Lydon: They have created memories to last a lifetime

Celebrations in the dressing room after Sunday's win

Celebrations in the dressing room after Sunday's win

Legend Joe Lydon was among the ex-Wigan players in the victorious dressing room on Sunday.

And the 1987 World Club Challenge winner says the current players have made memories to last a lifetime.

“It was great to have the connection with this team now,” said Lydon.

“Seeing the same emotions with these players, that we had 30 years ago - in ‘87, we honestly believed we were at the start of something special, and I think these players can go on and do the same. I’m delighted for them, and for Shaun (Wane).

“I was lucky enough to be invited to the training ground when they were preparing for the game, and he spoke from the heart, which he always will do. Afterwards, he told a few of the ex-players how much it meant to have another crack at winning another World Club Challenge.”

Wane invited the class of ‘87 to present the players their shirts the day before the game.

“It was good... and bad,” smiled Lydon. “The banter carried on from where we left off, from the last time we saw each other – Brian Case said I hadn’t changed, which I took as a compliment, until he said, ‘You looked 53 when you played!’

“But the talk was about creating memories and having resilience, and this win epitomised everything that was good about this team and the past as well. I thought they dug in, defended superbly and played for each other. This is the next chapter.”

Many more of the ‘87 team which beat Manly 8-2 were in the dressing-room.

Sean O’Loughlin said bringing players from the winning ‘87 team “sparked up our week, got everyone buzzing”.

In ‘87 we believed we were at the start of something special, and I think these players can go on and do the same

Joe Lydon

And Joel Tomkins added: “Waney did a great job, bringing in the former players. We spoke about ‘87 and ‘94, and how special these games are and that they don’t come around often.”

George Williams added: “We heard from those players who were involved in ‘87, and heard what it meant to those players. And now we’ve got our own story to tell. It’s incredible.”