The Liam Farrell column: My favourite memory from the weekend
The last few days have been pretty special.
It’s hard to describe the feeling, but everyone is walking around with smiles on their faces.
The realisation of what we’ve achieved has sunk in.
From the celebrations on the full-time whistle to the party afterwards, our Mad Monday on Sunday, the club dinner on Tuesday night, it’s all been great.
My favourite time? In the dressing room, half an hour after full-time.
We sang our song, we drank beer, sprayed Champagne... it was just a great feeling.
Waney addressed the lads and just spoke from the heart about how much pride he had in us all.
We all know what we’ve been through this year with injuries, but it wasn’t just about the 17 blokes who played on Saturday, but all the others who helped get us there.
Joe Bretherton and Jake Shorrocks played in the semi-final.
Nick Gregson did a great job earlier this year, and there are many others who have all played their part.
Some frontline players who throughout the year probably played fewer games than they had hoped, including myself; younger lads who played more matches than they expected.
That’s why it feels special, because that adversity really brought us closer together.
It was nice to win the Harry Sunderland as man of the match.
Apparently, my name was read out over the loud speaker before full-time.
I didn’t notice, but George Williams did and with about 30 seconds to go - when we had the last set, to eat down the clock - he told me I was man of the match.
It was a strange one, because back-rowers don’t expect to win man of the match awards.
The halfbacks and full-backs usually get them!
It’s such a prestigious award, of course it’s nice to have. It’s sat on my shelf until I find somewhere better for it.
But honestly, it could easily have gone to any of the other players. Dan Sarginson would have been my pick.
He didn’t do anything spectacular - other than the kick for Josh’s try - but his work-rate was unbelievable. I was made up we won the game for him, Josh and Matty, who are all leaving.
We had a great party on Saturday night with our families, and then on Sunday, we all met at The Stag in Orrell Post at 10am for a coach-ride to Blackpool.
My group had to wear funny suits, and for some reason John Bateman thought it’d be a good idea to let Micky McIlorum order them, so that’s why I ended up in a bright orange suit!
Just after I got to The Stag, my phone rang.
It was Jamie Peacock. I answered, and he congratulated me on the win and then told me I’d been picked in Wayne Bennett’s England squad.
I was made up with the call-up.
I’ve been a part of the England squad for a few years but it’s something I’ve never taken for granted, and given I missed quite a few weeks with a rib injury - and the competition - I would have understood if I’d been left out.
We meet up this weekend to begin preparing for the Test against France and then the Four Nations, and I’m really looking forward to it.
It gave me an extra reason to celebrate as we went out around Blackpool, before we came back to Wigan to carry it on.
On Tuesday night, we had the club’s end-of-season dinner at the DW Stadium.
It was a nice way to formally say goodbye to the lads who are leaving. Sam Powell took home the players’ player award, which I was thrilled about because he’s been terrific for us this year.
Since Micky McIlorum was injured in February, Sam hasn’t just come in and done a job - he’s been great, week in, week out, playing long minutes and making countless tackles.
The award was a reflection of how much the lads appreciate his efforts.
John Bateman took the prize of player of the year, and it’s hard to argue.
He’s an outstanding player, absolute quality, and I look forward to going into the England camp with him, George Williams and Sarge this weekend.
I’ll be continuing this weekly column until the end of the Four Nations.