Rugby league pioneer Sue Taylor has spoken of her pride after receiving her MBE from Prince William, the Prince of Wales.

Sue, of Beaumont Park, was awarded the medal in King Charles’ first Birthday Honours last year for services to the sport.

Sue, who has been involved in grassroots rugby league since the 1970s, was the first female chair of the Huddersfield-based British Amateur Rugby League Association (BARLA) when she was elected in 2013. She is still in the post and is now its longest-serving chair.

Sue, who has just completed an 18-month term as vice-president of the Rugby Football League (RFL), was invited to Windsor Castle this month to be presented with the medal.

She attended the ceremony with husband John and granddaughter Chloe, 15, and said: “It was a wonderful occasion and I was proud to represent both rugby league and Huddersfield.

“I didn’t know until the day before that it was going to be Prince William who was presenting the medal.

“The Princess of Wales is the patron of the RFL and I met her at a garden party last year and I told the Prince I’d met his wife.

“He asked me what I did in rugby league and I said: ‘How long have you got?’ I told him I even used to wash all the rugby kits. I’ve certainly gone through a lot of washing machines in my time!

“The Prince was really lovely and genuine. It wasn’t like he was just going through the motions. It was a proud day.”

Photos courtesy of: The Press Association

Sue got into rugby league in the early 1970s through her husband, who played for Underbank in Holmfirth. Sue was soon signed up to the committee and became secretary, probably – she says – because she could type and had a typewriter! She also went on to serve in similar roles at other local clubs including St Joseph’s and Newsome Magpies.

Sue is currently secretary and treasurer of both the Huddersfield & District Amateur Rugby League and the Pennine Amateur League.

In 2022 Sue’s name was added to the RFL’s Roll of Honour as an acknowledgement of her contribution to the game.

Sue’s honour was announced in June last year and it was almost eight months before she received the medal.

“It didn’t seem real before but it was certainly worth the wait,” she said.