Wigan Warriors' Oliver Gildart stepping in dad Ian's footsteps... for two reasons!
Oliver Gildart will get the chance to emulate his dad – twice – at the Magic Weekend!
The centre will represent Wigan at Liverpool’s Anfield home, a feat achieved by father Ian in 1991.
And Gildart will be wearing a special retro shirt in honour of the 30-year anniversary of the club’s showcase game with Warrington at Milwaukee – an adventure his old man was a part of!
“I’ve got a picture of my dad when he played in that shirt, it’s pretty strange to be doing the same 30 years on,” said the 22-year-old.
“Thinking about it now, I’ll have to YouTube the Milwaukee game this week. It’ll be another memorable moment.
“I keep having these crazy things happening, so its good for the scrapbook.”
Gildart has experienced Anfield before, as a part of the England side which clinched a series triumph against New Zealand last autumn.
But it will be Wigan’s first appearance at the venue since their World Club Challenge victory against Penrith in ‘91.
And for Adrian Lam’s side, Saturday’s headline-grabbing match with the Wolves comes just a week after their historic match against Catalans at Barcelona’s Nou Camp.
“The Nou Camp was just crazy, I walked out the tunnel and thought: ‘Am I in a dream here, what’s going on?’,” says Gildart, reflecting on their 33-16 defeat in front of a Super League record crowd of 33,555.
“Anfield is another one, it’s one of the best stadiums in the world. I’ve been lucky enough to play there with England so I’m looking forward to getting back out there.”
Their flat performance last weekend put the brakes on an upsurge in form, which had seen Wigan win three Super League matches in a row and then push Warrington close in a thrilling Challenge Cup fixture.
“Going into the Nou Camp game, everyone was focused but something went wrong,” said Gildart.
“I don’t really know what it was, I can’t quite put my finger on it but we’ve go to shake up for this weekend.
“There wasn’t much between us and Warrington last time we played, I thought we were the better team in spells.
“Don’t get me wrong, they’re a good side but they are beatable, and we’ll set a gameplan in place and hopefully we can deliver it.”