Warriors owner Mike Danson enjoys Wembley thrills as Wigan claim record-extending Challenge Cup

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Wigan Warriors owner Mike Danson enjoyed the thrills of Wembley as he watched his boyhood club claim the 2024 Challenge Cup trophy with an 18-8 victory over Warrington Wolves.

Having been involved with a shareholding since the summer of 2020, the Wigan-born businessman became the club’s new 100% owner at the start of last December, succeeding Ian Lenagan, and has since seen the Warriors claim a record-equalling World Club Challenge and a record-extending Challenge Cup.

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Kris Radlinski hails history-making Wigan Warriors as chief executive makes glow...

Chief executive Kris Radlinski shared the delight with Danson under the arch on Saturday, admitting the pair had been on the phone throughout the week as the anticipation built for the showdown in the capital.

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Wigan Warriors owner Mike Danson and his son with the Challenge Cup trophyWigan Warriors owner Mike Danson and his son with the Challenge Cup trophy
Wigan Warriors owner Mike Danson and his son with the Challenge Cup trophy

The former Great Britain full-back also explained why Saturday’s Cup triumph was extra special, having marked the club’s first win at Wembley since 2013.

Radlinski said: “There’s a couple of reasons why it’s different this time. First of all, Wembley means a lot to Matt Peet.

Tottenham was amazing in 2022, but this is the one for Matt, growing up and coming to Wembley.

“I’ve sensed a few nerves on him this week which is great, I knew this was important.

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“The other reason is the new ownership, Mike has never won at Wembley, so I’ve sensed him being a bit nervous this week.

“He must have phoned me six or seven times every day asking about how we’re going to cope with the bans and how Matt is and everything, so he’s been very engaged.

“It’s been an exciting week for him.

“He’s massively engaged, and that’s exciting.”

Wigan legend Billy Boston, who scored an incredible 478 tries in 487 games across a 15-year career for the club, led out the Warriors in the capital alongside chairman Professor Chris Brookes, a decision made by Danson in the lead-up to the big day.

The owner later enjoyed the victory on the famous Wembley turf with the squad and staff after the full-time hooter, and was joined by his family at the national stadium.

“He was buzzing,” Radlinski continued.

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“We got him onto the field and he held the trophy, his son was there and his mum and wife were in the crowd - they were on the front row of the Royal Box.

“It means a lot to him.

“He selected Billy Boston because he is one of his heroes, so the whole tradition, the whole experience of Wembley is very much part of his upbringing as well.

“We needed to make sure Billy was up to it so the chairman, Chris Brookes, went around and spent some time with Billy, but it’s an owner’s prerogative to make that call.

“Billy was on the phone Saturday and it was great.

“I was sat just behind Mike. During the game he was a bit twitchy and everything, but being a world champion and winning at Wembley, you can’t buy these things.

"They are experiences and he’s very much part of it now and he’s enjoyed it.

“It was a big day for Mike and he was glowing at the end, it was great.”

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