Council wants sporting recognition

Coun David Molyneux with the Northern Rail Cup, the FA Cup, the rugby league World Cup, the Super League trophy and Challenge Cup

Coun David Molyneux with the Northern Rail Cup, the FA Cup, the rugby league World Cup, the Super League trophy and Challenge Cup

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WIGAN Council’s deputy leader has written to the BBC calling for the town to be recognised at this year’s Sports Personality of the year awards.

Coun David Molyneux has sent a letter to Carl Doran, the programme’s executive editor, with strong evidence as to why Wigan is the sporting capital of the country.

In it he has detailed the borough’s fine sporting achievements throughout 2013 with the FA Cup, Challenge Cup and Super League title leading the way.

Coun Molyneux also pointed out Leigh Centurions’ Northern Rail Cup victory, David Lynn’s Portugal Masters triumph, Hayley Jones’ bronze medal at the World Athletics Championships in Moscow, Jenny Meadows captaining the Great Britain team at the European Indoor Athletics Championships and Owen Farrell playing in the British Lions tour of Australia with dad Andy there too as the team’s assistant coach.

He wrote: “I am writing to you from what I firmly believe is the sporting capital of the country – Wigan Borough.

“You will doubtless be aware of the stunning year of sporting success we’ve enjoyed in this area.”

Coun Molyneux went on to explain how the borough will also play host to two matches during the Rugby League World Cup.

He added: “I know I’m biased, and with respect to Andy Murray and the English cricket team, I think what’s happened here in the last 12 months is THE sporting story of 2013.

“I believe it is only right you recognise Wigan’s outstanding achievements and if you’re handing out prizes we ought to be getting one.

“I know there isn’t currently a category for town or borough of the year but perhaps it’s time you created one to mark Wigan’s winning record?

“Or maybe you could give Wigan Borough the Team of the Year title – after all, the whole borough has been caught up in the excitement of the last year. Young and old have been swept along by our sporting triumphs.

“I’ve been watching sport my whole life and never known anything like it. As an avid Wigan Athletic fan and rugby supporter, I’ve been to Wembley four times in 12 months.

“There’s nowhere else in the country that can boast our success and I think it’s only right it’s acknowledged on national television during your prestigious programme. It be would an opportunity to celebrate our achievements and show just how important sport is to our communities.

“We all know these are tough times for families up and down the country. Here in Wigan we haven’t escaped hardship. But there’s a buzz about the place and a confidence in what we can achieve that I believe is inspired by our sporting success.”

Coun Molyneux also cheekily suggested that next year’s event should be held in Wigan, adding: “I’m told Sports Personality of the Year is being broadcast from Leeds this time, a place that hasn’t quite matched Wigan’s sporting achievements in 2013.

“There’s always 2014, of course, and maybe then you’ll want to broadcast from the country’s sporting capital. You’d be made very welcome in Wigan.”