Arsenal football legend Tony Adams will succeed Andy Burnham as RFL President when the Manchester Mayor steps down in the summer , the games governing body has announced .
Adams was capped 66 times for England in the 1990’s and is the youngest ever captain of Arsenal , being handed the armband by George Graham aged only 21 and remained as captain for 14 years , in a golden period for the Gunners in which they won 4 league titles .
The Arsenal legend has built ties with the RFL through his sporting chance charity , set up to help sportsmen and women with mental health issues , and has helped a large number of RL players and ex players . He set the charity up after having problems of hi s own with alcoholism , which was widely reported in the media during his playing days .
The charity has had a partnership with the sport since 2011 , and RFL Chairman stated that this appointment shows Rugby League’s commitment to tackling mental health issues .
Adams said of his new role “It will be an honour to become the next president of the Rugby Football League , I am passionate about working with everyone in the sport to raise the profile of mental health, wellness and resilience, for players and for everyone involved , I’d like to play my part in championing this brilliant sport on the national stage.”
Barwick aware of criticism for this appointment from outside the RFL family said ‘ Tony Adams is known and respected throughout sport and beyond, not only for his outstanding playing career with Arsenal, but more recently for his pioneering work with Sporting Chance.’
Barwick also announced that Doncaster RLFC Chairman Carl Hall will be Adams’ Vice President .