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Wednesday, 01 October 2014

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West Cumbrian star Gus Risman is ideal for rugby legend statue

Rugby league legend Gus Risman, who guided Workington Town to the club’s most famous win in the Challenge Cup in 1952, could be immortalised in stone outside Wembley Stadium.

The Rugby Football League – the sport’s governing body – plans to unveil a statue of a former great of the game to depict its association with the national stadium.

There is already a statue of England World Cup winning football captain Bobby Moore outside the stadium.

Members of the Parliamentary Rugby League Group have been asked to help choose one from a shortlist of 15 nominations.

Workington MP Tony Cunningham said that Risman, who led Workington to the Wembley win in 1952, was the ideal man.

Risman’s Workington side beat Featherstone 18-10 in front of 72,000 fans and, at the age of 41, he became the oldest ever rugby league cup winner.

Mr Cunningham said: “A statue of Gus outside Wembley would be a fitting tribute to a true icon of the game.

“To achieve what Gus did, and to play for as long as he played, is a massive achievement.

“Gus is the ideal candidate for a statue. He is a legend of the sport.

“You could make a case for all of the men on the list. Gus is special though. What he achieved in his career, and for his children to go on and be successful in the sport we love, shows the dynasty Gus left behind.”

Workington’s triumph came just a year after Risman’s side lifted the Championship title.

He made 873 appearances for Salford, Workington and Batley during a 27-season career, scoring 4,052 and kicking 1,678 goals.

The MPs’ vote today will be added to the choice from panels of fans, current and former players, coaches and the press.

Mr Cunningham said: “Gus is not only a Workington Town legend, but a rugby league legend and it would be fantastic if he was immortalised in this way, and that is why he gets my vote.”

Also on the list is Eric Ashton, the first person to win the Challenge Cup as a captain, coach and chairman.

It also includes Ellery Hanley, regarded by many as the greatest rugby league player of all time, is also on the list.

The other players are: Billy Boston, Jonathan Davies, Shaun Edwards, Don Fox, Neil Fox, Andy Gregory, Willie Horne, Alex Murphy, Martin Offiah, Clive Sullivan, Jim Sullivan and Lance Todd.

More than 10,000 votes were cast in a public vote last November.

Have your say

Sounds good to me. Very good idea.

Make sure there's something on the statue that's easy to pull or break off, like a head, arm, hand, leg or ball or something to keep the stupid vandalistic kiddies amused for a week or two.

Posted by Derek on 18 May 2012 at 12:51

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