Two of the greatest players in Rugby League history will today be inducted into the sport’s most exclusive club, the Rugby League Hall of Fame.
Willie Horne, the most celebrated player ever to emerge from Barrow, and former Castleford and Great Britain legend Malcolm Reilly OBE will be formally inducted into the Hall of Fame at a celebration dinner in association with Rugby League Cares at Huddersfield this evening.
Hailed as Barrow’s favourite son, Willie Horne captained Barrow, Lancashire, England and Great Britain between 1943-1959.
Courageous and inspiring, Horne played for England between 1945-1953 scoring 38 points in 14 games, in addition to representing Great Britain on eight occasions during the 1946-1952 seasons, scoring 20 points.
Malcolm Reilly’s playing career spanned three decades, during which he cemented his reputation as one of the games genuine hard men. Reilly debuted for Castleford aged 19 and played for his home town in two stints, first between 1967-71 and then between 1974-86 after returning from a successful stint in Australia with Manly.
The loose forward won the Lance Todd trophy with Castleford in their 11-6 win over Salford in 1969. Reilly appeared at Wembley again the following year in Castleford’s 7-2 triumph over Wigan.
Following last year’s induction of Lewis Jones, Martin Offiah MBE, Garry Schofield OBE and Mick Sullivan, RFL Chief Executive Nigel Wood believes it is important to continue to celebrate the exploits and talents of Rugby League’s ultimate heroes.
“It is right and proper that these two outstanding players join the existing 21 greats within the Rugby League Hall of Fame,” said Wood.
“As we approach an exciting new era with a new league structure for 2015, it is also important to celebrate our heritage and to recognise the players who have enriched our game through the years.”
A host of Rugby League stars and Hall of Fame members will be in attendance to celebrate the outstanding contributions of the group’s newest additions at tonight’s dinner at the John
Rugby League Cares Chairman Terry Flanagan said: “Organising and hosting the Rugby League Hall of Fame Induction dinner is an exciting fixture in our calendar.
“We are extremely proud to the have the opportunity to celebrate our sport’s former players and the contribution they have made to the great game.
“The Hall of Fame dinner is always a fantastic occasion and we are grateful to Rugby League Cares for their continued support of this important initiative.”
The Rugby League Hall of Fame was established in 1988 to commemorate the greatest ever players in British Rugby League. The induction of Willie Horne and Malcolm Reilly takes the total number of players in the Hall of Fame to 23.