Warriors celebrate their rich heritage

Billy Boston

Billy Boston

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WIGAN Warriors are celebrating their heritage this week by giving each of their players, past and present, a number to mark the order in which they donned the famous cherry and white.

It is all being done in the build up to National Heritage Day 2013, which is this Friday when Wigan take on Huddersfield at the DW Stadium.

Each player to have represented the club will receive a number, which recognises their time at the club.

The 15 players to play in Wigan’s first ever match on September 7, 1895 against Broughton Rangers in the old Northern Union have been awarded the first 15 numbers, with forward Billy Benson having the honour of being named number one.

The move mirrors similar schemes launched by the likes of Warrington Wolves and also England’s Test cricket players.

Wigan Warriors rugby general manager, Kris Radlinski – who is number 885 – said: “Our Heritage numbers have been long in the making and have taken over five years to develop and research alongside the myriad of related statistics.

“We see this as a great way of recognising each and every player who has made a contribution to the history of our great club. It will also spearhead some further initiatives we have planned along with the reformation of the club’s Past Players’ Association and the Heritage Day event becoming an annual event within our calendar.”

In total, the Heritage project team of Keith Sutch, Mike Latham and latterly Peter Stott have recorded more than 1,000 players.

These includes giants such as Jim Sullivan (281), Ken Gee (384), Eric Ashton (563), Joe Egan (411), Brian McTigue (530), Billy Boston (553), Shaun Edwards (801), Ellery Hanley (822), Dean Bell (830), Andy Gregory (833), Andy Farrell (870), Martin Offiah (872) and Trent Barrett (996).

Any former players who would like more information on Heritage Day, numbers or the Past Players’ Association should contact Paul MacLeod at p.macleod@wiganwarriors.com or on 01942 762888.