SAM Tomkins has saluted retiring star Darrell Goulding, describing him as an “unsung hero for a long time at Wigan.”
The 27-year-old Goulding - who spent nine seasons with his hometown club - was forced to hang up the boots yesterday after a series of concussions.
If Josh Charnley had to pay Daz for every try he gave him, he wouldn’t be driving round in that flash Range Rover!
Former team-mate Tomkins, now at NZ Warriors in the NRL, told the Wigan Observer: “Some of the subtle skills he possesses would go unnoticed by many people watching from the stands or at home on TV, but never by the players who played alongside him.
“As a full-back I knew I could tip on the ball without paying too much attention to where he was, and he would always be in the right spot to catch it – and very often create yet another try for a winger. If Josh Charnley had to pay Daz for every try he gave him, he wouldn’t be driving round in that flash Range Rover!
“Daz is equally as impressive off the field. A genuine bloke who is liked by everyone. I think he could still have a long career in rugby off the field. He’s intelligent, with 10 years of Super League experience behind him, so I think he would be a big asset to any team.”
Several current and former Wigan players were also keen to pay tribute to Goulding.
Lee Mossop said: “No matter how highly fans rated him, I can guarantee his team-mates rated him higher – which is probably the biggest compliment I can give him. He was freakishly strong, and coming out of our own half, he would get in there and make metres for fun while every winger who played outside him scored a lot of tries. He’s a modest guy, very humble, and he’s got no ego at all.”
Joel Tomkins said: “Having come through the system from an early age with him, I can say that Darrell is one of the most genuine and honest blokes I have met. One of the ood guys, quiet and reserved away from the pitch, but always a fierce competitor on it.”
And coach Shaun Wane added: “I’ve known him since he was a kid and he was a pleasure to coach. He was receptive, he worked really hard at his game and he was fantastically well-skilled. Outside of Wigan I don’t think he got the plaudits he deserved. He won trophies with his home-town club – he should be so proud of what he achieved.
“He’s from a nice family, he’s really well-mannered, he’s always got time for people... the sort of bloke you wouldn’t mind meeting your daughter. He had ups and downs in his career but his determination shone through, and that’s why I’m sure he’ll kick on now and be successful in the next chapter of his life.”