BLACK HISTORY MONTH BIO - BILLY BOSTON

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josie andrews
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BLACK HISTORY MONTH BIO - BILLY BOSTON

Post by josie andrews » Wed Oct 14, 2020 11:10 am

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.

https://www.superleague.co.uk/article/1 ... lly-boston
Anyone can support a team when it is winning, that takes no courage.
But to stand behind a team, to defend a team when it is down and really needs you,
that takes a lot of courage.

fozzieskem
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Re: BLACK HISTORY MONTH BIO - BILLY BOSTON

Post by fozzieskem » Wed Oct 14, 2020 1:21 pm

I wasn’t old enough to see Mr Boston play the game my dad did though and as he put it Billy was the best he’d ever seen and my dad wasn’t a Wigan fan,he knew his rugby my Dad so I’ll certainly agree with him on this.

morley pie eater
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Re: BLACK HISTORY MONTH BIO - BILLY BOSTON

Post by morley pie eater » Wed Oct 14, 2020 3:46 pm

I was 12 before I was first allowed to go to CP in Jan 1964. (Wigan 15 Fev 14.) So I only saw the last few years of Billy's career.

In terms of Black History Month, I remember seeing news reports about the civil rights movement in America, and comparing with Billy being such a hero here. Only later did it dawn on me that he'd also experienced racism.

It's been a source of pride that Rugby League, and Wigan in particular, have led the way in accepting black players like Billy, Green Vigo, Henderson Gill, Ellery Hanley and many others, as well as many Maoris, South Sea Islanders and indigenous Australians - John Ferguson was my sons' favourite.

Not just because they played for "us" either - I can't recall any instance of Wigan fans abusing opposition black players.

josie andrews
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Re: BLACK HISTORY MONTH BIO - BILLY BOSTON

Post by josie andrews » Wed Oct 14, 2020 4:43 pm

It was my Dad & Billy that influenced me & my love of RL.

I watched the game when my Dad coached Pemberton Rovers, obviously I didn’t understand the rules of the game then, but I was proud to be in charge of the “sponge” & oranges.

Then started watching the game at CP & on TV in the late 50’s, where I saw Billy, who I thought was a Prince from another country & that started my love affair with Wigan RL.

In the 80’s early 90’s, I worked for Billy & Joan, who always said I was like an adopted daughter to them. Happy Days 🥰
Anyone can support a team when it is winning, that takes no courage.
But to stand behind a team, to defend a team when it is down and really needs you,
that takes a lot of courage.

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