The Board of Nationaler Rugby League Deutschland e.V. has inaugurated a Hall of Fame on the occasion of the fifteenth anniversary of Germany’s first international rugby league encounter, a seven-a-side match with Holland in 2005.
“We have been thinking of starting a Hall of Fame for some time and decided that marking this occasion would be the right one”, said NRLD President Bob Doughton. “There was no doubt who the first inductee should be; Simon Cooper, the man who started rugby league in Germany.”
Simon was inducted for his services to the sport, contributing massively both on and off the field for nearly 17 years. He started gathering players to participate back in 2003, played in 13 internationals and was joint coach for a further eight games before contracting cancer which has prevented him from further active participation.
Serving on the board, he was instrumental in the development of the BundesLeague, the German domestic league, and last year the NRLD Board started a new cup competition which was named the Cooper Cup in his honour.
“In the coming years, our Hall of Fame will be populated by some of the great names and it is only right and fitting that Si should be the first, it is our way of saying thank you for all of his selfless and passionate commitment to establishing the sport here,” Doughton added.