Tony Adams: from the Premier League to rugby league
Former Arsenal captain will become the next Rugby Football League president
Arsenal legend Tony Adams says he is honoured to be appointed as the next president of the Rugby Football League (RFL).
The former England captain and four-time title winner will make the move into rugby league next summer when he takes over from current RFL president Andy Burnham.
Described by Sky Sports as a “surprise appointment”, an RFL statement said that 52-year-old Adams became closely linked to the rugby league governing body’s welfare programmes through the Sporting Chance charity he founded in 2000.
On his appointment, Adams said: “It will be an honour to become the next president of the RFL. I am passionate about working with everyone in the sport to raise the profile of mental health, wellness and resilience, for players and for everyone in rugby league.
“I’d like to play my part in championing this brilliant sport on the national stage.”
RFL chairman Brian Barwick added: “Tony Adams is known and respected throughout sport and beyond, not only for his outstanding playing career with Arsenal, but more recently for his pioneering work with Sporting Chance.
“The charity has helped more than 400 rugby league players since the RFL entered into an official partnership with Sporting Chance in 2011, and Tony himself delivered seminars at Wigan and Hull earlier this year.
“The game has recognised the importance of mental health, for players and everyone else involved, and Tony’s election is another significant step in that regard.”