Eric Ashton MBE

Inducted into the Hall of Fame - 2005

EricAshtonHoF

Born: 24 January 1935; St Helens, Lancashire

 

Died: 20 March 2008

 

Position: Centre

 

Club: Wigan

 

Eric was an English rugby league footballer of the 1950s and 60s and later a coach.

 

He played his whole first grade football career for Wigan RLFC along with at times both captaining and coaching them; his position of choice was right centre.

 

Over the span of his career he came to be known as one of the best centres in the modern game and formed a devastating partnership with Billy Boston, somewhat because of this combination he went on to represent the Great Britain national side making his debut in 1957.

 

He made 497 first class appearances, scoring 1,589 career points and won 26 international caps for Great Britain.

 

Eric Ashton captained the Lions to an Ashes series victory over Australia and lead GB to World Cup triumph in 1960.

 

He appeared in six Challenge Cup Finals at Wembley and won the trophy three times.

 

Aston is also the only person to have been the captain, coach and chairman of a  Challenge Cup winning side.

 

In 1966, Eric Ashton became the first Rugby League player to be honoured by Her Majesty the Queen with an MBE
 

After his retirement from league in 1969, Ashton went on to coach Wigan as well as Leeds, St Helens and Great Britain; he also had a brief stint as chairman of St Helens in 1996. He was a member of the St Helens board for fifteen years.