A RUGBY legend’s moving send-off provided a handy cash bonus for two good causes.
St Jude’s ARLFC recently held a farewell party for former cherry and whites captain and coach Graeme West who also had strong associations with the amateur club in Worsley Mesnes.
The 48-year-old giant Kiwi has signalled his intention to move back to his native New Zealand after 29 years living in Wigan.
With many family members still living here, he says that he is certainly not severing his ties altogether and will probably still spend several months a year here.
But West, who has latterly been working as a taxi driver, is going home to avoid the severe British winters.
And so St Jude’s, where he was first team coach for a period, threw a party for him complete with a singer and comedian.
And in the process the evening raised £300 for Wigan Mayor Coun Joy Birch’s charities: nursing people at home with terminal cancer and helping people from multiple sclerosis.
This week club representatives were at the Mayor’s Parlour at Wigan Town Hall to present Coun Birch with the cheque.
Secretary of St Jude’s. Joe Fitzsimmons, said: “Graeme has long had links to St Jude’s and has also been a great ambassador for rugby league in Wigan in general.
“So it was with great pleasure that we had a farewell do for him at the club. And it was also nice that we were able to help the mayor’s charity in the process.”
West said: “The last couple of winters have been a bit severe and I’m a summer man, I like the idea of spending summer there and then coming here and spending summer here.
“I love the place, I love the people. We’ve got three children, who have English partners, and four grandkids, so we’d never cut off altogether.”