NEXT WEEK’S event to celebrate the life of the late Leeds Rhinos president Harry Jepson OBE will be “a reunion for the whole of rugby league”.
The gathering at Headingley Carnegie on Tuesday (11.45am) is open to members of the public, as well as invited guests.
Former Test player Tony Currie, who had a spell with Leeds in the 1980s, has flown over from Australia to attend and the entire Rhinos squad will be present, along with past and present players and administrators from across the sport.
Jepson was 96 when he died last month and Rhinos chief executive Gary Hetherington said: “We want to celebrate Harry’s life and what a wonderful life he had.
“Right up until our last home game before he died Harry welcomed all the visiting officials pre-match, so he knew all the officials of the current day. He also knew so many from the past, players and administrators. The event is also for everybody Harry taught or worked with during his career as a teacher in Leeds and it is for the fans as well.
“Everyone who knew Harry is invited to come along and celebrate what has been a wonderful life. It will be a reunion for the entire sport.”
Garry Schofield, who is one of his former pupils, will talk about Jepson’s days at a teacher and Kevin Sinfield will read his favourite poem.
There will be a bible reading by Jamie Jones-Buchanan and other speakers include Tony Collins (on Harry and Hunslet in 1920s and 30s), Ken Eyre and Ray Abbey (his time at Hunslet), Alan Smith and Tony Currie (Harry at Headingley), Maurice Lindsay and Robert Elstone (Harry at the RFL), Nigel Wood and Alf Davies (his love of the French and international game), Phil Caplan and Ronnie Teeman (his family) and Tom Riordan (his contributions to the city).
Singer Lizzie Jones will perform and the celebration will be led by Rhinos chaplain Steven Mitchell. The event on the pitch at Headingley will be followed by a service for family and close friends only at Lawnswood Crematorium.
Pallbearers will be former players Bill Ramsey, Roy Dickinson, Lee Crooks and Jamie Peacock, along with Wigan Warriors coach Shaun Wane – who had a spell as a Leeds player in the 1990s – and Rhinos’ Brian McDermott.