A new display celebrating the extraordinary sporting legacy of the Leeds Rhinos has been unveiled at Leeds City Museum.
Featuring vintage photos, kits, programmes and tickets from some of the club’s historic clashes, the display tells the inspiring story of one of the world’s most successful Rugby League clubs.
And taking pride of place is the Yorkshire Cup, a trophy which saw teams from across the county take to the field and battle to be Yorkshire’s best for almost 90 years.
The Rhinos took home the impressive trophy, contested between 1905 and 1993, an incredible 17 times and it has been loaned by the Rugby Football League to the museum for the new display, which also focusses on how the club’s Headingley home has developed since they were founded in 1895.
Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, said: “This display is a fitting tribute to Leeds’s long and rich history of Rugby League and to the contribution the Rhinos have made to the city as a whole.
“We’re extremely proud of their accomplishments, the tradition of sporting excellence they have established and the example they set to young aspiring sportsmen and women across Leeds.”
Richard Higson-Blythe, site development officer at Leeds City Museum, who has brought the display together, added: “The Rhinos have had a truly remarkable impact on the sport of Rugby League and on the city of Leeds and it’s been a privilege to look back at some of the many triumphs and occasions they’ve been part of over the years.
“This display is not only a celebration of how much the Rhinos achieved, but it also shows how the club, its amazing fanbase and its unique Headingley home have changed and evolved together.”
The new display has been inspired by the current redevelopment of the Emerald Headingley Stadium, home of both the Rhinos, Rugby Union team Yorkshire Carnegie and Yorkshire County Cricket Club.
It also highlights the work done by the Leeds Rhinos Foundation, which delivers projects around Leeds that make a lasting, positive impact under the banner of “changing lives through sport.”
Alongside the Yorkshire Cup, other exhibits include a programme from the 2004 Super League Grand Final, which saw the Rhinos defeat Bradford Bulls 16-8 and win their first championship for 32 years.
Also on display is an admission box to the South Stand, which, before 1939, fans attending games would place their loose change inside to pay for admission plus a crowd barrier from the famous terrace, removed before it’s demolition last summer.
Commenting on the exhibition Rhinos chief executive Gary Hetherington said, “I am sure the new display will be a great attraction for fans young and old. We are very proud of our heritage and our place within the lives of people in our home city. We would like to thank the club’s Heritage Committee, who have done such a fantastic job in acquiring and preserving the various items, and I hope fans will enjoy the experience.
“As part of the redevelopment of Emerald Headingley, we will be placing our heritage at the heart of the fans experience at the stadium and this exhibition is a wonderful starting point for our future plans.”
And to coincide with the display, Mr Hetherington will give a free talk entitled The History of the World’s Most Unique Sporting Venue at the museum on May 23 from 6.30 pm until 8 pm.
Leeds City Museum is on Millennium Square and is free to enter.
For more details, please visit: https://www.leeds.gov.uk/museumsandgalleries