Wigan rugby league legend Martin Offiah says fans helped to create some of his best career memories
Wigan rugby league legend Martin Offiah says the atmosphere created by fans provided him with some of his favourite moments during his career.
The retired Great Britain winger returns to the town on March 30 for an event at the Old Courts, where he will be discussing his career and answering questions from the audience.
He admits a lot of his stand-out memories comes down to the supporters in the stands.
He said: “Sport is about the fans and playing in those caldrons.
“I remember playing out in Australia for Great Britain and that night in 1994 in Brisbane, where Wigan became World Champions for the third time.
“They were amazing nights. To do that with the atmosphere and the emotion, it is burnt into your soul for both players and spectators.
“They were very special moments, with special players, that I’ll never forget. It was such great team, full of household names.
“You can’t compare eras, you had to be there to experience it.
“There is still video footage which is shown to people who didn’t see me play in the flesh. They still stand the test of time.
“I feel sorry for the players before me because it is only spoke about in folklore. The games weren’t televised, and you can’t really connect with it emotionally.
“I always say careers can be forgotten but moments last forever.”
Offiah says he was honoured to represent his country on multiple occasions but still looks back at what could have been in certain moments.
“Everybody wants to play representative rugby and I was fortunate enough to do that playing for England,” he added.
“It was great playing on the international field, playing in Australia against Australia.
“I didn’t quite get the Test series win I wanted; I remember watching the game in treatment room at Old Trafford.
“Carl Gibson took a dummy and couldn’t get back, he was in my position, and to this day I think if I was on the pitch, they wouldn’t have scored that try.
“You’ll never have everything in life but be grateful for what you did achieve.”
With the Rugby League World Cup taking place in England at the end of the year, Offiah says he is looking forward to the event.
“I will definitely get down to some games. We couldn’t have had the competition without Australia,” he added.
“It’s great we’ve got the wheelchair, women’s and the men’s games.
“It’s another opportunity for the England team, under Shaun Wane, to capture the imagination of the public. Imagine if they could win it, what a shot in the arm it would be for rugby league.
They’ve got an opportunity, but in life you’ve got to take them.
“It’ll be tough because it’s not just about them and Australia. New Zealand have plenty of players in the NRL, as well as those playing for the Island nations.”
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