PAUL Deacon admits his joy at Wigan flying high at the top of Super League is tempered by seeing his old club Bradford lurching from crisis to crisis.
The Bulls are in administration after failing to find the necessary investment to fight a winding-up petition from the HM Revenue & Customs over an unpaid tax bill in excess of £300,000.
And Deacon is struggling to come to terms with the situation at a club that dominated Super League during his time there.
“Bradford is a club that remains very close to my heart. Not just because we had a successful team but because I loved my time at the club,” Deacon said.
“I sort of grew up at the Bulls and even if I’d not won as much silverware I’d still have had a great time there.
“Everyone associated with Bradford was brilliant to me and it’s very sad to see such a great club in this state.
“Super League needs Bradford Bulls because they’ve had so much success and are a massive club with a fantastic fanbase.
“Like everybody else who has been a part of the club and supported it, I’m just hoping the Bulls survive.
“I had a special relationship with those players and have still got many friends from that time.”
Deacon, though, will be firmly in the cherry-and-white camp when Bradford visit the DW tonight, looking to stop Wigan mustering an 11th league win on the trot.
“I’m enjoying myself immensely at Wigan and feel very privileged to be given the opportunity in my first year as a coach,” he added.
“The best thing about is that we beat Widnes on Monday and 13 of the 17 lads came through the Wigan system.
“I have to pinch myself sometimes because it’s a fantastic place to be right now.”