St Helens R.F.C. captain James Roby has been nominated for Freedom of the Borough by St Helens Borough Council for his incredible service to St Helens over his 18-year career for the Saints.
Born and bred in St Helens, former Cowley International High School pupil, Roby, holds the record for Super League appearances and is on the verge of overtaking Kel Coslett as Saints’ most capped player, having firmly cemented his legendary status many years ago as one of the greatest players to pull on the famous Red V – and as one of the world’s best to play the game of rugby league.
No stranger to silverware, the 37-year-old has lifted 12 trophies during his time at Saints – most notably as captain of the unprecedented ‘Four-midable’ Super League Grand Final-winning teams – with a fifth in sight this season – and most recently, the World Club Challenge following Saints’ historic victory against Penrith Panthers in Australia last month (February).
Paying tribute to James at a Borough of Culture launch event at the World of Glass Museum on Saturday, where it was announced the former Super League Man of Steel winner will join darts world champions Michael Smith; Marie Rimmer CBE, MP and the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment on an illustrious list of names to receive Freedom of the Borough Status – the highest honour a council can award – St Helens Borough Council Leader Councillor David Baines, said: “It’s been debated in recent seasons, but I think it’s settled – James Roby is the greatest of them all. The length of his career at the top level and the success he’s achieved is unmatched and deserves the highest praise.
“I’ve been watching Saints since I was 7 and, in that time, I’ve seen some very special players, but none better than James. It is my honour to nominate him for Freedom of the Borough, and to say thank you for everything he’s done for St Helens, for the club, and for the game of rugby league.”
Reacting to the news, James said: “I’m incredibly honoured to have been nominated for the Freedom of the Borough. This town means so much to me and I’ve always been so proud to play for not only St Helens as a club, but for the town. I feel very lucky to be part of such a special team, full of remarkable people.”
The nomination will go to full council for formal approval at the earliest opportunity, with the Freedom of the Borough scroll to be presented at a special event later in the year.