WIGAN is truly at the centre of the rugby league world.
One hundred and five years ago this month, the very first rugby league international took place at Central Park, Wigan.
Now a precious memento of that historic match is up for sale and it is expected to fetch up to 3,000 at an auction next month.
It is the cap presented to Wigan star, David “Dai” Harris for appearing in that first international at Central Park, Wigan, on April 5,1904, which was a 12-a-side match featuring England versus Other Nationalities.
Harris and Wigan team mate Eli Davies starred for the Other Nationalities team, which mostly contained Welsh players.
Harris scored the final try of the game, which the Other Nationalities team won 9-3.
England started the match with 11 players,because Jim Lomas, of Salford, did not turn up until after the kick- off! The match was played at Wigan only because of the weather.
It was originally planned to stage the match at Oldham on New Year’s Day, but the game was postponed because of frost and it was then switched to Wigan.
But this first experimental international failed to capture the public’s imagination.
Only 6,000 fans turned up, compared to the 29,000 who had just watched Wigan’s two Easter Weekend games.
Dai Harris’ cap – which will be sold at Graham Budd Auctions at Sotheby’s in New Bond Street, London,on May 12 – is designed of alternating patterns of blue, green and red and a crest featuring dragon, thistle and shamrock national emblems.
Dai Harris was 25 when he played in that first international at Wigan in 1904.
He was born on February 15, 1879, and was 79 when he died in 1958.