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Burgess and Charnley celebrate Boston’s 80th birthday
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Burgess and Charnley celebrate Boston’s 80th birthday

by: Total Rugby League, August 6, 2014, 9:24 am

Wigan wingers Josh Charnley and Joe Burgess have today presented Warriors legend Billy Boston with a cake to mark his 80th birthday.

The Cardiff-born three-quarter, who is in three different sport halls of fame, scored a whopping 478 tries in 488 appearances for the cherry and whites.

There is currently a campaign running in which the club are trying to raise £100,000 to erect a statue in Boston’s honour, but he remains modest as always.

“Oh, there have been better players than me,” he told the Warriors’ official website.

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“It’s an honour anyway though. I’ve been here since I was 19, I love the place. I’m very proud that this is happening, I love Wigan and the people who have been so great to me.”

A starstruck Charnley said: “Billy is a legend at Wigan and we all look up to him coming up through the ranks.

“Me and Budgie are in the squad now and we’re trying to hopefully get to where Billy did. He’s done a lot of good things for Wigan and we’re just trying to be the same. He deserves everything he’s getting, he’s given a lot to the town so a statue is a great idea and it’ll be great to see.”

Burgess added: “As soon as you hear Billy Boston’s name, it makes you turn. To be a winger, everyone says ‘aim to be like Billy Boston’, I hope I get a statue like him when I’m older! Everyone knows who he is, that’s why he’s a Wigan legend and that’s why he’s getting a statue.”

Although it’s been over 60 years since Boston made his Wigan debut, he still has vivid memories of it.

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“I remember making my debut as a 19-year-old, I’d never been outside of Cardiff,” he said.

“It’s a different game these days, I could have had a cig on the wing when I played I had that much time! They’re a lot fitter these days, it’s very different. I played for my country and got £14 but it cost me £14 to get there. I was in the army and when I came to Wigan and they hardly trained, they trained twice a week on Tuesday and Thursday in the evening after work and then go straight in the pub.

“We used to get off the bus near Woolworths and walk over to Central Park, I never had a car like these fellas.”

Fans can donate towards the statue fund electronically, via the account “The Billy Boston Statue Trust”, number 33910660, sort code 20-96-37.

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