On Sunday 11th July, Leeds Rhinos unveiled the first ever statue at Emerald Headingley Stadium in tribute to the club’s all time leading appearance maker John Holmes.
John Holmes remains one of the greatest players to have ever played for Leeds Rugby League having played for over two decades for his home town club. A Kirkstall born and bred lad, his impact and legacy is huge, and it is only fitting that a lasting memorial is erected in John’s memory at the iconic Emerald Headingley Stadium.
Holmes, who died aged 57 in 2009, made his Leeds debut as a 16-year-old in 1968 and made a club record 625 appearances before retiring in 1990. His brother Phil continues to serve as a Trustee for Leeds Rhinos Foundation and Secretary for the Leeds Rhinos Players Association.
Sculptor Steve Winterburn has once again turned his focus to Rugby League having successfully created The Wembley Stadium Rugby League heroes statue. The John Holmes Statue will be placed at the front of the Tetley’s South Stand for everyone to appreciate and remember a Rugby League icon.
The cost of around £110,000 for the statue was raised by generous donations from the rugby league community and privately via Leeds Rhinos Foundation.
Phil Caplan, chairman of Rhinos’ heritage committee, said: “It is an historic moment for Emerald Headingley to have its first statue, which will act as a focal point for all fans.
“To have the ultimate local – and reluctant – hero looking out over Kirkstall, where he came from, could not be more appropriate, fitting and poignant.”