Rugby boss thefts probe

Bill Atherton
Bill Atherton

A PROBE has been launched into claims that a respected Wigan rugby boss stole almost £50,000 from the school where he worked to boost club funds.

Bill Atherton died when he was hit by an express train last October.

Since then, allegations have been circulating that the Swinley 53-year-old had embezzled cash from the Deanery High School in Wigan, where he was its bursar for 10 years.

The school has now sent out letters to parents, revealing that independent auditors last autumn found a large hole in its budget, and council finance experts were drafted in to investigate.

The letter says that this inquiry has since found that cheques totalling £44,382.68 were secretly made from the school fund to St Patrick’s RL Club in Scholes, where Mr Atherton was its long-time chairman and treasurer. A further £4,195.85 was made payable to Mr Atherton himself.