One of Australia’s greatest rugby league players is to be the guest of honour at this year’s Barton Townley Cup final at Craven Park.

Legend Rod Reddy will make a welcome return to Barrow, a club he served as a player then coach between the 1987-89 seasons.

Rod had planned a holiday in the UK and a stay in Dalton and is a close friend of Barrow head coach Paul Crarey.

Another close friend is the Barrow League vice-chairman Josh Kenley, who often visits Reddy Down Under heard of his time to be spent in Dalton and invited the former Test second row forward to be guest at the final between Millom and Ulverston on Friday, May 24.

Reddy, famously known as the ‘Rockhampton Rocket’ had a brilliant career in which he gained 16 Test caps for the Kangaroos.

He moved to St George from his home in Rockhampton to the Sydney club as a 18-year-old centre, but was swiftly moved into the second row where he was a rampant player, scoring 40 tries.

Reddy was reported to be a controversial player Down Under and was lucky not to be sent off in the replay to the first ever tied Grand final in 1977 between St George and Paramatta (9-9). He received four cautions as George won the replay 22-0. He also played in the 17-13 final victory over Canterbury two years later, scoring a try.

He spent 11 years at St George, followed by a year at Illawara Steelers before hanging up his boots. He made his international debut in the 1977 World Cup and played for Queensland in the inaugural State of Origin game with New South Wales in 1980 after representing NSW on 13 occasions.

Reddy toured the UK in 1978 and was named man of the match in the first Test with Great Britain in 1982 as part of the Invincible side that was outstanding during that tour.

Barrow then pulled off a coup when in 1987 they signed the great man, who was to play 17 games for the club before taking over as coach of a team that included current Barrow backroom staff Paul Crarey, Steve Rea and Dave Kendall.

He took them up to the first division but after a poor term, losing all but one game including a 90-0 defeat at Leeds, he was sacked and was replaced by Dennis Jackson, who Reddy had replaced in the hot seat.

Going back home, he joined the coaching staff at St George before taking over at a new club, Adelaide Rams, where he was duly sacked before the club folded after only two seasons.

Millom meet Ulverston in the 38th Barton Townley final after disposing of Dalton and Barrow Island, respectively.