“What have I done!?” – Danny Farrar relives arrival at Warrington

Danny Farrar is fondly remembered by Warrington fans having played and captained the club for three seasons at the turn of the century.

The classy Australian hooker fell in love with the English game and lifestyle during his brief stint on these shores, but for a while this player-club romance never looked likely.

After impressing for Penrith against the Wolves in the infamous 1997 World Club Championship, Warrington coach Darryl van der Velde set about bringing Farrar to the Wilderspool Stadium.

Warrington’s former Wilderspool Stadium home.

“He asked [Penrith coach] Royce Simmons what I was doing next year,” Farrar recalls. “I then get a phone call from Darryl and we met and done the deal in the Qantas lounge at Sydney International Airport a couple of months later.

“I signed for Warrington from the 98 season and going over I hadn’t really experienced long travel apart from the World Club Challenge.

“So I’ve rolled into Manchester Airport after a 30-hour flight, Darryl has picked us up, this is at about 7.30 in the morning, and I’m thinking I can’t wait to get home and rest.

“Darryl drops us off and then says I’ll pick you up in about an hour and a half, we’ve got training at 10. I couldn’t believe it.

“The first training session was at Victoria Park, it was overcast, drizzling rain, there was a wind chill of about minus three and the temperature was about two degrees.

“I had never been so cold in all my life. That was the first training run and I thought; what have I done!? And I was like that for about two weeks.”

After overcoming the initial struggles, Farrar’s time in Cheshire started to turnaround when his wife and children arrived from Australia a month later.

Approaching his thirties and with vast experience under his belt, Farrar was then fast-tracked into a leadership role at the club and he began to thrive both on and off the pitch.

“I started to enjoy what I was doing,” he said. “Warrington were a struggling club at the time. Darryl made me captain and it was a good experience that first couple of months.

Farrar would go on to make 85 appearances for the club.

“I did think what have I done, but the longer I stuck with it, and worked at it, the more I started to enjoy it. I still enjoy the English lifestyle now.

“People go to the pub to have a talk, which I loved, it’s a great culture. Everyone goes to the pub to socialise and that’s what the English are very good at, socialising. Just ask my wife.”

After two solid seasons, Farrar signed a one-year extension for the 2000 campaign and played out the final year of his career with the Wolves.

It was a season he would never forget as he was presented with the opportunity to play alongside rugby league great Allan Langer, before receiving an emotional send-off from the Wire faithful.

“Alf (Allan Langer) was immense and I was very lucky,” Farrar explained. “We became very good friends because I was living on my own in that last year which Alfie signed.

“He was just a champion. People don’t realise how hard you have to work to get to that sort of level. Alfie worked very hard, was extremely fit, tough, and just a great bloke.

“In my last game we beat Salford and I’ve still got it on video believe it or not. The guys lifted my up and I did a lap of honour of Wilderspool.

“That was probably one of the highlights of my career actually. The crowd there love someone that has a go and they did really appreciate what I did for them.”

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