MPs back plans to rename Hull landmark after rugby legend Johnny Whiteley

Two of Hull’s MPs have said they would back plans to rename a landmark in the city after rugby league legend Johnny Whiteley following his death.

Labour’s Emma Hardy and Karl Turner said they would welcome plans to rename a landmark after the Hull FC player who died on Sunday, February 13 aged 91.

Ms Hardy, of Hull West and Hessle, said renaming a landmark such as one of the bridges over the River Hull would be a great way to honor his legacy.

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Hull East’s Mr Turner said any tribute should fully recognize the love and affection Mr Whiteley had for the city.

Hull City Council has not yet drawn up plans for a memorial or commemorative act for the player, Hull Live understands.

The renaming of Myton Bridge, which spans the River Hull and connects the A63 on its western and eastern banks, was floated by former rugby player Paul Cooke.

Mr Cooke wrote in the Hull Daily Mail that the bridge would be particularly fitting as parts of the A63 are already named after Clive Sullivan and Roger Millward. Ms Hardy said renaming the bridge would be a great way to celebrate Mr Whiteley’s legacy.

The MP said: “With Murdoch Bridge and Clive Sullivan Way, Hull has set a precedent of honoring local heroes by renaming landmarks so I think this is a great way to commemorate Johnny.”

Mr Turner said he would welcome any plan to honor the player’s legacy if it has the approval of his family.

The Hull East MP said: “Gentleman Johnny Whiteley was a Hull man born and bred, a legend to the game but above all a true legend of our city.

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“Any tribute afforded to Johnny by the city council must fully recognize the love and respect the people of Hull hold him in.”

Labor Hull North MP Diana Johnson is also understood to be in favor of whichever form of commemoration is backed by the player’s family.

The MP’s comments come as tributes to Mr Whiteley continued to come from local political figures this week.

Hull Lord Mayor Cllr Lynn Petrini said: “Johnny Whiteley was a true Hull legend and will be greatly missed.

Watch Hull City Council leader Cllr Daren Hale pay tribute to Johnny Whiteley:

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“He was a real ambassador for the city and serving Freeman.

“I would like to extend my thoughts and condolences to his family at this incredibly sad time.”

Council leader Cllr Daren Hale said: “I enjoyed the pleasure of Johnny’s company at many a rugby game and community event on Hessle Road which he attended, big or small.

“Not just one of our deserved Freemen, but a true friend of the city and its people, he will be greatly missed.”

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