RL’s Service of Remembrance

Senior Representatives from the Six Clubs involved in Saturday’s Finals at Wembley Stadium will gather to pay tribute to fallen heroes of the past at Friday’s Rugby League Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph.

The Rugby League Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph, which has become such a significant feature of the Challenge Cup Finals weekend in London, will take place this Friday. With Rugby League mourning the loss of Rob Burrow CBE, senior representatives of the six clubs involved in Saturday’s Finals at Wembley Stadium will gather to pay tribute to fallen heroes of the past.

They will be joined by Sir Lindsay Hoyle, the President of the Rugby Football League, as well as Martin Offiah MBE, who will be the Chief Guest at Wembley on Saturday to mark the 30th anniversary of the most celebrated try in Challenge Cup Final history.

The event will be hosted by the UK Armed Forces Rugby League, who will lay a wreath at the Cenotaph, as will the Royal British Legion.

Simon Johnson, the RFL Chair, said: “In this most difficult of weeks for all who have admired Rob Burrow both during his playing career and since his retirement, our Service of Remembrance will allow the sport to come together and reflect.

“Each year since I became Chair of the RFL, I have been honoured and humbled to lay a wreath in tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice. This year we will also be aware of the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy – the courage shown, and sacrifices made, by so many, to turn the course of the Second World War.

“It is a ceremony unique to Rugby League, as for a short period on a Friday morning before our Challenge Cup Finals Day at Wembley, Whitehall is closed to traffic, and supporters of many clubs join players, coaches and officials from the finalists to pay their respects.

“I will be privileged to join Stefan Ratchford and Liam Farrell, the Club captains of Warrington Wolves and Wigan Warriors – what a reflection of the values of their clubs and the sport that they will take time out the day before the biggest match of the season to join this occasion.

“Last year’s ceremony was historic as we were joined by representatives of the Leeds Rhinos and St Helens teams who contested the first Women’s Challenge Cup Final at Wembley, and given the week’s events it will be especially significant to join Gary Hetherington, Sue Ward, Jasmine Cudjoe and Elle Frain from the Rhinos – as well as Jamie Jones-Buchanan MBE, who will attend in his role as an observer on the RFL Board.

“We have also been pleased to welcome representatives of finalists of the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup since that competition’s first Wembley Final in 2019, and in addition to players and officials from Sheffield Eagles and Wakefield Trinity, our Match Officials will be represented by Beth Neilson, who will make history of her own at Wembley on Saturday as a touch judge for the Women’s Final – the first woman to earn such an appointment in a senior Final at Wembley.

“As ever, I urge Rugby League supporters in London for the weekend to include the Service of Remembrance in their plans. On such a significant weekend for the sport, there is no better way to set the tone.”

The service will commence shortly before 11am with an introduction and prayers, preceding a two-minute silence. Following the wreath-laying, there will be prayers and the traditional bugle-call “The Rouse”, which will bring the ceremony to a close.

Wednesday 05 June 2024