Moving farewell to giant of rugby league

The rugby league family came together today to say farewell to the late, great Roger Millward.

The funeral of Rugby League legend Roger Millward.

Hundreds of mourners attended St Mary’s Church in Kippax for the funeral service of the man affectionately known as ‘Roger the Dodger’.

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Many fans were sporting the colours of Hull Kingston Rovers, the club where he wrote his name into rugby league folklore after joining from hometown side Castleford in 1966.

The funeral of Rugby League legend Roger Millward.

In a moving touch, a Hull KR shirt bearing Millward’s famous number six was draped on his coffin as it was carried into the church.

Familiar rugby faces in attendance alongside Millward’s widow, Carol, included Neil Fox, John Joyner, Garry Schofield, Daryl Powell, David Oxley, Danny Orr, Lee Crooks, Mike Stephenson and Johnny Whiteley.

Paying heartwarming tribute to his friend, Whiteley described him as “the best rugby league all-round player I’ve ever seen in my life”.

Whiteley added: “He was a little devil. Roger would always pop up with some genius. Roger was a natural talent. You didn’t coach Roger Millward.”

The funeral of Rugby League legend Roger Millward.

Neil Hudgell, chairman of Hull KR, who are nicknamed The Robins, said: “Sleep tight Roger the Dodger, the greatest Robin ever.”

Millward, who had fought a battle with cancer in recent years, died last month at the age of 68.

His family asked for donations from mourners at today’s funeral to be made to three good causes – The Danny Jones Defibrillator Fund, Yorkshire Cancer Research and The Rugby League Benevolent Fund.

Millward scored a club record 207 tries and 607 goals in 406 appearances for Hull KR, leading them to five trophies as captain and six more during his 11 seasons as coach.

Awarded the MBE in 1983 for services to sport, he won 29 caps with Great Britain and 17 with England and is also a member of the Rugby League Hall of Fame.