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Boston has the ultimate honour at Wembley.

WELSH rugby great Billy Boston is to feature in a group statue of rugby league legends outside Wembley Stadium.

Cardiff-born Boston, now 77, starred for Wigan from 1953-68 and scored a club record 478 tries in 488 appearances.

Boston will be honoured alongside fellow league greats Martin Offiah, Alex Murphy, Eric Ashton and Gus Risman.

Rugby league, whose Challenge Cup final was first played at the national stadium since 1929, is only the second sport to be recognised by Wembley, with the five legends set to appear alongside footballer Bobby Moore, captain of England's 1966 World Cup-winning team.

Boston said: "It's a wonderful honour and privilege. I'm deeply moved that there's going to be a statue of me outside Wembley alongside Gus, Alex, Martin and Eric and that people will look on us all as they do Bobby Moore.

"There is no finer venue anywhere in the world.

"It's a fabulous stadium and it still makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up every year when I come to watch matches here."

The final choice of legends was made by the RFL's board of directors from a shortlist assembled following a public vote and a number of selection panels.

These panel comprised of fans, journalists, coaches, players and MPs, and was announced at Wembley 48 hours before the 2012 final between Leeds and Warrington.

RFL chief executive Nigel Wood said: "The RFL board's view echoed that of the many thousands of people who were involved in the selection process in that the statue needed to be a group representation.

"So many players have contributed to the rich history of the sport and its association with Wembley and the board were keen that should be reflected in the statue.

"Having Risman, Boston, Ashton, Murphy and Offiah all part of the statue means that every generation of the sport is celebrated."

Offiah, best remembered for his stunning length-of-the-field try for Wigan against Leeds in 1994, was shocked to discover he would form part of the statue.

"I couldn't believe it when I heard the news," he said. "I've said from the beginning that I'd be proud to support a rugby league statue at Wembley, no matter whom or what it was.

"But to know that I will be part of the statue is very special.

"This sits alongside anything that I achieved in my playing career. I'm immensely proud."

Murphy, who captained three different sides at the iconic venue and has an unbeaten record there as both player and coach, is equally honoured to be part of the work of art.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:1U1MA
Date:Aug 24, 2012
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