RUGBY League’s magnificent World Cup trophy is hitting the road!
Beginning with the Trophy Tour launch at The George Hotel, Huddersfield, Rugby League World Cup stars past and present, including Martin Offiah, will send the trophy on its way around the UK.
The 61cm high, silver-plated trophy has a fascinating and illustrious past. It was commissioned by Paul Barrière, a former French Resistance fighter, for Rugby League’s inaugural 1954 World Cup and the trophy was presented to the winning nation at the next four tournaments before being stolen from Bradford’s Midland Hotel, six days before the 1970 final.
20 years later father-of-four Stephen Uttley discovered the trophy, which had originally cost eight million French Francs (approx. £500,000 today), among rubbish dumped in a ditch near the Bradford & Bingley Rugby League Club. It was brought back into use for the 2000 World Cup and presented to the victorious Australian team.
RLWC2013 Tournament Director, Nigel Wood said: “This magnificent trophy was one of the great Paul Barrière’s many gifts to our game and deserves to be seen by as many people as possible.
“As part of our promotional plans for the tournament, the trophy will travel around the UK throughout the rest of 2012 and on into next year – right up to the first game at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff on October 26 2013.
“We’d like to thank reigning champions New Zealand for giving us the opportunity to take the trophy on the road.”
The highlights of the tour in 2012 including visits to Downing Street, The Senedd at The National Assembly for Wales, The St Helens’ Schools Whittle Cup Festival and Old Trafford, as well as the forthcoming Autumn International series matches at Lens, Wrexham, Hull and Salford.