Top award for Wigan rugby league volunteer

Stuart Prior  was given the Services to Rugby League award
Stuart Prior was given the Services to Rugby League award

Well-known Wigan community rugby league volunteer, Stuart Prior and Ken Owens picked up major individual awards at the Rugby Football League’s Community Awards last Saturday.

Prior was given the top award for his services to community rugby league and Owens picked up the RFL’s Merit Award.

Prior said: “I was extremely surprised when I heard I was getting the award. After all you don’t do any if this for rewards or honours or trophies.

“I was particularly humbled when I heard some of the other stories at the awards, not least that of Ken Owens from St Judes who had done over 45 years’ service,

“I have done around 20 years or so and have enjoyed every minute of it. Awards like this are just the icing on the cake.”

Prior is chair of the NW Men’s League as well as the Tour Manager for the Community Lionhearts.

He has also served as the Wigan St Patrick’s Team Manager for the past couple of years, but that is post from which he is standing down for 2019.

“I officially stood down last year but after the sad loss of Ronnie Dutch I felt a sense of duty to continue to fulfil the role when I could,” he said.

“As for this season I will be stepping down from my responsibilities as I take up more time looking after the Lionhearts international program. I will still be keeping my nose in as it’s my club and I’m always there to offer my help when they need it. I’m sure it will be placed in good hands, I just hope they can get their direction back after a disappointing season and hits the ground running next March.”

Ken Owens’ citation stated: “Ken Owens coached at both professional and amateur clubs and have reformed over the past three years at community club of Wigan St Judes.

“Ken does over and above what is expected as a manager’s duties and with his equally committed wife Linda makes sure the running of the open age section at St Judes is a shining example of how a community club should be run, not just on match days but all the way through the week with his postings and frequent reminders to all the staff of their responsibilities.

“Without people like Ken (and Linda as you don’t get one without the other) this great game of ours would grind to a halt.”