History & Heritage
MOST IN A MATCH
11 - by George West (Hull Kingston Rovers) v Brookland Rovers (Challenge Cup) - 4 March 1905
MOST IN A SEASON
80 - by Albert Rosenfeld (Huddersfield) - 1913-14
MOST IN A CAREER
796 - by Brian Bevan (Warrington, Blackpool Borough) - 1945-46 to 1963-64
MOST IN A MATCH
22 - by Jim Sullivan (Wigan) v Flimby & Fothergill (RL Challenge Cup) - 14 February 1925
MOST IN A SEASON
221 - by David Watkins (Salford) - 1972-73
MOST IN A CAREER
2,867 - by Jim Sullivan (Wigan) - 1921-22 to 1945-46
LONGEST PENALTY GOAL
77.75 yards - Martin Hodgson for Swinton against Rochdale Hornets at the Athletic Grounds, Rochdale in April 1940.
MOST IN A MATCH
5 - by Danny Wilson (Swinton) v Hunslet (John Player Special Trophy) - 6 November 1983
Peter Wood (Runcorn Highfield) v Batley (League) - 21 October 1984
Paul Bishop (Warrington) at Wigan (Premiership Trophy semi-final) - 11 May 1986
Lee Briers (Warrington Wolves) at Halifax Blue Sox (Super League) - 25 May 2002
MOST IN A SEASON
29 - by Lyn Hallett (Cardiff City) - 1983-84
MOST IN A CAREER
97 - by Norman Turley (Warrington, Runcorn Highfield, Swinton, Blackpool Borough, Rochdale Hornets, Barrow, Workington Town, Trafford Borough, Whitehaven) - 1980-1991
MOST IN A MATCH
56 - (4t, 20g) by Chris Thorman (York City Knights) v Northumbria University (Carnegie Challenge Cup 3rd Round) - 6 March 2011
MOST IN A SEASON
496 - (36t, 194g) by Lewis Jones (Leeds) - 1956-57
MOST IN A CAREER
6,220 - (358t, 2,575g, 4 dg) by Neil Fox (Wakefield Trinity, Bradford Northern, Hull Kingston Rovers, York, Bramley, Huddersfield) 1955-56 to 1979-80
LONGEST SCORING RUN
David Watkins scored in 92 consecutive matches for Salford from 19 August 1972 to 25 April 1974. He totalled 929 points from 41 tries and 403 goals.
The record refers to scoring consecutively for one club and does not include representative matches.
928 – Jim Sullivan (Wigan) between 1921 and 1946. As a full back, the Welshman debuted for Wigan aged 17, going on to kick 2,867 goals in a 25-year career.
242 - Keith Elwell made 242 consecutive appearances, including two as a substitute, for Widnes.
The run started at Wembley in the 1977 RL Challenge Cup final against Leeds on 7 May. The hooker began every match from then until his run of starting appearances ended at 239 after he played in a Lancashire Cup-tie at home to St. Helens on 5 September 1982.
The record refers to consecutive appearances for one club and does not include representative matches.
HIGHEST WINNING SCORE
York City Knights 144 West Wales Raiders 0 (League 1) - 29 April 2018
WIDEST WINNING MARGIN
York City Knights 144 West Wales Raiders 0 (RFL League 1) - 29 April 2018
HIGHEST AWAY WINNING SCORE
West Wales Raiders 0 York City Knights 130 (RFL League 1) - 11 August 2018
WIDEST AWAY WINNING MARGIN
West Wales Raiders 0 York City Knights 130 (RFL League 1) - 11 August 2018
MOST POINTS IN A SEASON
1,735 by Wigan from 45 matches in 1994-95 as follows: 30 Division One - 1,148, 6 RL Challenge Cup - 230, 5 Regal Trophy - 170, 3 Premiership Trophy - 167, 1 Tour match (Australia) - 20
MOST POINTS IN A LEAGUE SEASON
1,156 by Leigh from 34 Division Two matches - 1985-86
Huddersfield Giants from 28 Northern Ford Premiership matches - 2001-02
LONGEST WINNING RUN IN ALL MATCHES
29 by Wigan from February to October 1987 as follows, including; 20 Division One, 3 Premiership Trophy, 4 Lancashire Cup, 1 Charity Shield, 1 World Club Challenge.
Huddersfield Giants from February to October 2002 as follows: 19 Northern Ford Premiership, 8 Buddies National Cup, 2 NFP play-offs
LONGEST UNBEATEN RUN IN ALL MATCHES
43, including 2 draws, by Huddersfield from 1914 to 1919, a period interrupted by World War One.
Huddersfield were unbeaten in the last 38 matches of 1914-15. Then, after the war, they won four Yorkshire Cup-ties in 1919 and their first League match of 1919-20. The unbeaten run consisted of 28 League matches, 8 Yorkshire Cup-ties, 5 Northern Union Challenge Cup-ties and 2 League championship play-offs.
LONGEST WINNING RUN OF LEAGUE MATCHES AND LONGEST UNBEATEN RUN OF LEAGUE MATCHES
31 - Wigan. Last 8 matches of 1969-70 and first 23 of 1970-71 Hull won all of their 26 Division Two matches in 1978-79, the only time a club has won all of its League matches in a season. Huddersfield Giants were unbeaten in their 28 Northern Ford Premiership matches in 2001-02, but drew one match.
LONGEST LOSING RUN IN ALL MATCHES
61 - Runcorn Highfield from January 1989 to February 1991. The run consisted of 55 Division Two, 2 RL Challenge Cup-ties, 2 Regal Trophy, and 2 Lancashire Cup-ties.
LONGEST RUN WITHOUT A WIN
75 (including 2 draws) by Runcorn Highfield from November 1988 to March 1991. The run consisted of 67 Division Two, 3 Challenge Cup-ties, 3 Regal Trophy, and 2 Lancashire Cup.
LONGEST LOSING RUN OF LEAGUE MATCHES
55 by Runcorn Highfield from February 1988 to January 1991.
LONGEST RUN WITHOUT A WIN IN LEAGUE MATCHES
67 (including 2 draws) by Runcorn Highfield from November 1988 to February 1991.
The Rugby League Hall of Fame was set up in 1988 to recognise the all-time greats of the sport. As of 2018, a total of 28 players had been inducted – all male. In 2022, following the resumption of international Rugby League after the Covid pandemic, and to recognise the increased inclusiveness of the sport with the concurrent running of the Men’s, Women’s and Wheelchair Rugby League World Cups, the RFL and Rugby League Cares agreed to relaunch and reshape the Hall of Fame – including the induction of the first three members of the Women’s Rugby League Hall of Fame. As a result, 35 players have now been inducted into the Rugby League Hall of Fame – 32 men, and three women. The plan is for further players to be added every two years, with the intention of establishing a Wheelchair Rugby League Hall of Fame when appropriate. The eligibility criteria are the same as when the Hall of Fame was established in 1988 - an outstanding record of achievement at the highest level, a reputation that transcends each player’s era, and to have made a contribution to the sport that will last as long as Rugby League is played. In addition, Hall of Fame members must have played Rugby League in the UK for at least 10 years, and have made their last UK playing appearance at least five years before the date of induction.
2022 - Brenda Dobek
Brenda Dobek was a true pioneer, leading Great Britain to Ashes victory in Australia in 1996, winning a total of 20 caps, and giving outstanding service at club level to Wakefield Panthers, Townville and Featherstone Rovers, then coaching her country with distinction including in the 2008 World Cup. A skilful, athletic stand-off, she played until the age of 45, and was a consistent inspiration.
2022 - Lisa McIntosh
Lisa McIntosh was an international team-mate of Dobek's, although a club rival with Bradford and Dudley Hill, and meriting a similar description. Her trailblazing as one of the early leaders of Great Britain Women's Rugby League had additional racial and positional dimensions, she is thought to have been the first black woman to captain a British team when she was co-captain for the 1996 Ashes tour and then in sole charge for a trip to New Zealand two years later, and set new standards of athleticism for a forward in the Women's game. She retired at the age of 42, and like Dobek she also qualified for the elite coaching programme.
2022 - Sally Milburn
Sally Miburn was a champion for Cumbria in her 23-cap career in the Great Britain pack, earning international recognition through her performances for Barrow and Askam. She was named in the World 17 following her performances in the World Cup in New Zealand in 2003, having toured Australia twice in 1996 and 2002. She joins the Yorkshirewomen Dobek and McIntosh in the Women's Hall of Fame, following in the footsteps of fellow Cumbrians Dougie Clark, Martin Hodgson and Willie Horne who were elected to the Hall of Fame of 2005 in the cases of Clark and Hodgson, and 2014 in the case of her fellow Barrovian Horne.
2022 - Andy Farrell OBE
In a 13-year career at Wigan, Andy Farrell won six Championships and four Challenge Cups and was regarded as one of the most talented players of his generation. He captained both Wigan and Great Britain by example and made 46 international appearances: 35 for Great Britain and 11 for England. Farrell played in two World Cup tournaments and in 1996 became the youngest captain in Lions history when he led the 1996 tour to PNG, New Zealand and Fiji.
2022 - Adrian Morley
Adrian Morley established a reputation as the consummate professional over his near 20-year career, when he was regarded as a player of fierce commitment who expected the same from those around him. Morley made 30 appearances for Great Britain whilst also earning 23 international caps for England. Morley was a Challenge Cup winner with Leeds in 1999 before joining Sydney Roosters, with whom he won the 2002 Premiership and 2003 World Club Challenge. He had a short spell at Bradford in 2005, when he was a Grand Final winner with the Bulls, and a year later he returned to the UK to join Warrington. As captain of the Wolves, Morley led by example as the club enjoyed Challenge Cup final success in 2009, 2010 and 2012, as well as a Super League Grand Final appearance in 2012.
2022 - Clive Sullivan MBE
Cardiff-born Clive Sullivan was the last Great Britain captain to lift the World Cup trophy, leading the nation to success in 1972. He made over 550 appearances for Hull FC and Hull KR between 1961 and 1980, scoring a remarkable 365 tries (247 for Hull, 118 for Rovers). He toured with the Lions in 1970, the last Great Britain team to win the Ashes. In the 1972 World Cup he scored a try in each of Great Britain's four games and scored a spectacular try to level the scores at 10–10 against Australia in the final. He also captained Wales in the 1975 World Cup, when he led them to a victory over England. Sullivan played 47 times for Wales and Great Britain and made a total of 639 career appearances, including Challenge Cup final wins for Hull KR in 1980 and Hull FC in the 1982 replay at the age of 39. He passed away in 1985, aged just 42.
2022 - David Watkins MBE
After joining Salford from Welsh Rugby Union in 1967 at the age of 25, David Watkins went on to play 466 games as a Rugby League player, including over 400 for Salford, 22 for Wales and 13 for Great Britain. He is Salford’s record points-scorer (2,907) and scored in 92 consecutive matches for the Red Devils. Watkins played in all six games for Wales in the 1975 World Cup.
2018 - Andrew Gregory
To the long list of Wigan legends who grace the Rugby League’s Hall of Fame – Jim Sullivan, Eric Ashton, Boston, Ellery Hanley, Martin Offiah, Mick Sullivan, Shaun Edwards – add the name Andy Gregory. The former Wigan St Patrick’s amateur began his professional career with Widnes, where he won the first of his five Challenge Cup winners medals, and also played for Warrington, Illawarra, Leeds and Salford, but achieved most of his success with his hometown club. And what success! Gregory twice won the Lance Todd Trophy for man-of the-match performances in those Wembley finals dominated by Wigan in the late 1980s and early 90s, and won four league championships and a host of other trophies during a glittering career. The scrum-half is also one of only two players to have played in six Ashes series against Australia – the other being fellow Hall of Fame inductee Garry Schofield.
2018 - Derek Turner
When director Lindsay Anderson demanded ‘authenticity’ during the making of the legendary This Sporting Life, he turned to Derek ‘Rocky’ Turner. And Turner obliged, knocking out star actor Richard Harris during a scrum scene and forcing the abandonment of filming for the day. Turner played in an era of great loose-forwards, including Vince Karalius and Johnny Whiteley. And he won more Great Britain caps than either of them – 24 in total. ‘Rocky’ Turner was that good. He turned professional with Hull Kingston Rovers in 1950, but it was at Oldham from 1955-59 where he cemented his reputation. Turner’s presence transformed a powerful pack into a fearsome one, paving the way for Championship and Lancashire Cup success. Wembley proved surprisingly elusive at Oldham, but Turner more than made up for it with his next club, Wakefield Trinity, who he led to Challenge Cup success in 1960, 1962 and 1963 – at that time the closest any club had come to complete domination of the game’s oldest trophy.
2018 - Johnny Whiteley MBE
Johnny Whiteley is considered by many to be the greatest Hull-born player of all time. A ‘one-club’ man, Johnny made 417 appearances for Hull FC over 15 seasons, plus 15 Test and World Cup appearances for Great Britain. In 1958 Johnny was a member of the tour squad that retained the Ashes in Australia and four years later was part of the legendary Great Britain squad that beat the Aussies once again Down Under. In between those tours (1959) Whiteley featured in the last Great Britain side to win a test series against Australia on home soil. Johnny captained Hull FC with distinction from 1957, becoming player coach from 1963-65, then taking up the coaching reins on a full time basis from 1965-70. Whiteley then coached the Great Britain squad that toured Australia in 1970 – the last to win the Ashes in Australia. He would go on to coach Hull Kingston Rovers, Yorkshire and Great Britain again, before finally leaving the game to concentrate on his business interests. In 2005 Johnny was awarded the MBE for his services to Rugby League, most latterly in recognition of his role in founding the community club West Hull ARLFC.
2015 - Albert Goldthorpe
In a playing career spanning four decades, Goldthorpe made his debut for Hunslet at the age of 16 in 1888 before retiring in 1910 having scored a then-record of over 1500 points in 659 games. He went on to become one of the best known figures in English rugby, both before and after the split, and he was one of the most widely-respected talents in the game at the time of the Northern Union's formation in 1895. He was also a successful cricketer. In the 1907/08 season, he led Hunslet to all four domestic trophies - the Yorkshire Cup, the Yorkshire League Trophy, the Challenge Cup and the Championship Trophy. Hunslet were the first of four teams to achieve that feat in the game's history.
2015 - Shaun Edwards
Edwards enjoyed a trophy-laden career with his hometown club Wigan – winning the Challenge Cup for eight consecutive years as well three World Club Championships, eight Championship titles and the Man of Steel award in 1990. The half-back, who represented Great Britain 36 times, amassed over 450 appearances for Wigan, registering 1,146 points before spells at London Broncos, Bradford Bulls and a brief spell in Australia with Balmain Tigers. The now 49-year-old also picked up one cap for Ireland in 1995 while appearing in three World Cups before retiring in 2000. In total, Edwards, who is now a coach with Wales Rugby Union, collected a record 37 winners medals in a stellar playing career.
2013 - Garry Schofield OBE
A four-time Lions tourist, Schofield matched Mick Sullivan͛s 46-cap Great Britain record in a prolific career. His debut season with Hull brought up 38 tries, while he enjoyed a record-equalling four-try performance came as the Lions overcame New Zealand in 1985. The 1992 World Cup Final captain was the subject of a record £155,000 transfer to Leeds in 1987 and poached 328 tries in a British career of almost 500 games, racking up 1,731 points in the process. The now 50-year-old media pundit, a Golden Boot winner in 1990, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2013 after a sparkling career which also saw him land the Man of Steel award in 1991.
2014 - Willie Horne
A 2014 inductee, Horne was an iconic figure in the immediate post-war era when crowds flocked to Rugby League during the greatest boom period in the games history. At his peak, the maverick stand off was regarded as the greatest player in the world and played over 500 career games, scoring 2,000 points, despite the Second World War delaying his debut until he was almost 21. An iconic figure in Barrow, the place of his birth, Horne was wiry half back who scored 112 tries and 741 goals for the club and captained them to their only Challenge Cup win in 1955. The eight-cap Great Britain man, who died aged 79 in 2001, is a Freeman of the Borough, while a street and a stand at Barrow's Craven Park ground have been named after him, alongside a statue in the town's centre.
2014 - Malcolm Reilly OBE
Reilly was a trailblazer of the English game, dominating Australian Rugby League, while leading Castleford with great success. As both a player and coach, the North Yorkshire-born loose forward won a whole host of honours on both sides of the world and remains the only Englishman to win both the Challenge Cup and Australian Grand Finals in both capacities. A ruthless lynchpin of the last Great Britain team to win an Ashes series, terrorising the Australian and New Zealand forwards on the near-flawless 1970 tour of the Southern Hemisphere. His playing career with Castleford took in 316 appearances, including nine finals, over a 19-year period and two spells, scoring 68 tries, nine goals and four drop goals.
2013 - Mick Sullivan
A World Cup winner aged 20 in 1954, Sullivan was inducted in 2013 after a career which saw a record haul of 46 Great Britain caps. A prolific winger, the now 81-year-old scored 41 times for his country, plus one in one game for the Great Britain and France side. His form led to two record-breaking transfers of £9,500 when joining Wigan in 1957, and an £11,000-move to St Helens in 1961. Having begun his career with the Shaw Cross amateur club, his professional days started at Huddersfield and spells with York and as player-coach with hometown club Dewsbury followed. Sullivan went on to play in Australia having scored 342 career tries, topping the game͛s chart once, with 50 in the 1957/58 season. And that tally included 120 tries in a representative career of 102 games for Yorkshire, England and Great Britain.
2013 - Martin Offiah MBE
Inducted to the Hall of Fame in 2013, 'Chariots' still stands as the highest try-scoring Englishman of all time in a career which took in spells with six different clubs. The flying winger only sits behind Brian Bevan and Billy Boston on Rugby League͛s all-time chart having scored 501 times, including a remarkable 60 four-pointers in the 1988/89 season. His debut season in League saw him take the coveted Man of Steel accolade, while he helped Widnes to successive titles between 1987 and 1989, going on to become the games costliest player when moving from Widnes to Wigan for £440,000 in January 1992, where he scored ten tries in one game against Leeds. On the international stage, his 33 test appearances produced 26 tries, with only Mick Sullivan and Garry Schofield ahead of him on the GB chart, plus a further 6 tries in 5 appearances for England.
2013 - Lewis Jones
Inducted in 2013, Jones was tagged 'Golden Boy' when he made the move from Llanelli to Leeds as a record £6,000 signing in 1952. His 12-year career at Headingley produced a range of records that stood the test of time. And he achieved them with a style that was unique, including his unmatched double-kick acceleration, the long, hanging passes and an unerring goal-kicking accuracy despite a minimal run-up. The Welshman racked up a world-record points total of 496 in 48 appearances during the 1956-57 season, through 36 tries and 194 goals, while playing in the successful 1956 Challenge Cup-winning team. In a British playing career of more than 400 games, Jones stood behind only Jim Sullivan and Gus Risman on the game͛s all-time points chart with 3,445, before going on to score more than 1,000 more for the Sydney-based Wentworthville in Australia.
2005 - Eric Ashton MBE
One one-club man, Ashton enjoyed a stellar 14-year playing career with Wigan. The right-hand centre formed a devastating partnership with fellow Hall of Famer Billy Boston and made his Great Britain debut in 1957. He went on to captain the Lions to an Ashes series victory over Australia and a World Cup triumph in 1960, appearing in six Challenge Cup Finals at Wembley while winning the trophy three times. In 1966, the St. Helens-born man became the first ever Rugby League player to be honoured with an MBE, while he was also the only person to have been the captain, coach and chairman of a Challenge Cup-winning club. The 2005 inductee retired with 497 senior appearances, 1,589 career points and 26 international caps for Great Britain, ahead of spells as coach Wigan, Leeds, St Helens and Great Britain.
2005 - Douglas Clark MM
Douglas enjoyed great sporting success in Rugby League and Wrestling, while he was also World War I veteran. Cumbria born, the loose forward served Huddersfield with distinction between 1909 and 1927, while representing Cumberland, England and Great Britain. Clark also served in World War I on the front line in France in 1917, earning the Military Medal (MM) for his efforts, before returning to Wrestling where he became World Heavyweight Champion. Back in League, the versatile forward scored a hat-trick of tries as Huddersfield won the 1913 Championship Final, while he played in the famous 'Rorke's Drift Test' in Sydney when Great Britain beat Australia with 11 men in 1914 and he won 'All Four Cups' in 1915.
2005 - Ellery Hanley MBE
Hanley's glittering five-club career spanned three decades, a trophy-laden spell which saw him voted the greatest British Rugby League player of all time in 2007. 'Mr Magic', as he was often affectionately known, began his career as an outside back but soon established himself as a highly-regarded stand off or loose forward. During his 19 years as a player, he was capped 37 times by Great Britain, scoring 20 tries, and handed an MBE in January 1990 for his services to the game. The only winner of three separate Man of Steel awards, he retired with 479 domestic appearances and 396 tries before going on to coach St Helens to Grand Final success in 1999, between spells as coach at Great Britain and Doncaster.
2005 - Martin Hodgson
A rare goal-kicking second rower, Hodgson signed for Swinton in January 1927, aged 17. The 16-cap Great Britain man still holds the long-distance penalty goal record with a kick of 77.75 yards for Swinton against Rochdale Hornets at the Athletic Grounds, Rochdale in April 1940. A Great Britain and Cumberland representative, the forward was widely regarded as one of the game's greatest ever back rowers. An Australasia tourist with the Lions in both 1932 and 1936, the Swinton icon was inducted into Rugby League's hall of fame in 2005.
2000 - Vince Karalius
Karalius career spanned from 1952-1966 as a loose forward, making his name with St. Helens and Widnes. Part of the Great Britain squad which won the Rugby League World Cup in 1960, the strong-running lock was a fierce defender throughout his 14-year career. He retired in 1966 after having made 132 appearances for Widnes, on the back of 252 for St Helens. He was captain of Saints' Challenge Cup-winning side in 1961 and played in the first Saints team to win the Cup five years previously. In 1964 he was part of another Wembley win, this time with Widnes, before reaching two more finals as coach in two spells at Widnes.
2000 - Tom Van Vollenhoven
Van Vollenhoven is the only South African representative in the Hall of Fame. A prolific winger, he became a St Helens legend, making 409 appearances and scoring 392 tries. After starting his career in South African Rugby Union, he left his mark at Saints by setting a number of records including most tries scored in a match with six, on two occasions, against Wakefield Trinity in 1957 and Blackpool Borough in 1962, most tries in a season, when he scored 62 in the 1958/59 season, and most career tries. Inducted ahead of the 2000 World Cup, he also represented his native South Africa on the international stage.
2000 - Roger Millward MBE
Millward, inducted in 2000, enjoyed a playing career which spanned from 1964 to 1980. Castleford born, he made his name with his hometown club, making 40 appearances and scoring 16 tries as a versatile back. But a move to Hull KR in 1966 proved fruitful, where he became one of Rovers' all-time greats. He made 406 appearances, for the East Hull side, notching up 1,825 points from 207 tries and 597 goals. He also guided the Robins to their only ever Challenge Cup final win as the club beat city rivals Hull FC 10-5 in 1980, during which Millward played the majority of the match with a broken jaw.
1989 - Neil Fox MBE
Neil Fox enjoyed a career that spanned over 20 years during the 60s and 70s and is the all-time record point-scorer in the history of the game. He notched up over 500 appearances for Wakefield during their golden years and won the Challenge Cup on three occasions: 1960, 1961 and 1963. In the first of those victories, he set a Cup final record in scoring 20 points for his side. Fox also won the Yorkshire Cup five times during his career; three times with Wakefield and once for both Hull Kingston Rovers and Bradford, who he played for after departing Trinity in 1974. The centre, who enjoyed a fruitful international career in kicking 93 goals for Great Britain, finished his career with an impressive 358 tries. He was awarded the Freedom of the City of Wakefield in 2010.
1988 – William 'Billy' Batten
Billy Batten was one of the game͛s biggest stars in the early 20th century and pulled in huge crowds during his spells at Hunslet, Hull and Wakefield Trinity. His rise to prominence came in his debut season with Hunslet when at the age of 17, he helped them to win all four cups: the League Championship, Challenge Cup, Yorkshire League and Yorkshire Cup. At around this time, he turned down a move to Manchester United but in 1913 was snapped up by Hull for a then world record fee of £600. Batten clinched the Challenge Cup in his debut season at Hull and also drew fame from his trademark 'Batten Leap', which made him extremely hard to tackle. He gained 25 international caps whilst representing Great Britain and England between 1908 and 1923.
1988 – Brian Bevan
A prolific scorer, Brian Bevan was most well-known for scoring 796 tries during his hugely successful 16-year spell at Warrington. The winger joined the club on his arrival in England in 1946 and quickly became part of the furniture, with his frequent try scoring seeing him surpass John ͞Jack͟ Fish͛s club record of 215 tries, after just four years. His most productive campaign came in the 1952/53 season, where he scored an incredible 72 tries and he ended his career with a hat-trick of tries or more in a single game 100 times. He also scored seven tries in a single match on two occasions for Warrington. During his long association with Warrington, he won two Challenge Cup titles, three Rugby League Championships, six Lancashire League titles and one Lancashire Cup. He is currently the only player to have been inducted into both the Australian and British rugby league Halls of Fame.
1988 – William 'Billy' Boston MBE
Billy Boston earned 'cult hero' status at Wigan, a club where he scored almost 500 tries during his 15 year spell. After learning his trade in rugby union during his junior days, Billy switched codes at the age of 19 and was snapped up by Wigan after impressing with the Catterick-based Royal Signals. Although he had a large build, Boston had a terrific turn of pace and often ran rings around opponents whilst playing for Wigan. He won three Challenge Cups and an RFL Championship title in 1960 and has since had stands at the club͛s Central Park and DW Stadium grounds named after him. He also made his mark on the international stage, scoring 24 tries in 31 appearances for Great Britain. He ended his club career with 483 tries in 1463 matches.
1988 - Alex Murphy OBE
Alex Murphy is considered as one of the greatest half-backs to have ever played the English game, a reputation he built up during spells at St. Helens, Leigh and Warrington. He twice toured Australia and was part of Great Britain͛s World Cup winning team of 1960. Touted as a great prospect as a youngster, Murphy was signed by the Saints on his 16th birthday and made his first breakthrough into the first team a few months later. He earned his first piece of silverware, the RL Championship, in 1959. He subsequently won two Challenge Cup titles, five Lancashire Cup crowns and another RL Championship with the Saints, before becoming a player/coach for Leigh in 1966. He led the club to Challenge Cup glory in 1971, also winning the Lance Todd Trophy on that occasion, before taking the trophy a third time in 1974 with his final club Warrington.
1988 - Jonty Parkin
Jonty Parkin was posthumously included in the first Hall of Fame induction in 1988, following his expansive career at the top level of the game. The scrum-half was one of the biggest names in the early twentieth century and appeared for Wakefield Trinity just under 350 times during a 17 year spell. His only major trophy at club level was the 1925 Yorkshire Cup, although he won 29 caps for both England and Great Britain, sides he captained. He toured Australia three times and captained the side in both 1924 and 1928, guiding Great Britain to two Ashes wins. Parkin ended his domestic playing days with Hull KR, after astonishingly paying the £100 transfer fee to Wakefield out of his own pocket.
1988 - Gus Risman
A player with a wide-spanning career, Gus Risman played at the top level of rugby league for a quarter of a century. Incredibly, Gus was 41 when he won a second Challenge Cup in 1952 with Workington Town – his first was back in 1942 with Leeds Rhinos. The centre won three RL Championships with Salford but it was his exploits on an international level that his career was most remembered. He played in five Ashes series (home and away), captaining Great Britain in of those matches. GB tasted success in two of those tours – 1933 and 1937. His phenomenal all-round record is testament to a true great: 843 appearances, 1,678 goals kicked and 4,050 points scored.
1988 - Albert Rosenfeld
Albert first decided to play in the English game whilst on tour in the country with Australia, falling in love with his future wife Ethel. He joined nearby Huddersfield and playing in a new position on the wing, became a try scoring sensation. During the 1911/12 campaign he set a new try-scoring record with 78, going onto better that with an incredible 80 tries the following year. During his career, he won four Yorkshire Cup titles during his spells with Huddersfield, Wakefield and Bradford Northern, scorning in each of these finals. Rosenfeld served in the British Army between 1916 and 1919 and won a total of five international caps with Australia before his move to England.
1988 - Jim Sullivan
Loyal to Wigan in a one-club career which lasted for 24 years, Cardiff-born Sullivan, one of the inaugural Hall of Fame inductees in 1988, started as an 18 year old in 1921, his playing days coming to an end in 1946, aged 43. After joining Wigan from Cardiff RU aged 17, he ended a remarkable career with 774 appearances for the Lancashire club, a record haul which still stands today, while his overall total of 928 games still remains as an all-time record in Rugby League. After some time as player-coach, he retired having kicked 2,867 goals, which included over 100 goals in 18 successive seasons, more than anyone else in history, while scoring 83 tries, alongside 26 and 25 caps for Wales and Great Britain respectively. He also landed 22 goals in a single Challenge Cup tie against Flimby and Fothergill in 1925 - a Cup record. In 20 years as Wigan head coach, he led his side to a record five league championships and two Challenge Cups.
1988 - Harold Wagstaff
Wagstaff played between 1906 and 1925 and, aged 15, became the youngest-ever professional Rugby League player when he signed for Huddersfield, before setting the record as Rugby League's youngest ever representative, playing for Yorkshire at 17. Despite starting out as a League player aged 14, just five years later, in 1912, the 19 year old was made captain of Huddersfield and, only two years on, at 21, he was named captain of Great Britain. The then 22-year-old also led the 1914/15 Huddersfield side to 'All Four Cups' - the Challenge Cup, Championship Trophy, Yorkshire Cup and Yorkshire League - something only achieved three times in the history of the sport. In total, the centre, who died aged 48 after retiring aged 34, won three league championships, three Challenge Cups, six Yorkshire Cups and six Yorkshire League titles.
The Rugby League Roll of Honour recognises individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the game across both playing and off-field service. The sport continues to celebrate the exceptional commitment and achievements of leading broadcasters and journalists, players, coaches and volunteers.
|2023||Squadron Leader Damian Clayton MBE RAF|
|Sue Taylor MBE|
|2020||Emma Rosewarne MBE|
|2018||Stephen Ball MBE|
|2015||Martin Blondel MBE|
|Robert W Stott|
|2014||Natalie Gilmour MBE|
|2013||HH Judge James Spencer|
|Tim Adams MBE|
|Mike Nicholas MBE|
|Jackie Reid MBE|
|2011||Martin Coyd OBE|
|Fred Lindop MBE|
|2008||Ray French MBE|
|Mike Stephenson MBE|
|Bev Risman OBE|
|Harold Swift MBE|
|Johnny Whiteley MBE|
|2004||Tommy Sale MBE|
The Lance Todd Trophy is awarded to the man of the match each year at the Challenge Cup Final.
Introduced in 1946, the trophy was named in memory of Lance Todd, the New Zealand-born player and administrator.
Every year, the winner is selected by members of the Rugby League Writers' Association present at the game.
Lance Todd Trophy Winners
|2023||Lachlan Lam||Leigh Leopards|
|2022||Chris McQueen||Huddersfield Giants|
|2021||Niall Evalds||Castleford Tigers|
|2020||Richie Myler||Leeds Rhinos|
|2019||Daryl Clark||Warrington Wolves|
|2018||Tony Gigot||Catalans Dragons|
|2017||Marc Sneyd||Hull FC|
|2016||Marc Sneyd||Hull FC|
|2015||Tom Briscoe||Leeds Rhinos|
|2014||Ryan Hall||Leeds Rhinos|
|2013||Matty Smith||Wigan Warriors|
|2012||Brett Hodgson||Warrington Wolves|
|2011||Jeff Lima||Wigan Warriors|
|2010||Lee Briers||Warrington Wolves|
|2009||Michael Monaghan||Warrington Wolves|
|2008||Paul Wellens||St Helens|
|2007||Leon Pryce & Paul Wellens||St Helens|
|2006||Sean Long||St Helens|
|2005||Kevin Sinfield||Leeds Rhinos|
|2004||Sean Long||St Helens|
|2003||Gary Connolly||Leeds Rhinos|
|2002||Kris Radlinski||Wigan Warriors|
|2001||Sean Long||St Helens|
|2000||Henry Paul||Bradford Bulls|
|1999||Leroy Rivett||Leeds Rhinos|
|1998||Mark Aston||Sheffield Eagles|
|1997||Tommy Martyn||St Helens|
|1996||Robbie Paul||Bradford Bulls|
|1995||Jason Robinson||Wigan Warriors|
|1994||Martin Offiah||Wigan Warriors|
|1993||Dean Bell||Wigan Warriors|
|1992||Martin Offiah||Wigan Warriors|
|1991||Dennis Betts||Wigan Warriors|
|1990||Andy Gregory||Wigan Warriors|
|1989||Ellery Hanley||Wigan Warriors|
|1988||Andy Gregory||Wigan Warriors|
|1987||Graham Eadie||Halifax RLFC|
|1986||Bob Beardmore||Castleford Tigers|
|1985||Brett Kenny||Wigan Warriors|
|1984||Joe Lydon||Widnes Vikings|
|1983||David Hobbs||Featherstone Rovers|
|1982||Eddie Cunningham||Widnes Vikings|
|1981||Mick Burke||Widnes Vikings|
|1980||Brian Lockwood||Hull KR|
|1979||David Topliss||Wakefield Trinity|
|1978||George Nicholls||St Helens|
|1977||Steve Pitchford||Leeds Rhinos|
|1976||Geoff Pimblett||St Helens|
|1975||Ray Dutton||Widnes Vikings|
|1974||Derek Whitehead||Warrington Wolves|
|1973||Steve Nash||Featherstone Rovers|
|1972||Kel Coslett||St Helens|
|1971||Alex Murphy||Leigh Centurions|
|1970||Bill Kirkbride||Castleford Tigers|
|1969||Malcolm Reilly||Castleford Tigers|
|1968||Don Fox||Wakefield Trinity|
|1967||Carl Dooler||Featherstone Rovers|
|1966||Len Kileen||St Helens|
|1965||Brian Gabbitas & Ray Ashby||Hunslet & Wigan Warriors|
|1964||Frank Collier||Widnes Vikings|
|1963||Harold Poynton||Wakefield Trinity|
|1962||Neil Fox||Wakefield Trinity|
|1961||Dick Huddart||St Helens|
|1960||Tommy Harris||Hull FC|
|1959||Brian McTigue||Wigan Warriors|
|1958||Rees Thomas||Wigan Warriors|
|1957||Jeff Stevenson||Leeds Rhinos|
|1956||Alan Prescott||St Helens|
|1955||John 'Jack' Grundy||Barrow|
|1954||Gerry Helme||Warrington Wolves|
|1953||Peter Ramsden||Huddersfield Giants|
|1951||Cecil 'Cec' Mountford||Wigan Warriors|
|1950||Gerry Helme||Warrington Wolves|
|1949||Ernest Ward||Bradford Northern|
|1948||Frank Whitcombe||Bradford Northern|
|1947||Willie Davies||Bradford Northern|
|1946||William 'Billy' Stott||Wakefield Trinity|
The Ray French Award is presented to the player of the match at the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup Final, which is held at Wembley on the same day as the Coral Challenge Cup Final. after a poll of Our League members in which the much-loved former dual code international and BBC commentator received more than 60% of the votes.
The 1895 Cup was introduced in 2019 to provide an additional and more realistic opportunity for non-Super League clubs to reach Wembley.
Unlike the Lance Todd Trophy, the long-established man of the match award for the Challenge Cup Final which is determined by votes from members of the Rugby League Writers and Broadcasters Association, the winner of the Ray French Award is chosen by the supporters via the Our League app.
Named after Ray French MBE, who was a Wembley winner with his hometown club St Helens against Wigan in 1966, and went on to commentate on 27 Challenge Cup Finals for the BBC, the majority at Wembley.
Ray French Award Winners
|2023||Louis Jouffret||Halifax Panthers|
|2022||Edwin Ipape||Leigh Centurions|
|2021||Craig Hall||Featherstone Rovers|
|2020||No Competition (Covid-19)||-|
|2019||Anthony Thackeray||Sheffield Eagles|
The Man of Steel Award is presented to the men's player of the year.
In 2014, the award was renamed after former England player Steve Prescott, after a petition with over 12,000 signatures was sent to the Rugby Football League, calling for the award to be renamed in Prescott's honour.
The voting has recently changed to a system similar to the Australian Dally M Medal, with a panel of former players awarding points to the best performing players in each game (three points for the best player, two points for the runner-up, and one point for the third best player).
MAN OF STEEL WINNERS
|2023||Bevan French||Wigan Warriors|
|2022||Brodie Croft||Salford Red Devils|
|2021||Sam Tomkins||Catalans Dragons|
|2020||Paul McShane||Castleford Tigers|
|2019||Jackson Hastings||Salford Red Devils|
|2018||Ben Barba||St Helens|
|2017||Luke Gale||Castleford Tigers|
|2016||Danny Houghton||Hull FC|
|2015||Zak Hardaker||Leeds Rhinos|
|2014||Daryl Clark||Castleford Tigers|
|2013||Danny Brough||Huddersfield Giants|
|2012||Sam Tomkins||Wigan Warriors|
|2011||Rangi Chase||Castleford Tigers|
|2010||Pat Richards||Wigan Warriors|
|2009||Brett Hodgson||Huddersfield Giants|
|2008||James Graham||St Helens|
|2007||James Roby||St Helens|
|2006||Paul Wellens||St Helens|
|2005||Jamie Lyon||St Helens|
|2004||Andy Farrell||Wigan Warriors|
|2003||Jamie Peacock||Bradford Bulls|
|2002||Paul Sculthorpe||St Helens|
|2001||Paul Sculthorpe||St Helens|
|2000||Sean Long||St Helens|
|1999||Adrian Vowles||Castleford Tigers|
|1998||Iestyn Harris||Leeds Rhinos|
|1997||James Lowes||Bradford Bulls|
|1996||Andy Farrell||Wigan Warriors|
|1986||Gavin Miller||Hull KR|
|1978||George Nicholls||St Helens|
The Woman of Steel Award is presented to the player of the year in the Betfred Women's Super League.
The winner of the award is determined by a poll of all players in the Betfred Women's Super League.
The award was inaugurated in 2018 and the winner is announced annually as part of the Man of Steel Awards in October each year.
*Due to the cancellation of the 2020 Betfred Women's Super League season due to the Covid-19 pandemic, no Woman of Steel was awarded.
WOMAN OF STEEL WINNERS
|2023||Sinead Peach||York Valkyrie|
|2022||Tara Stanley||York City Knights|
|2021||Jodie Cunningham||St Helens|
|2019||Courtney Hill||Leeds Rhinos|
|2018||Georgia Roche||Castleford Tigers|
Key dates from the conception of Rugby League through to present day activity
On 29th August 1895, Rugby League was born as 21 clubs based in the north of England broke away from English Rugby Union's governing body and formed their own competition. The breakaway was caused by the northern clubs' desire to pay players which was outlawed at the time in Rugby Union.
On April 24, Batley became the first ever winners of the Challenge Cup, overcoming St Helens 10-3 in front of 13,492 people at Leeds's Headingley Stadium. The year also saw the ͚line-out͛ removed from the game, while conversion, penalty and drop goals all became worth two points.
This year brought about a change in structure as the separate Lancashire and Yorkshire leagues were changed to become a two-tier competition. Halifax were the First Division winners, finishing four points clear of second-placed Salford for their first of four titles to date.
Nine years after the creation of the sport, the first ever International Rugby League match took place. In front of a 6,000-strong crowd at Wigan, an Other Nationalities side, wearing green jerseys and made up of Welsh and Scottish players, edged past England 9-3 in a friendly on April 5.
Rugby League became a 13-a-side sport, alongside the introduction of the game's distinctive play-the-ball movement, while all 31 professional teams were merged into one league. Bradford, who finished the year in 12th place, won the Championship Final 5-0 against 18th-placed Salford.
The first Rugby League tour of the UK by an overseas team took place in 1907 as converted New Zealand Union players, dubbed the 'All Golds,' travelled overseas. The first 13-a-side international Rugby League match took place on this tour, with Wales winning 9-8 against the All Golds before a crowd of 20,000 at Abedare.
Rugby League was played in London for the first time as Great Britain fell to a 6-18 defeat to New Zealand in front of 14,000 people at Chelsea FC's Stamford Bridge Stadium. The sport was also played in Australia and New Zealand for the first time after official competitions were established a year earlier.
In November 1921, the first £1,000 transfer fee was recorded as winger Harold Buck switched from Hunslet to local rivals, Leeds. Buck made his debut for Leeds against Wigan at Headingley Stadium on Saturday November 5th, 1921. He went on to play 99 matches for Leeds scoring 72 tries and 15 conversions.
Wembley staged its first Challenge Cup Final in 1929. After a nomadic existence which saw the final hosted at no fewer than ten different venues across Yorkshire and Lancashire, the Challenge Cup showpiece moved to London. In the final, Wigan beat Dewsbury 13-2 for their second Challenge Cup win.
In 1932, the first rugby league match under floodlights was played. It was an exhibition game between Leeds and Wigan at the iconic 93,000-capacity White City Stadium in London. Leeds won the game, which kicked off at 8pm, 18-9, in front of a crowd of around 10,000 people.
France staged its first Rugby League match in 1933. The game was held in late December and was a friendly international between Great Britain and Australia. The impact of this game was widespread, with the French Rugby League formed on April 6th, 1934, quickly followed by the creation of 225 French Rugby League clubs by 1939.
Rugby League's first ever televised match took place in 1948 as Wigan beat Bradford 8-3 in the Challenge Cup Final at Wembley. Also, the Rugby League International Federation was formed in Bordeaux, put in place to act as the game's first worldwide governing body.
The total crowds for the British season hit a record in the 1949/50 season. Over 69.8 million people were recognised as paying customers to have attended matches across all competitions which took place around the UK that year. This is a record which remains today.
Rugby League became the first code of rugby to stage a World Cup tournament. Great Britain and France dominated the competition, eventually contesting the final. The decider took place on November 13 in Paris, Great Britain won 16-12 for their first of three World Cup titles to date.
David Attenborough, then controller of BBC2, scheduled regular televised Rugby League games through the creation of the BBC2 Floodlit Trophy. The competition was designed to create Tuesday evening games for a wider audience and was a seen as a success until its demise, due to BBC cuts, in 1980.
Substitutes were now allowed at any time during game. Five years earlier, substitutes were allowed for the first time, but only for players injured before half time. This progressed from two replacements initially, to four, a rule which remains in the present day.
The six-tackle rule was introduced. Having been unlimited from 1895, plays were reduced to four in 1967, but adjusted to six in 1971. Meanwhile, the value of drop goals was halved to one point, alongside the introduction of sponsors for the first time and official timekeepers.
The World Club Challenge begins unofficially as Sydney's Eastern Suburbs beat St Helens 25-2 at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Wigan overcame Manly-Warringah 8-2 in 1987, the next staging of a similar game, before Widnes won the first official World Club Challenge in October 1989, beating Canberra Raiders 30-18 at Old Trafford.
Fulham Rugby League club is formed. They then become London Crusaders, London Broncos and Harlequins RL, before returning to their moniker as Broncos. To date, they are the sport's most successful club outside Yorkshire, Lancashire and Cumbria, having spent 19 seasons in Super League.
In 1983, the sin bin is introduced for on-field offences in the UK. Referees now have the power to yellow card an offending player, leaving them to serve a ten-minute suspension. In the same year, the number of points awarded for scoring a try increased from three to four.
The academy Under 18s League was introduced to Rugby League to aid the development of young talent from professional and semi-professional clubs. It would go on to pave the way for an under 20s Super League competition before the introduction of an under 19s elite league alongside a Reserves competition.
The ten-metre rule was introduced in Rugby League's 98th season of the professional game. Wigan finished top of the 14-team table under the new rule, with St Helens winning the Premiership final. The game also saw a restructure from three divisions to two divisions of 16 teams each.
Super League begins, seeing the sport move to a summer season of three divisions and video replays are introduced to assist referees with try-scoring decisions. Also, clubs in the top division become professional with full time coaches and playing squads, while squad numbers were introduced for Super League players.
An end-of-season play-off and Grand Final system is introduced to decide Super League Championship. Super League goes on the road playing League matches in Cardiff, Swansea, Gateshead and Northampton, while the inaugural Grand Final, staged at Old Trafford, attracts a crowd of almost 44,000.
The last-ever Challenge Cup Final to be played at the 'Old' Wembley takes place. London make the Final for the first time, but Leicester-born Lance Todd Trohpy winner Leroy Rivett scores a then-record four tries in the game to help Leeds to a 56-12 win over the Broncos, their 11th Cup title.
London Skolars become the first team in 80 years to progress from the community game to the professional game, entering the third tier. They finished bottom of the league in their first year as a professional club but have remained a mainstay of the division ever since, finishing fourth in 2013.
Catalans Dragons become the second French team to enter Super League, following on from Paris Saint Germain in 1997. The Dragons won their first ever Super League match, overcoming Wigan 38–30 on Saturday 11 February 2006 at Stade Aimé Giral, going on to finish third in Super League just three years later.
The Millennium Magic Event is introduced. A full round of Super League fixtures is staged over one weekend in Cardiff, while the Challenge Cup Final returns to Wembley. Catalans Dragons become the first French side the reach the Final and Younes Khattabi the first Muslim to score a try at the Stadium, but St Helens win 30-8.
May 23rd 2009 sees the first Super League match contested between two non-English sides as French side Catalans Dragons beat Celtic Crusaders of Wales 30-18 in front of 2,927 people at Bridgend's Brewery Field. June 20th also hosts the first Super League game ever to be played in Spain, Warrington beating Catalans 24-12.
South Wales Scorpions become a professional club, entering the third tier. The Scorpions' first ever competitive game comes against Workington Town on February 28th, 2010. They win 22-20 in front of a crowd of over 500 at The Gnoll. They go on to finish sixth in the table and make the play-offs.
Hemel Stags, Gloucestershire All Golds and Oxford RLFC are all introduced to the professional game. Hemel and Oxford would go on to make the play offs that year, with the All Golds finishing bottom. All three sides have remained competitive since with Hemel making the play offs again in 2014.
The Rugby League World Cup is held in Europe. Seven grounds achieve sell-out crowds, with four setting stadium records. Games held in both Wales and Ireland were watched by the biggest crowds ever for Rugby League games in those countries. The final is played in front of 74,468 people at Old Trafford, a record crowd for an International Rugby League fixture.
The #RLNewEra begins. The possibility of promotion and relegation returns to Rugby League's top tier, with the top two divisions splitting into three tiers of eight after 23 rounds; the Super League, the Qualifiers and the Championship Shield. Coventry Bears enter the professional game, while the iPro Sport Cup is founded and the Summer Bash begins.
League One sees an overhaul in structure with the division splitting into two after 15 weeks. The top half play off for promotion to the Championship, while the lower half play for the League One Shield. Toulouse Olympique also return to the English game after leaving the Championship in 2011.
Toronto Wolfpack enter League 1, becoming the first trans-atlantic professional sports team. Following a successful first season they gain promotion to the Championship via the end of season Super 8s.
RLWC2017 takes place in Australia and New Zealand and England reach the World Cup Final losing out narrowly 6-0 to Australia.
The 125th anniversary of the Rugby Football League. 29th August 1895 will mark 125 years to the day since Rugby League was official born, as 21 clubs based in the north of England broke away from English Rugby Union's governing body and formed their own competition.
England host the Men's, Women's and Wheelchair Rugby League World Cups simultaneously in the biggest and most inclusive Rugby League World Cup of all-time. England lifted the Wheelchair title with a dramatic victory over France at Manchester Central before Australia took home the Men's and Women's crowns with a double victory at Manchester United's Old Trafford against Samoa and New Zealand respectively.