AUSTRALIAN rugby league legend Laurie Daley received an emotional welcome home yesterday as about 200 friends, family and supporters gathered to honour his incredible career.
The Junee born-and-raised rugby league icon was moved to tears yesterday as his home town celebrated the official renaming of historic Willow Park to Laurie Daley Oval.
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On the ground where he learnt to play football with the Junior Diesels, Daley was stuck for words as he was slathered with overwhelming admiration from sporting dignitaries and supporters.
"This is such a humbling experience, to be honoured like this in front of my friends and family where my career started," he said.
"I'm getting choked up ... I know my father would be extremely proud.
"This is very special in my heart."
Heartfelt memories and stories about Daley's career were shared by Junee mayor Lola Cummins, NSWRL boss Geoff Carr and NSW minister for sport Graham Annesley yesterday.
Cummins admitted the idea to rename the rugby league fields in Daley's honour was first explored several years ago, but the local council held off until the grounds could be completely refurbished.
As well as commemorating the renaming of the oval, a new press box and canteen area was unveiled yesterday, which also includes a plaque detailing Daley's career achievements.
Daley is considered one of the greatest rugby league players, having spent his 13-year career with Canberra Raiders and playing 26 games for NSW and Australia.