steel before he would lift the Premiership and Harry Sunderland Trophy for a Player of the Match performance just a year later.
He guided Wigan Warriors to the first-ever Super League Grand Final becoming the first Captain to lift the trophy following a 10-4 victory over Leeds Rhinos. He would go on to lift a Challenge Cup in 2002 as well as a Super League Leaders’ Shield in 2000 as Captain.
An all-time Rugby League great, Clive Sullivan’s crowning moment as Great Britain Rugby League Captain came in 1972 as he lifted the Rugby League World Cup in France. Sullivan is just one of three Great Britain Rugby League Captains to ever lift the coveted trophy.
Sullivan scored one of the sport’s most memorable tries in the 1972 World Cup Final, taking the ball deep inside his own half and rounding the Australian defence before running the length of the field to score.
The Hull FC and Hull KR legend would also go on to Captain Wales in the 1975 tournament.
Another legend of the game, Johnny Whiteley captained his hometown club Hull FC throughout the 1950s and early 1960s.
Whiteley led his Hull FC side to a Rugby League Championship title in 1956 before the Black and Whites went on to win the European Club Championship a year later. Another play-off victory came the way of Whiteley and Hull FC in 1958.
He captained Hull FC in the Challenge Cup Final on two occasions but never managed to lift the famous trophy losing to Wigan in 1959 before defeat to Wakefield in 1960. Whiteley was part of Great Britain’s 1954 Rugby League World Cup winning squad.
Paul Sculthorpe joined St Helens from Warrington in 1997 and would go on to become a club legend spending 12 years in the Red V.
The former England and Great Britain International was named as St Helens Captain in 2004 and immediately led the side to a Challenge Cup Final victory over local rivals Wigan Warriors.
Sculthorpe lifted the League Leaders’ Shield in 2005 before 2006 would see his St Helens side complete an historic treble – League Leaders’ Shield, Super League and Challenge Cup. A feat only achieved by three teams in the Super League era.
A World Club Challenge victory over Brisbane Broncos at the University of Bolton Stadium followed in 2007, meaning St Helens and Sculthorpe had their hands on every piece of silverware available to them. Two more Challenge Cup trophies and a League Leaders’ Shield followed before Sculthorpe retired in 2008.