Player Profile

Billy Boston - Centre

Wales RL
Billy Boston
Heritage No382
Date Of Birth06/08/1934
Place Of BirthCardiff
ClubsBlackpool Borough, Wigan Warriors, Neath, Pontypridd, Cardiff International Athletic Club
HonoursGreat Britain, Wales RL, Other Nationalities
InvitationalRugby League XIII
William John Boston MBE scored 571 tries in 564 appearances his career, the second highest all-time try scorer in the history of rugby league, after Brian Bevan. Many of those were in international rugby league where he played for Wales, Great Britain and Other Nationalities. He won 33 caps for Great Britain and helped them win the World Cup in 1960, becoming their first black tourist in Australia. He scored a further 53 tries in 27 tour matches for the Lions. His two Other Nationalities caps came in the 1955-56 European Championship where he scored five tries in two games as he and seven other Welshmen were in the squad as they beat England and France to win that season's title.

Born in Angelina Street in Tiger Bay, Cardiff, he went to South Church Street School and played for Cardiff Schools, Boys Clubs of Wales, Wales Youth, the CIACS, Pontypridd and Neath in rugby union. He signed for Wigan while still a teenager for £3,000. It was a good deal for Wigan as Billy went on to score 478 tries in 487 matches for them, helping them to win there of the six Challenge Cup finals they reached in his 15 seasons at the club. He also scored twice in their 1960 Championship final victory earn Wigan their first title in eight years, and picked up two Lancashire League and one Lancashire Cup winners medals. Towards the end of his career, he played for Blackpool Borough, making his final appearance in 1970.

After finishing his playing career, he took over the running of the Griffin Hotel pub near Wigan's Central Park ground until his retirement. The Billy Boston Stand at Central Park was named in his honour. Similarly, the East Stand at the DW Stadium was officially renamed after Billy Boston in 2009. He is in the Wigan, Great Britain and Wales Halls of Fame, on the Welsh Sports Hall of Fame’s ‘Roll of Honour’ and was made MBE for his services to sport in 1986. He was given a lifetime achievement award by the BBC in 2016. He has a statue dedicated to him at Wigan and is included on the Rugby League statue at Wembley Stadium. In December 2020 he was named as one of three Welsh rugby league players to be honoured with a new statue in Cardiff Bay, the other two being Gus Risman and Clive Sullivan. The statue was unveiled in July 2023. His grandson Wes Davies also went on to play for Wigan and Wales.

N.B. Boston's Wales Rugby League heritage number is out of sequence. He was awarded a Welsh cap in 2016 for his 1955 appearance for Wales against France B. Unlike the rest of the side in that match, he didn't ever ever play for Wales in a full international. He was then later awarded heritage #382. This number, which falls between the winter and Super League era of rugby league, became available due to a reporting error from 1995 that was discovered after the heritage numbers were introduced.
1954-1955 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0
TOTAL 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0

Note: The statistics tab shows all of the player’s known appearances for this particular Wales side against international sides or other non-capped recognised first class matches. To see exactly how many full test rugby league caps for Wales (or any other country) that this player has, please click the “Test Summary” tab. Nines individual player records are not shown, please click here for full details about Nines. Please also note that clubs’ current names are used throughout this website, due to the database only being able to feed one name per club (e.g. Wigan will also be known as Wigan Warriors throughout all player profiles).