14 Oct 2020

Black History Month Bio - Billy Boston

Billy Boston (Wigan, Blackpool, Wales & Great Britain)

Few players have captured the hearts of a town, or a sport, like Billy Boston, the unofficial Lord Mayor of Wigan. Born in Cardiff’s Tiger Bay docklands in 1934, he was 19 when he signed for Wigan. He was so good that after just half a dozen matches for the club he was selected for Great Britain’s 1954 tour to Australia and New Zealand.

He didn’t disappoint, scoring two tries in his debut against Australia and setting a new try-scoring record for a tourist. But Billy never disappointed anyone. In a career lasting 15 years and 564 matches, he scored tries at an average of more than one a game, and remains second only to Brian Bevan as the greatest try-scorer the game has ever seen.

He won every honour available to him, including three Challenge Cup final victories at Wembley and a memorable Championship Final win over Wakefield Trinity in 1960 when he scored two decisive tries.

With the feet of a ballet dancer and the shoulders of a heavyweight boxing champion, Billy was not only the perfect rugby league winger, but could adapt to play in any position in the backline. No wonder he was one of the first nine players to be inducted into the Rugby League Hall of Fame in 1988.

But he was also something more. As the adopted son of the town that gave the world the Wigan Casino, Billy Boston was the Welshman who was the embodiment of the northern soul.

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