Former Halifax RLFC coach and rugby league legend Malcolm Reilly will be the chief guest at the Tetley’s Challenge Cup final at Wembley Stadium on Saturday.
Reilly will welcome the players from Castleford Tigers and Leeds Rhinos before kick-off and after watching the showpiece match from the Royal Box will present the trophy to the winning team.
A former Great Britain player and coach, Reilly is one of the most respected figures in the sport’s history and coached both Castleford and Leeds during an illustrious career that brought him success on both sides of the world.
He won the Challenge Cup with Castleford as a player in 1969 and 1970 and as a coach in 1986. He also won the Lance Todd Trophy as man of the match in 1969 for his heroics against Salford, when Castleford triumphed 11-6 at Wembley in front of 97,939 spectators.
Reilly was a member of the Great Britain Lions team that won the Ashes in 1970 and had a successful spell with Australian club Manly Sea Eagles before going on to coach Newcastle Knights, who he led to Grand Final success in 1997.
RFL Chief Executive Nigel Wood said: “We are delighted that Malcolm has accepted the invitation to be Chief Guest at the Tetley’s Challenge Cup final.
“With his strong connections to both clubs and proud record in Rugby League’s oldest and most prestigious knockout competition, Malcolm is a true Challenge Cup great.”
Reilly, who has lived in West Yorkshire midway between Leeds and Castleford for much of his life, said: “I was thrilled to receive this invitation and had no hesitation in accepting. It’s a real honour to attend this fixture and I still have many close friends at both clubs.
“It is going to be a great game with plenty of outstanding players on display.”
Tickets for the final cost from as little as £22 and can be purchased by calling the 24-hour Rugby League Ticket Hotline on 0844 856 1113 or by visiting www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk