Ray Unsworth Joins RFL Roll of Honour

Ray Unsworth Joins RFL Roll of Honour

Five people who have given outstanding service to Rugby League have joined the RFL Roll of Honour for 2012.

The Roll of Honour was introduced in 2003 and recognises individuals who have performed exceptionally on behalf of the game over a long period of time as players and/or administrators and volunteers.

The five new inductees are Ray Unsworth, Ron England, Mike Nicholas, Jackie Reid MBE and Andrew Cudbertson.

"On behalf of everyone in Rugby League I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to Ray, Ron, Mike, Jackie and Andrew for their outstanding support for the sport," said RFL Chairman Richard Lewis.

"Their inclusion on the RFL Roll of Honour is thoroughly deserved and is an acknowledgment of their exceptional commitment and dedication over a sustained period."

All five inductees were inducted on to the RFL Roll of Honour at a luncheon in Bradford on Sunday January 29.

Ray Unsworth has played a pivotal role in the success of the English Schools Rugby League. Ray was appointed Chairman of Wigan Schools in 1970 and two years later he oversaw all the arrangements for the first ever Test match against the Australian Schoolboys. Since 1984 he has been the Honorary Secretary of the English Schools Rugby League and is involved in all the discussions with the RFL in connection with the future of Rugby League in schools.

Ron England was instrumental in establishing the outstanding Champion Schools competition, the largest Rugby League competition in the world. He also introduced Rugby League to Essex while teaching in the area. Ron has been England Students Rugby League fixtures secretary since 2002. Ron continues to support the RFL in the future restructure of the schools game.

Mike Nicholas has played, coached and helped develop Rugby League over five decades. Between 1972 and 1980 he made 152 appearances for Warrington, which included victory in the Challenge Cup Final in 1974. Mike won six caps for Wales between 1975 and 1979 and went on to manage the Wales Rugby League team in 1994. Since 2002 he has put in countless miles and hours to support the development of Wales Rugby League, which has grown from four teams to over 7,000 participants. He has consistently used his profile to promote Rugby League, lobbying at the highest levels in sport, politics and commerce on Rugby League's behalf.

Jackie Reid MBE has been involved with Rugby League for over 50 years, as a player, coach, official and volunteer. He played as an amateur for Egremont ARLFC, Cumbria and Great Britain before turning professional with Whitehaven in 1950. He was a founder member of the Cumberland Amateur Rugby Open Age League Management Committee in 1975 and is still an active member of the committee to this day. Jackie also chairs the Copeland and Eden Service Area Committee and the Cumbria Sports Academy Trust.

Andrew Cudbertson has given an outstanding contribution and dedicated work to Student Rugby League. He was the founding member of the Leeds University Rugby League Club which played the first ever competitive game involving a student team. He founded the University Rugby League which then had five teams and has since evolved into the modern day Student Rugby League now encompassing almost 70 higher education institutions.

The RFL Roll of Honour in full is:

2003 Frank Myler

2004 Tommy Sale / Johnny Whiteley MBE

2005 Harold Swift MBE / Bev Risman / Maurice Oldroyd

2007 Tony Gartland / Douglas Hird / Stan Wall

2008 Hilda Hardy / Ray French MBE / Mike Stephenson

2009 Peter Fox / Fred Lindop MBE / Ron Earnshaw / Vic Wakeling CBE

2010 Neville Smith

2011 Martin Coyd / Raymond Fletcher / June Kennedy

2012 Ray Unsworth / Ron England / Mike Nicholas / Jackie Reid MBE / Andrew Cudbertson


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