Lee Mossop hailed after hanging up his boots
Fittingly, the Salford captain played against the Warriors last Friday night.
But the 32-year-old – who has had 11 reconstruction operations on his shoulders during a stellar career – has been forced to hang up the boots.
Wigan forward and former team-mate Liam Farrell said: “For a long time, he’s had trouble with his shoulders. I was at one of his testimonial events on Saturday night and he was going to retire. I felt for him, I know how tough he’s had it but at the same time, he’s also had a great career.
“He was one of the young lads who came through at the right time with me and Sam Tomkins who learned a lot about rugby, not just on the field but more about doing the right things off it, working hard for your mates and keeping your feet on the ground – and I think it served us all well in our careers.” Warriors’ executive director Kris Radlinski said: “Lee should be really proud of everything that he has achieved in his career.
“He has played at the top of the sport for many years in one of those most demanding positions. He has been smart enough to plan for life after sport (with his two Wigan coffee shops) and I am sure that he will continue to be a success in everything he does.”
Mossop, who had two spells with Wigan sandwiching a season in the NRL with Parramatta, said: “It’s been no secret that I have struggled with shoulder issues the majority of my career but after seeing the surgeon last week, he has told me there are no more surgeries he can offer to help prolong my career anymore and instead, it will be one final operation to give me a better quality of life with my wife and young children.
“I’d like to thank firstly my family and friends who have supported me through my career, the clubs and supporters I have represented and the players who I have shared a field with.”
Cumbrian Mossop came through the academy ranks at Wigan and debuted in 2008.
A season in the NRL in 2014 was disrupted by injuries, limiting him to three matches before he returned to the Warriors for two seasons.
In total he played 140 games for Wigan, winning two Grand Finals and two Challenge Cups.