Wales Rugby League have congratulated Jim Mills, after the former international player was inducted into the Welsh Sports Hall of Fame last night.
The 78-year old was an uncompromising prop forward. He originally played rugby union with Cardiff RFC, before turning professional with Halifax in 1965. He won 17 full caps for Wales, including appearances in the 1975 World Championship where he was part of the side who beat England in the famous “Battle of Brisbane“. He won six caps for Great Britain and made another 17 Great Britain tour appearances. His international exploits gave him a place in the first ever World XIII in 1978.
Following Halifax, he played for Salford, Bradford, North Sydney Bears, Workington and Widnes. He was twice a Challenge Cup Final winner with the latter. After 343 competitive games of professional rugby league, Jim retired and became the Chairman of Widnes, bringing Jonathan Davies to the club. In 1991, when Wales relaunched the international side, Jim became the first team manager, staying in that role for three years. He was inducted into the inaugural Widnes Hall of Fame in 1992. Officially the head of the Past Players Association at Widnes, he does enough to perform a similar role in the north for WRL.
Mills said: “This was a big surprise to me. The Welsh Sports Hall of Fame is something that I dreamed of getting into and I didn’t think it would ever come along.
“I’m so proud to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. So many great players have already been inducted, it’s nice to be part of it.”
WRL chairman Brian Juliff said: “Jim was a fantastic player and this a great honour for both him and Wales Rugby League.
“For nearly 60 years, Jim has been an outstanding ambassador for Wales Rugby League. First as a player, team manager and everything else he now does to promote the game and our organisation. I’m thrilled to see him receive this award, both as a former playing colleague and as a good friend.”
The award was presented at a fundraising evening for the Cardiff Bay Rugby Codebreakers “1 Team 1 Race” project, where later this year, a statue will be unveiled in Cardiff Bay featuring three Wales Rugby Legends, Billy Boston, Gus Risman and Clive Sullivan.
Mills adds: “It was great to see last night how the Cardiff Council and Sir Stanley Thomas (chairman of Cardiff Bay Rugby Codebreakers) brought this statue project to fruition. We’ve talked about it for so long and for it all to come together, it’s brilliant and I’m glad Billy’s still here to see it.”