Statue of legendary ‘Rugby Codebreakers' to be erected at the heart of Cardiff Bay


Plans to erect a statue of three legendary Welsh ‘Rugby Codebreakers‘ in Cardiff Bay have been approved. 

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Billy Boston

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Clive Sullivan

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Gus Risman

The statue celebrating Billy Boston, Clive Sullivan, and Gus Risman will be erected in Landsea Square in Mermaid Quay. All three players grew up within a three-mile radius of the Cardiff Bay area and went on to become some of the country's greatest sporting heroes. 

Established in 2020, the ‘One Team. One Race: Honouring the Cardiff Bay Rugby Codebreakers' project behind the statue was inspired to begin fundraising for a statue following calls from the Butetown and wider Cardiff Bay community for a fitting tribute to the players who did so much to improve race relations across Britain. 

Businessman and philanthropist, Sir Stanley Thomas OBE, took on the role as the chairman of the fundraising committee and kick started the fundraising campaign with a significant personal donation. 

Sir Stanley Thomas OBE, said:
"I am delighted after just 2 years of campaigning and raising funds we have reached our fundraising target and we hope that within the next few months the statue will be erected now the planning permission has been approved and these wonderful sporting heroes receive the recognition they deserve. 

"I would like to personally extend my thanks to Welsh Government, Cardiff Council, The Heritage and Cultural Exchange, the Peterson Family, Rugby Football League Facilities Trust, Cardiff and Vale College and The Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers for their kind donations and the support of Capital Law, Verde Finance, Azets and Rio for their professional skills and time supporting the delivery of this project." 

Cardiff Council Leader, Cllr Huw Thomas, said:
"These incredible players brought honour to themselves, their families, the game and the proud multi-cultural communities where they were brought up, and the statue will ensure their stories will live on as a constant source of inspiration for future generations."

Chair of the Heritage and Cultural Exchange, Gaynor Legall, said:
"The installation of the statue will mean a lot to us, something that looked like us and was about us and our story; that shared the pride that we had in those individuals with the rest of Wales. Having statues that celebrate their achievements is not just for the people of Tiger Bay but for Wales." 

The statue will be created by sculptor Steve Winterburn. His 30year career has already seen him immortalise Billy Boston in a statue in Wigan, and also includes the Rugby League statue at Wembley stadium. 

Project website: