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Wigan Warriors announce intention to “engage with former players better than ever before”

Wigan Warriors Stadium the DW Stadium

As Wigan enter their 150th year, Britain’s most successful rugby league club have announced their intention to do more for their former players honouring the past which made them such a household name in the rugby league world.

The five time Super League Champions are looking to add a sixth Grand Final win in 2022 after coming up short in 2020 before a disappointing campaign in 2021 saw the club look in new and refreshing directions. They’ve since appointed Matty Peet as Head Coach whilst building a star-studded support network around him in the shape of Sean O’Loughlin, Shaun Wane and Lee Briers whilst poaching NRL star Cade Cust to start in the halves next season.

But the club are keen to honour the past as well as they announced on the club website. They intend to work alongside the Past Players Association to keep in touch with as many ex-Wigan players as possible and engage with past players better than ever before.

The Association was previously run by Barbara Thompson who sadly passed away in 2021. Wigan intend to continue Barbara’s good work alongside Club Historian Keith Sutch by contacting as many former players as possible.

On this, former player and current Executive Director Kris Radlinski said: “2022 will see us engaged with our past players better than ever before. Barbara Thompson ran the Association for so long and we owe it to her legacy to carry it on. 1,113 players have represented our great Club with another five players at least to be given their Heritage Number this year. With many activities planned to celebrate the 150th year, we need to build our database of player contacts, so please get involved if you can help supply details. It is our intention to celebrate the official birthday in November 2022 with a firework display at Robin Park Arena and a parade of past players greater than we have ever assembled.”

The firework display is just the tip of the iceberg, with Wigan planning a number of events throughout the year which will come to ahead in Round 22 clash against Warrington as the whole club, including past players, will come together to celebrate the club’s 150th year as Wigan’s first game came against the Wire back in 1873.

Former player and coach Shaun Wane, who currently occupies the Leadership and Management Director role alongside his duties as England coach, also spoke excitedly about the initiative: “To have played for my hometown club was my dream as a kid, to have achieved it was even better than I ever imagined.

“Making my debut was a day I will always remember for the rest of my life. That is why I am so proud to be known as a Wigan player, the period when we played, or the things we won or how many games we played is irrelevant because the only thing that really matters is that we played for this great Club.

“That is what bonds all the past players together, many have wanted to do it but we did it. We are the past players of this great club and we are proud.”

The club is asking former players and families of former players to get in contact via the club website.

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