The Rugby League Lions Association held its annual luncheon on Saturday January 27, 2018 when over 60 Lions attended a hugely successful function at the Cedar Court Hotel, Bradford.
The luncheon was attended by 415 guests and sponsored by Ellis Rugby, the company which last year launched a range of Lions heritage apparel which is selling well in shops and online.
The theme of the luncheon was a celebration of the 1988 Lions, who were represented by eight members of the tour that featured a memorable third Test victory over Australia in Sydney: Andy Gregory, Henderson Gill, Paul Hulme, David Hulme, Paul Loughlin, John Joyner, Paul Dixon, Karl Fairbank and business manager David Howes.
This year’s lunch once again saw heritage certificates featuring their unique Lions number presented to Lions attending for the first time since the scheme was introduced: 19 certificates were presented to players and staff.
In addition, Lions heritage certificates were also presented to family members and family representatives who have passed away. These included seven players from the historic 1946 tour, which reached Australia aboard the aircraft carrier HMS Indomitable: Bob Nicholson, Les White, Ernest Ward, Frank Whitcombe, Joe Egan, Harry Murphy and Doug Phillips.
The more recent Lions included Paul Wellens, Jamie Peacock, David Lyon, Chris Joynt, Alan Hunte, Brian Noble, Gareth Ellis and the game’s most capped international, Adrian Morley, who received his heritage certificate from Alex Murphy OBE.
The Lions paid their traditional respects to the Association members who had died since the last luncheon. The 10 Lions who passed away in 2017 were featured in a moving video tribute.