A former Whitehaven player and coach is to be honoured at a special lunch in Bradford on Saturday.

Ray Dutton will be presented with a medal for his presence in the most successful Great Britain team in the history of international rugby league.

Fifty years after their Ashes-winning success, the 1970 Lions will be guests of honour at the sold-out event when the highlight will be the presentation of commemorative medals to the players and their family members.

The 1970 Great Britain tourists were the last to beat Australia in a tournament or international series and, of the 24 matches they played in Australia and New Zealand, the Lions won 22, drew one and lost just one.

That defeat came in the first Test against Australia, who were beaten in the next two as a team coached by Johnny Whiteley secured the Ashes.

Whiteley will be attending the reunion lunch to receive his medal alongside 11 of the 14 surviving members of his 26-man squad. The players attending are Ray Dutton, Tony Fisher, Alan Hardisty, Keith Hepworth, Doug Laughton Phil Lowe, Malcolm Reilly, Dave Robinson, Barry Seabourne, Alan Smith and Jimmy Thompson.

In addition, the families of Roger Millward, Chris Hesketh, Dennis Hartley and Clive Sullivan will also be present to accept their medals.

Dutton joined Whitehaven as a player in 1978 and in three seasons at the Recreation Ground clocked up 86 appearances and landed 180 goals.

In the middle season in West Cumbria (1979/80) he took on the role of player-coach, staying on as a player the following season when Phil Kitchin was appointed coach.

Whitehaven chairman Tommy Todd said: “Ray is fondly remembered at the Recreation Ground and he still comes up for at least one game a season.

“He was a proper gentleman, hugely popular with the Whitehaven fans who always give him a warm reception when he visits.”