WIGAN’S favourite adopted son can’t even go out for a pizza without being recognised.
Bradley Wiggins, multiple Olympic gold medallist and first British Tour de France winner, was talking candidly about how his life has changed beyond recognition in a matter of weeks.
The down-to-earth cyclist, who was at the DW Stadium on Monday night with Billy Boston to watch his beloved Warriors in action, says trips to the supermarket always involve being asked for photos and autographs.
The 32-year-old, who is married to a Shevington lass and has a home in Wigan, said: “I left home on June 22 nobody really knew who I was locally apart from a couple of people. This overwhelming adulation bares no comparison to anything I have ever had before.
“It was fantastic and brilliant and it was bizarre that the media was queuing up at the bottom of my lane when I won the Tour de France.
“A lot changed – we couldn’t even go for a pizza any more. ‘Sorry to disturb your dinner, can I just have a photo?’ – it’s difficult. I think the kids struggled. They just wanted to see me. They hadn’t seen me for the best part of seven months.”
Wiggins also spoke about his support for the Joining Jack campaign – raising money for the young son of former Warriors star Andy Johnson who has a form of muscular dystrophy. The cyclist hit the headlines by making the now famous linked finger gesture midway through the Tour while wearing the coveted yellow jersey.
He said: “I am lucky to be given the opportunity to work with different charities and a lot keep asking me for their support. However I found that the Joining Jack was something that I had to get behind.
“I have met with Andy a couple of times and it just seemed to strike a chord with me what they are trying to do because I am a parent myself. I am looking to give my all to it in the future because it seems like worthwhile cause. Unlike some other charities you actually know what they are battling for.”