Ex-Wigan coach Graham Lowe speaks of pride after being knighted

Graham Lowe with Andy Gregory after their 1988 Challenge Cup Final victory over Halifax
Graham Lowe with Andy Gregory after their 1988 Challenge Cup Final victory over Halifax

Former Wigan coach Graham Lowe has been knighted.

The Kiwi, who was at the helm for the famous World Club Challenge victory over Manly in 1987, was honoured in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

Lowe, 72, also coached New Zealand and Queensland but his accolade isn't to do with his achievements in sport - but for services to youth and education.

His Lowie Foundation delivers literacy and numeracy programmes to children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Lowe, who was presented with a New Zealand Order of Merit six years ago, said: "I got a call from the Prime Minister's office to tell me about it, to see if I'd accept. I must have said yes 100 times!

"I feel immense pride about it and the pride in itself is overwhelming really. I can't put it into words.

"Rugby league and sport are really important and play a big part in our lives, but I'm a believer in supporting, helping and educating disadvantaged young people."

Lowe joined Wigan in 1986, leading the club to Championship success in his first year. The epic win against Manly followed and then in '88, he was in charge when Wigan began their incredible eight-year dominance in the Challenge Cup. He left in '89, to be succeeded by John Monie.