Sidestepping into the past of Rugby League history

The 1936 Courtney Goodwill Trophy

The 1936 Courtney Goodwill Trophy

 

The Heroes and Legends Rugby League Museum at Rugby League Headquarters, Moore Park is packed with fascinating, random and historical information about ‘the greatest game of all’. 

Many of the displays leave you wide-eyed and open-mouthed in awe; trophies, memorabilia, information and human stories are available for everyone to enjoy.

Terry’s favourite piece of sporting memorabilia in the Museum is the magnificent Courtney Goodwill Trophy which he says is “pretty hard to go past, it’s such a special piece”.

Resident historian Terry Williams’ guided tour is not-to-be-missed – it's akin to stepping into a time-machine – one that takes you back through the different eras of the game. Hear about League’s breakaway from Rugby Union and the creation of the NSW competition; look at the treasure trove of trophies including a full line-up of premiership trophies and International trophies.

Terry’s favourite piece of sporting memorabilia in the Museum is the magnificent Courtney Goodwill Trophy which he says is “pretty hard to go past, it’s such a special piece”. This 1936 trophy is the ‘Taj Mahal’ of all trophies standing at 1.76 metres tall and is a standout of the Museum.

The trophy’s origins, told in detail by Terry, symbolise goodwill and sportsmanship on and off the field. The Trophy was donated by New Zealand businessman RD Courtney to recognise sporting achievement and promote goodwill among nations; the trophy depicts pioneering greats of the code from around the world, including James Lomas 1899 - 1923 (England), Jean Galia 1934 – 1936 (France), Albert Baskerville 1907 – 1908 (New Zealand) and Dally Messenger 1908 - 1913 (Australia).

Good international relations don’t stop there. The trophy is crafted from different finely grained woods obtained from each of the four countries. It’s adorned with four sets of national figures; the British Lion for England, the Chanticleer of France, the Kangaroo and Aboriginal man representing Australia, and the Kiwi and Maori from New Zealand. The trophy is proof that sport represents international collaboration, fosters friendship as well as competition.

The Heroes and Legends Rugby League Museum is open Monday to Friday 10am–3pm and general admission is free. 

Simon Conyard. M&G NSW Digital intern.

Museums & Galleries of NSW helps museums, galleries and Aboriginal cultural centres of NSW create exciting and inspiring experiences for visitors and strong, thriving local communities. We develop their skills, connect them with others in the industry, provide funding, point visitors their way, and give them access to ground-breaking exhibitions.

Museums & Galleries of NSW is supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW.

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