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The year Wigan made sporting history

Cast your mind back to 2013, it was a historic year for the town of Wigan.

It all started back in May, when Wigan Athletic stunned the football community after beating Manchester City in the 2013 FA Cup Final at Wembley. Ben Watson grabbed the last minute winner.

It was their first ever major trophy, and the town was on a high.

At the same time, the Rugby League season was starting to take shape and Wigan Warriors were going well in the Super League.

In August, the Warriors gave the town of Wigan another day out at Wembley. It was the first time two sides from the same town or city, had been to Wembley for a major cup final in different sports in the same year since 1972.

Leeds were beaten 16-13 by St Helens in the Challenge Cup Final, while Leeds United won the FA Cup after beating Arsenal 1-0 thanks to an Allan Clarke goal.

The Warriors would facing Hull FC at Wembley this time, and they put on a ruthless display as they won 16-0, thanks to tries from Iain Thornley and Sam Tomkins as well as two penalties from Pat Richards.

So that was two visits to Wembley and two wins for the town of Wigan, and there was still the league to play for.

They had finished fourth in the Super League, meaning their first playoff match was against League Leaders Shield winners Huddersfield Giants away from home.

What followed was a huge statement victory as they came away with a 22-8 victory.

Their reward was home advantage in the next round, where they were left to face Leeds Rhinos after Warrington Wolves picked Huddersfield in the club call.

The Warriors were able to advance after a well-earned 22-12 victory at the DW Stadium.

There was only one hurdle left, where they would face Warrington Wolves at Old Trafford for the right to be called Super League champions. Warrington were looking for their first title since 1955, while Wigan were looking for a second title in four years.

Wigan completed their League and Cup double with victory over Warrington at Old Trafford. Credit: Richard Long/News Images

It didn’t start well for Wigan. Tries from Joel Monoghan, Simon Grix and Ben Westwood had the Wire 16-2 up just before the break. However, the Warriors were able to find a try through Darrell Goulding.

They were able to turn it up in the second half with tries from Mikey McIlorum, Blake Green, Josh Charnley and Pat Richards to complete the turnaround and confirm a League and Cup double for the Warriors- their first since 1995.

That completed an incredible sporting year for the town. Even though Wigan Athletic were relegated from the Premier League in the end, they still went on to enter Europe, through their FA Cup win for the first time in their history.

It was completely unique, a season that might not happen again for a long time.

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