A WIGAN Warriors fan will fly in to watch tomorrow’s Grand Final and say goodbye to one of his heroes.
Irishman Paul Keany will make a 636-mile round trip to Old Trafford and bid a fond farewell to Pat Richards.
Paul, 51, who lives in Buncrana in the North West of Ireland near Derry, got hooked on rugby league and Wigan in particular when visiting his sister who lives in Whelley.
After watching his nephews Jamie and Nathan Price play for New Springs Lions junior teams he was taken to a Wigan game by sister Sharon and her husband Dave and that was it! Once he got supporting Wigan, there was only ever one player who was going to become his favourite... Irish international Richards.
Paul, who makes the electrical components for companies that need lots of power points and worked on London’s Olympic Stadium, was even more pleased when he got to meet Richards after a game at the DW Stadium and had this photo taken to prove it.
Dad to Anna, 18, and Paul, 14, Paul has been to a Grand Final before but says this one will have an even greater meaning.
He said: “This one is extra-special because Wigan are playing and it’s Pat Richards’ last game for the club.
“He’s been one of my favourite players probably because he has Irish connections.”
Paul and the rest of the Wigan fans attending tomorrow will have a packed entertainment schedule lined up for them tomorrow.
Sky Go are giving Rugby League fans the chance to watch the Super League Grand Final from the best seats in the house at Old Trafford, in a competition held during the build-up to the 6pm final.
Having teamed up with Super League for the competition’s showcase event, Sky Go, the broadcaster’s online and ‘on demand’ platform will provide a unique view from which the winners can watch the game.
Rugby League legend and former Bradford Bulls and Huddersfield Giants player Robbie Hunter-Paul is the match day host for the afternoon, and will be tasked with finding two winners for this unique prize.
As well as being able to watch the Grand Final from comfy leather sofas, the winners will also be treated to complimentary food and drink, provided courtesy of Sky Go.
The competition will take place amidst a jam-packed pre-match entertainment programme, in between a live 20-minute set performed by the band Conquer Rio and the Jerusalem headliner, Laura Wright.
There will also be the chance for the winners of Sky Go’s competition to be photographed with the stunning, and prestigious, Super League Trophy.
They will also receive Sky TV free for a year, in a deal which includes a Sky+HD box and access to Sky’s top TV package, which includes all of the Entertainment, Sky Sports and Sky Movies channels, as well as over 60 HD channels and the Sky 3D channel.
Timeline of events (please note that timings are approximate):
5.20pm-5.40pm - Conquer Rio set
5.40pm - Sky Go Best Seat Competition with Robbie Hunter-Paul
5.53pm - Super League trophy arrival accompanied by a live fanfare performed by the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, Lancashire
5.55pm - Laura Wright performing Jerusalem
6pm – Kick-off
l The Wigan Evening Post is currently giving away special Cherry and White clap banners at its road shows in Wigan town centre and at Sainsbury’s, Marus Bridge, Asda at Robin Park, Rydings in the Market Hall and Aleef’s in the Grand Arcade.