RUGBY league pioneer Roy Francis, whose last job in the sport was as Bradford Northern head coach, has had a new statue of him unveiled as part of Black History Month.

Welsh international Francis, born in Brynmawr in 1919, became the first black British professional coach in any sport when he took charge of Hull FC in the 1950s.

He led them to two top-flight titles, in 1956 and 1958, before leaving for Leeds in 1963, who he guided to Challenge Cup glory in 1968.

After a brief spell in Australia in charge of North Sydney, he enjoyed second spells at both Hull and Leeds, winning the Championship First Division for the third and final time in his career with the latter.

After leaving Leeds in 1975, he took charge of Bradford Northern, where he stayed until 1977, before being replaced by Peter Fox.

Francis took charge of Northern in 61 games, winning 29 of them.

During his time at the helm, he coached club legends such as Keith Mumby and David Redfearn.

Francis was a handy player himself, scoring 229 tries in his 356 career games.

He played primarily on the wing, serving Barrow and Hull FC with particular distinction.

He won caps for both Wales and Great Britain just after the Second World War, becoming the first black man to play for the latter.

To commemorate his achievements in the sport, a statue of Francis was unveiled in Brynmawr over the weekend.

Wales Rugby League invited some special guests down to be a part of the occasion, including Jonathan Davies OBE and 1995 World Cup star Kevin Ellis.

Fittingly, Roy’s son Geoff helped Davies unveil the statue on Saturday.

It was Geoff first time back in Brynmawr for 75 years.