SHAUN Edwards last night said he was “honoured” after being inducted into the RFL’s Hall of Fame.
The Wigan legend – the most decorated player in the game – became the 25th player to join the coveted list.
Albert Goldthorpe was also inducted at a special event at Salford’s Imperial War Museum, which was attended by members of the England and New Zealand teams which clash in the third and final Test tomorrow.
Incredibly, Edwards has become the first Wiganer to join the coveted list since the Hall of Fame was introduced in 1988.
None of the previous inductees on the 23-strong list – including Wigan greats Billy Boston, Martin Offiah, Jim Sullivan and Ellery Hanley – were born in the town.
Edwards said: “It’s a privilege to be alongside such great players, the list goes back a long way and it’s an honour to be recognised.
“I was very proud to play for Wigan and Great Britain.”
Former Wigan chairman Maurice Lindsay and Edwards’ old PE teacher Steve McLeod were among his guests.
Edwards added: “People say that I didn’t smile and a bit of that is down to Steve, because he used to say to us, ‘You don’t show emotion. You’re a St John Fisher player - you’re supposed to score’.”
A former Great Britain captain, Edwards won 37 major honours in 467 appearances for Wigan over 14 years.
Warriors coach Shaun Wane – a former team-mate – said: “You speak about people getting what they deserve, and he epitomised that.
“He put in more effort than any player I’ve ever known.”
League great Alex Murphy was coach of Wigan when Edwards signed.
“I knew then he was special,” said Murphy, who presented the award with Mal Reilly. “I’d seen him play schoolboys and he was such a quick learner.
“He was offered more money by St Helens but he signed for his hometown club – he’s Wigan through and through.”
The Mike Gregory Spirit of Rugby League award was presented to Matt King, who was paralysed playing for London Broncos academy in 2004 and has gone on to become a charity fund-raiser.