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John Drake

Billy Boston honoured amongst greatest black athletes of all time.

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PRESS RELEASE FROM WALES RUGBY LEAGUE

BILLY BOSTON HONOURED AMONG GREATEST BLACK ATHLETES OF ALL TIME

http://www.sportingequals.org.uk/top10blackathletes.php

WALES legend Billy Boston has been recognised among the greatest black sportsmen and women of all time.

To coincide with Black History Month, Sporting Equals have named their top ten greatest athletes ever - and Wales star Boston, who will be among the legendary Welsh rugby league players at the Test match with England at Wrexham on Saturday, has been named in seventh place.

Billy, formerly from Cardiff, became one of the greatest try scorers in rugby league history during a 15-year period from 1953 to 1968 and the Wigan legend played for Great Britain 31 times in an illustrious career.

He has also been inducted in the Welsh Sports Hall of Fame and is one of five players, including another Welsh legend, Gus Risman, to be remembered in a group statue outside Wembley Stadium.

He is the only rugby league player in the Sporting Equals top ten that puts The Greatest at number one - former World Heavyweight boxing champion Muhammed Ali.

American athlete Jesse Owens, who won four gold medals at the 1936 Berlin Olympics to the rage of Adolf Hitler, is second, with footballing legend Pele in third.

British double Olympic gold medal decathlon champion Daley Thompson comes in at fourth, with American tennis legend Althea Gibson, who won multiple Grand Slam titles including Wimbledon, in fifth.

The first black footballer to play at international level - Andrew Watson - is sixth, with Boston in seventh.

Ethiopian athlete Abebe Bikila (8th), Australian Olympic champion Cathy Freeman (9th) and American baseball star Jackie Robinson, the first Major League black player in 1947, make up the list.

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That's some serious company he's keeping there.

I imagine that he is (rightly) immensely proud.

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A deserved honour, but a bit surprised by Jackie Robinson only occupying tenth place. Being chosen to end segregation in baseball and act as an inspiration for non-retaliation in the Civil Rights movement probably had more impact than an highly talented athlete winning two gold medals.

Have a look at his story here http://en.wikipedia....Jackie_Robinson

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Cathy Freeman is aboriginal and not of African descent and I've never heard of the football bloke. Who is Bikila?

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no clive sullivan???

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Cathy Freeman is aboriginal and not of African descent

what's that got to do with anything?

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Cathy Freeman is aboriginal and not of African descent and I've never heard of the football bloke. Who is Bikila?

Skin pigmentation

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Bikila won two marathon gold medals in the 60s.

I think in the Rome games he got a gold. Well remembered as he finished as fresh as a daisy. He performed some callisthenics seconds after crossing the finishing line prescribed by his doctor after having his appendix removedjust a few weeks before the race.

Great honour for Billy Boston though. I remember reading a while back how so many former rugby league players are listed in the Welsh Sports Hall of fame. It really is part of their rich sporting heritage.

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no clive sullivan???

I think Boston's achievements and fame put him ahead of Sullivan in such a list, as great as Sullivan was Boston still has to be surpassed.

Great recognition from a great man, on and off the field,

billy will probably take it in his usual manner, "I don't deserve it", he, as usual, wouldn't be more wrong.

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Skin pigmentation

I get it but it's absurd. The aboriginals have less in common with Africans genetically speaking than they do with white Europeans.

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I've now read the article three times and can't see where it says anything about African descent.

That's a hell of a list, and Billy Boston is more than worthy of his place on it. Great stuff.

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I've now read the article three times and can't see where it says anything about African descent.

That's a hell of a list, and Billy Boston is more than worthy of his place on it. Great stuff.

It doesn't it says black. It doesn't mention genes at all as far as I can see.

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I get it but it's absurd. The aboriginals have less in common with Africans genetically speaking than they do with white Europeans.

:rolleyes: :rolleyes:

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Billy was hounded out of Cardiff RFC because he was black and had to go west to play for Neath RFC who were very accepting. On realising he wouldn't get picked for Wales, he accepted Wigan's offer and the rest is history. He was an ambassador for sport in a time that was still a fairly racist society.

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Cathy Freeman is aboriginal and not of African descent and I've never heard of the football bloke. Who is Bikila?

the point is she was a black athlete . its not about place of origin

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I'm confused, does Black mean African?

well in that case zola budd would have been in with a shout so i guess not

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well in that case zola budd would have been in with a shout so i guess not

Or in RL terms Tom Van Vollenhoven and a host of others.

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Billy was hounded out of Cardiff RFC because he was black and had to go west to play for Neath RFC who were very accepting. On realising he wouldn't get picked for Wales, he accepted Wigan's offer and the rest is history. He was an ambassador for sport in a time that was still a fairly racist society.

He didn't accept Wigan's offer, his mother sold him.

He didn't want to go North.

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Billy Boston was a great athlete.

Great black athlete? What's that about? Why not great black with stocky legs athlete?

Do people think his skin colour was part of his athletic greatness? Not for me, great player end of.

Long way to go.

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I think Boston's achievements and fame put him ahead of Sullivan in such a list, as great as Sullivan was Boston still has to be surpassed.

Great recognition from a great man, on and off the field,

billy will probably take it in his usual manner, "I don't deserve it", he, as usual, wouldn't be more wrong.

disagree sullivan was the first black person to captain a great britain team in any sport. and therefore shuld be on the list.

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