RFL to honour 1970 Ashes side

Rugby League mistake

The RFL have announced they will be honouring the 1970 Great Britain Lions side that went on tour to Australia.

They played 24 matches in Australia and New Zealand and won 22.

The Lions side will be guests of honour at the Lions Reunion luncheon on Saturday. The sold-out event will take place at the Cedar Court Hotel in Bradford.

Johnny Whitley MBE, who coached the side will be there along with 11 of the 14 surviving members.

They are Ray Dutton, Tony Fisher, Alan Hardisty, Keith Hepworth, Doug Laughton Phil Lowe, Malcolm Reilly OBE, Dave Robinson, Barry Seabourne, Alan Smith and Jimmy Thompson.

Meanwhile, the families of Roger Millward MBE, Chris Hesketh, Dennis Hartley and Clive Sullivan MBE will also be present to accept their medals.

RFL Chief Executive, Ralph Rimmer, said: “It will be a privilege and an honour for me to present commemorative medals to the great Johnny Whiteley, to the other Lions legends in attendance, and of course to the family members of some of the greatest players our game has known.

“Their achievements on that 1970 Great Britain tour were extraordinary and will never be surpassed. The whole of Rugby League salutes them.”

RL Lions Association secretary John Ledger said: “We would like to thank Ralph and the RFL, both for this fantastic gesture in awarding medals to the 1970 Lions and for their continued support of the Association.

“The reasons why medals weren’t awarded back in 1970 are lost in the mists of time.

“However, it is fitting and proper that in this, the 50th anniversary of their marvellous achievement, the special place this group of players have in the sport’s history is recognised in this way.”

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