Wigan Warriors

Wigan Warriors Rugby League Football Club is a professional rugby league club founded and based in Wigan, England. The club competes in the Betfred Super League.[1]

Wigan Warriors
Wigan Warriors Logo.png
Club information
Full nameWigan Warriors Rugby League Football Club
Nickname(s)Cherry and Whites
The Riversiders
The Colliers
Short nameWigan Warriors
ColoursWigancolours.svg Cherry and White
FoundedThursday 21 November 1872; 147 years ago (Thursday 21 November 1872)
Current details
ChairmanIan Lenagan
CoachAdrian Lam
CaptainSean O'Loughlin
CompetitionSuper League
Rugby football current event.png Current season
Home colours
Away colours
Championships22 (1909, 1922, 1926, 1934, 1946, 1947, 1950, 1952, 1960, 1987, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2018)
Challenge Cups19 (1924, 1929, 1948, 1951, 1958, 1959, 1965, 1985, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 2002, 2011, 2013)
World Club Challenges4 (1987, 1991, 1994, 2017)
Other honours63
Most capped774 - Jim Sullivan
Highest points scorer4,883 - Jim Sullivan

Formed in 1872 as Wigan Football Club, Wigan was a founding member of the Northern Rugby Football Union following the schism from the Rugby Football Union in 1895. Wigan have won 22 League Championships (including 5 Super League Grand Finals), 19 Challenge Cups and 4 World Club Challenges.[2] Wigan are the most successful club in English rugby league and had a period of sustained success from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s,[3] winning eight successive Challenge Cups and seven successive League Championships.[4]

The club plays home matches at the DW Stadium,[5] having played at Central Park between 1902 and 1999.[6]

The head coach is Adrian Lam;[7] the club captain is Sean O'Loughlin (current Great Britain and England captain).



On 21 November 1872, Wigan Football Club was founded by members of Wigan Cricket Club following a meeting at the Royal Hotel, Standishgate. Wigan F.C. played on Folly Field, near Upper Dicconson Street.

The first match took place on 30 November when members played against each other in a practice match at Folly Field. After a series of trial and practice matches, they travelled to Warrington to play their first competitive match on 18 January 1873. The game ended in a draw.

Financial difficulties and an inability to recruit quality players led to many players and members from Upholland F.C. joining the club in 1876. The club became Wigan & District F.C. and moved and played its home games at the Wigan Cricket Club at Prescott Street just off Frog Lane. It is unlikely that the club fulfilled its fixtures in 1877 and disbanded at the end of the 1879 cricket season.

On 22 September 1879, the club was re-formed as Wigan Wasps by many new members at a meeting in the Dicconson Arms. Many of the new members involved in the revival of the club had also been involved with The Hare & Hounds running club. The club moved back to Folly Field. In 1883, Wigan won its first trophy, the Wigan Charity Cup. The club won the West Lancashire and Border Towns Cup in 1884 and the Wigan Charity Cup again in 1885. The club played in cherry and white jerseys for the first time on 26 September 1885.[8] In 1888 they hosted the touring New Zealand Maoris.

Wigan, Leigh and Salford were suspended by the RFU for breaking the strict amateur code despite their argument that broken-time payments were necessary to avoid undue hardship for their working class players. The clubs were placed joint bottom of the Lancashire league. With automatic promotion and relegation, they faced dropping down a division, and potential financial ruin. In 1895 Wigan joined with other clubs from Yorkshire and Lancashire to found the Northern Union which led eventually to the sport of rugby league. This was a result of the breakaway from the Rugby Football Union. This was when the "Wasps" tag was dropped and the club simply became known as Wigan.

The County Championship was introduced in October 1895 with Cheshire entertaining Lancashire. The Red Rose side contained three players from Wigan: Winstanley (full back) and Unsworth and Brown (forwards).

In 1896–97 due to the increased number of Northern Union teams the Northern League was abandoned in favour of two County Senior leagues. The second half of the season saw the introduction of the Northern Union Cup (later known as the Rugby League Cup). Wigan reached the third round before being knocked out by St. Helens.


Team of Wigan FC, c. 1900

In 1904, fourteen clubs resigned from the two county leagues to form a new Northern Rugby League for season 1901–02. Wigan however remained in the Lancashire Senior Competition.

Wigan became sub-tenants of Springfield Park, which they shared with Wigan United AFC, playing their first game there on 14 September 1901. A crowd of 4,000 saw them beat Morecambe 12–0. During this season Wigan won the Lancashire Senior Competition.

Wigan's record crowd at Springfield was 10,000 when they beat Widnes on 19 March 1902. The last game was on 28 April 1902 when Wigan beat the Rest of Lancashire Senior Competition. Two meetings were held by Wigan members during the season to discuss the possibility of turning the club into a Limited Company but the idea did not take off.

On 6 September 1902, Wigan played at Central Park for the first time in the opening match of the newly formed First Division. An estimated crowd of 9,000 spectators saw Wigan beat Batley 14–8.

In the 1905–06 season they won their first cup, in rugby league, the Lancashire County Cup. Between 1906 and 1923 Wigan won the Lancashire League another seven times and the Lancashire Cup another four times. Wigan were the first winners of the Lancashire cup.

Wigan played New Zealand on 9 November 1907 and ran out winners by 12 points to 8 in front of a crowd of around 30,000. Great Britain, then known as the Northern Union, played their first ever test against New Zealand on 25 January 1908. James "Jim" Leytham, Bert Jenkins, and John "Johnny" Thomas of Wigan were in the home side and James "Jim" Leytham scored a try. Bert Jenkins, and John "Johnny" Thomas had previously played in the first Welsh game against New Zealand on 1 January 1908.

On Saturday 28 October 1911, Wigan played a match against the Australasian team which visited England on the 1911–12 Kangaroo tour of Great Britain and won.

On 12 May 1921, Wigan became a limited company.

In June 1922 Jim Sullivan joined Wigan from Cardiff RFC when he was only 17. His cash value was put at £750, which was a staggering signing-on fee for an adolescent who had not yet played 13-a-side rugby (based on increases in average earnings, this would be approximately £137,700 in 2015).[9] His first game was at home against Widnes on 27 August 1921, and he scored ten points in a 21–0 win. Almost inevitably, Jim Sullivan scored the first points in the first Challenge Cup Final to be played at Wembley Stadium, kicking a penalty after only three minutes of the inaugural Challenge Cup Final against Dewsbury in 1929 in which he led Wigan to a 13–2 victory. Sullivan became player-coach in 1932.

Wigan won their first Challenge Cup in the 1923–24 season when they beat Oldham 21–4 in Rochdale.

In 1933 the Prince of Wales attended Central Park, becoming the first royal to watch a rugby league match.

On 25 October 1938 Australian Harry Sunderland arrived in Wigan to take up the duties of Secretary-Manager at Central Park. On 28 September the following year, Sunderland's contract was terminated and he and the club parted company.

The outbreak of World War II disrupted the Rugby Football League Championship but Wigan continued to play in the Lancashire War League and the Emergency War League.

During the war years the club went through the 1940–41 season unbeaten although they lost the Championship final. They lost the 1944 Challenge Cup Final over two games to Bradford Northern 8–3 but made up for it beating Dewsbury in the Championship Final.

Post warEdit

Jim Sullivan's last game, as a player, for Wigan was at Mount Pleasant, Batley, on 23 February 1946. He remained at Central Park for another six seasons as coach.

In 1948 Wigan took part in the first televised rugby league match when their 8–3 Challenge Cup Final victory over Bradford Northern was broadcast to the Midlands. In another first this was the first rugby league match to be attended by the reigning monarch, King George VI, who presented the trophy.

On Saturday 27 October 1951, 33,230 spectators saw Wigan beat Leigh 14–6 in the final of the Lancashire Cup at Station Road, Swinton. In 1952 Wigan won their sixth consecutive Lancashire Cup.

Wigan were also featured in the first league match to be broadcast, a clash with Wakefield Trinity at Central Park on 12 January 1952.

In 1953 Wigan signed Billy Boston for £150. 8,000 fans saw Billy Boston début for Wigan in the 'A' team. He later became one of the most successful and famous Wigan players of all time. Eric Ashton signed for Wigan for £150 in 1955. Wigan went to Wembley six times in the Boston / Ashton era and won three times.

The visit of St. Helens on 27 March 1959 produced Central Park's all-time record attendance of 47,747 which is still a record for any rugby league game in Lancashire. Wigan went on to win the game 19–14 after holding off a Saints comeback. Mick Sullivan moved to Wigan for a then record £9,500 fee in 1957.[10]

Joe Egan returned to coach Wigan and during his time they won the Championship play-off final in 1960 defeating Wakefield Trinity 21–5, the Challenge Cup in 1958, 1959, 13–9 against Workington Town and 30–13 against Hull F.C. respectively before losing in 12–6 to St. Helens in 1961 which was to be his last game in charge.

Wigan continued to have regular success in both league and cup competitions until 1974 when Wigan went 8 seasons without winning any leagues or cups.

Eric Ashton coached Wigan from 1963 to 1973. In 1966, Wigan locked television cameras out of their ground in the belief that they affected attendances. They were fined £500 by the Rugby Football League. Wigan beat Oldham 16–13 in the 1966 Lancashire Cup Final. Billy Boston played his last match in the cherry and white, against Wakefield Trinity at the end of April 1968.

Wigan celebrated the centenary year of the club in November 1972, with a match against Australia at Central Park, on Saturday 17 November, the result finished as an 18–18 draw.

Wigan pulled off a surprise victory 19–9 over Salford in the Lancashire Cup Final which was played at Wilderspool, Warrington on Saturday 13 October 1973. Cup holders Salford had lost only one match prior to the final, against the touring Australians.

Ted Toohey became coach of Wigan in May 1974 before being sacked in January 1975, this would set the pattern of coaches lasting one or two seasons before being replaced. Star coach, Joe Coan then took control until he resigned in September 1976, the board accepted his decision "with reluctance". Vince Karalius then took over but was sacked in September 1979, he was replaced by Kel Coslett.

The 1980s onwardsEdit

In 1980, Wigan were relegated from the top flight for the first time in their history and Coslett was replaced by George Fairbairn as player-coach. During the second division season they recorded a record average attendance for the division of 8,198. Wigan won promotion back to the top flight the following season but Fairbairn lasted no longer than May 1981 before moving to Hull Kingston Rovers. Maurice Bamford took over as coach of Wigan before being sacked in May 1982 and was replaced by Alex Murphy.

Maurice Lindsay came to Wigan in the early 1980s to join directors Jack Robinson, Tom Rathbone and ex-player Jack Hilton. Wigan became one of the first teams to go full-time professional in the league, this led to an upsurge in the fortunes of the club.

Between February and October 1987, under new coach, former New Zealand coach Graham Lowe, Wigan won a record 29 games in a row as follows: 20 Division One matches, 3 Premiership Trophy matches, 4 Lancashire Cup matches, 1 Charity Shield final, 1 World Club Challenge Final. Wigan defeated Australian club Manly-Warringah 8–2 in front of a crowd of 36,895 at Central Park for an unofficial World Club Championship (though many who were at Central Park still claim the attendance was closer to 50,000).[11] It was the first time an English club side had beaten a team of Australians at rugby league since the 1978 Kangaroo tour. After Lowe left in 1989, Australian John Monie, a former premiership winning coach with the Parramatta Eels, continued the success at Central Park. From 1988 to 1995 Wigan won the Challenge Cup 8 seasons in a row including their 27–0 win over St Helens in 1989, the first time any team had been held scoreless in a Cup Final at Wembley; this period was Wigan's most successful period to date. They also won the Championship seven times, League Cup four times, Premiership Trophy three times, Charity Shield twice and three World Club Championships.

In February 1990, Wigan announced a record £280,000 profit but by 1993 this had become a loss of £300,000 on a turnover of £3 million, in no small way to the cost of the Whitbread Stand that had been built at the clubhouse end of Central Park in 1991–92 at an estimated cost of £1.3 million. By March 1994 Wigan's wage bill topped £2 million a year.

John Dorahy became coach for the 1993 season. Despite supervising Wigan through to the Challenge Cup and the Rugby Football League Championship, Dorahy was dismissed in May 1994, only days after the club's return from Wembley. In a statement by the club, Dorahy was said to have been sacked for "gross misconduct".[12] Graeme West was appointed as coach, after fans petitioned for him to get the job.

In his first month as coach, at the end of the 1993–94 Rugby Football League season West secured the First Division Premiership Trophy against Castleford, and then traveled with the team to Brisbane, guiding them in their 1994 World Club Challenge victory over Australian premiers, the Brisbane Broncos in front of a WCC record attendance of 54,220.[13] At the end of his first full season, he and the team won the League Championship, Challenge Cup, Regal Trophy, and Premiership - the 'Grand Slam' of all 4 trophies. Even though Wigan dominated rugby league from 1985 to 1995, it was the only season the club achieved this feat.

Wigan also played in a special 2 match challenge series against Bath RFC in 1996, with one game played under league rules, and the other under union rules. Wigan won the league game 82–6 at Maine Road, but lost the return union game 44–19 at Twickenham.

In July 1996 Andy Farrell was named the Wigan club's captain.[14]

Eric Hughes became coach of Wigan Warriors, replacing Graeme West in February 1997 following an early exit from the Challenge Cup in 2 consecutive years. In 1997, the club was renamed Wigan Warriors. Wigan's dominance came under threat with the new league now fully professional and the introduction of the salary cap and the 20/20 rule. After going out of the Challenge Cup to Salford in 1996 and St Helens in 1997, they returned to Wembley for the final time in 1998. Still undefeated in the league and the fact coach John Monie - in his second spell at Wigan - had never lost a cup tie meant Wigan were huge favourites against the unfancied Sheffield Eagles. But on 2 May 1998 the Eagles would go down in rugby league history causing the biggest upset in the competition's history with a 17–8 win.

Wigan won the Minor Premiership and the first Super League Grand Final in 1998 with a 10–4 victory over Leeds at Old Trafford, Manchester.

In November 1999, coach Andy Goodway was sacked by Wigan chairman Maurice Lindsay after the Warriors' failure to win a trophy for the first time in 15 years. After a buy-out by Dave Whelan, both the Warriors and the town's football team, Wigan Athletic, moved to the JJB Stadium. As part of the rugby league's "on the road" scheme Wigan Warriors met Gateshead Thunder at Tynecastle, Edinburgh. Maurice Lindsay also returned as director. On an emotional day of high drama Wigan's final game at Central Park was against arch rivals St Helens on Sunday 5 September 1999 . Wigan legend Ellery Hanley returned as St Helens coach but a Jason Robinson virtuoso try meant the game was won by Wigan 28–20. The first game at the new stadium was a defeat in a Super League play-off match against Castleford on 19 September 1999.


Frank Endacott joined Wigan Warriors as head coach after the 1999 season and in 2000 Wigan finished top of the Super League and reached the Grand Final for the second time but this time lost to St Helens 29–16. Wigan reached the Grand Final again the year after but lost to Bradford Bulls 37–4 which is still the biggest winning margin in a Super League Grand Final. That year Andy Farrell also set a new club record for points in a season with 429.

In 2001 Endacott was sacked. In 2002 Wigan won their 17th Challenge Cup when they beat St Helens 21–12 at Murrayfield Stadium, 8 years after previously lifting the cup.

Wigan coach Stuart Raper was sacked as head coach of the club on 29 July 2003 due to a lack of success.[15] He was replaced by assistant coach Mike Gregory and the team improved and reached the Grand Final only to lose to Bradford Bulls 25–12. In 2004 Gregory guided Wigan to the Challenge Cup final at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff but Wigan lost to St Helens 32–16. It was Mike Gregory's last match as head coach of Wigan, he travelled to the United States of America to get treatment for an illness that he contracted after an insect bite while in Australia.[16] It was revealed that Mike had motor neurone disease and he did not return as Wigan coach; he was not sacked but Wigan allowed his contract to expire. Mike felt that during 2004, he was able to return but the club blocked his return to work. Wigan also appointed Ian Millward as head coach. Wigan did not have the success they expected under Ian Millward and in 2006 Wigan were bottom of the league and facing relegation from Super League. Wigan sacked Millward and replaced him with Brian Noble. with only £60,000 left under the salary cap Brian Noble signed Michael Dobson and signed Stuart Fielden from Bradford Bulls for a record fee of £450,000[17] Wigan avoided relegation in 2006, but when the books were audited by the league accountants they were found to be £222,314 over budget which led to accusations that they had cheated to dodge relegation [18] and 2006.[19] Some of the fans chose to blame Wigan Chairman Maurice Lindsay for the lack of success and salary cap problems at the club, Wigan were fined and docked points for exceeding the salary cap by £222,314.[19] In 2007 Maurice Lindsay announced that he would step down as Wigan Chairman at the end of 2007[20] and later that month Dave Whelan announced he would consider selling the club at the end of the season. Harlequins RL chairman and lifelong Wigan rugby league fan Ian Lenagan bought the club from Dave Whelan promising to start a new era at Wigan. Ian Lenagan officially took over as chairman and owner on 1 December 2007.

The 2007 season saw Wigan reach the Challenge Cup Semi-Final losing out to Catalans Dragons by 24–37.

During the 2007 season, Wigan would go on to reach the Final Eliminator of the Super League play-offs. However, the team lost that particular match by 36–6 against Leeds. The same fixture at the same stage of the 2008 season took place with Wigan coming out losers on that occasion also against Leeds by 18–14.

Wigan confirmed via the official website that they had been granted charitable status on Wednesday 29 April 2009. This involves the club receiving extra funding to provide rugby league related activities to young people throughout North West England.

Wigan confirmed in an official club statement on Tuesday 23 June 2009 that Gareth Hock tested positive for the primary metabolite of Cocaine; Benzoylecgonine, following an 'A' sample taken following a match vs Salford on Friday 5 June 2009. Wigan also confirmed that Gareth Hock was given a two-year ban, beginning June 2009, from the sport as sample 'B' came back positive. This is the first publicised incident of its kind in the club's history.[21]

Wigan reached the Challenge Cup Semi-Final in 2009 losing out to Warrington by 26–39. The team also reached the Final Eliminator again. This time, losing out to St. Helens by 14–10. Following that loss, Brian Noble, then head coach confirmed his departure. Michael Maguire was appointed new Head Coach on 7 October 2009.


Under new coach Michael Maguire Wigan started the new season with a 38 to 6 win over the Crusaders. Wigan won their opening 4 games to take them to the top of the Super League table. Wigan remained top of the league throughout the season.

During 2010 the Wigan club won 3 pieces of silverware. These were the Floodlit 9s, Super League Grand Final and by becoming League Winners in an 18–38 away win against Hull Kingston Rovers on 22 August.

On 2 October they won the Super League Grand Final, their first win since 1998, beating St. Helens 22–10.[22]

The club also swept the boards at the annual Man of Steel Award, with Sam Tomkins winning young player of the year, Mike Maguire won the coach of the year award, Pat Richards won the Man of Steel award and the club won the club of the year award. On 6 August 2011, Wigan made it to the Challenge Cup final after beating St. Helens 18–12.

On 27 August 2011, Wigan won the Challenge Cup final against Leeds at Wembley Stadium.[23] The final score was Wigan 28–18 Leeds. The match was the first visit to Wembley for Wigan in 13 years.[24]

After Maguire left to return to Australia, his assistant Shaun Wane, the former Wigan forward was given the role of first team coach for the 2013 season. Wigan won the Challenge Cup Final in his second season, beating Hull 16–0 at Wembley. Wigan extended their record to 30 Challenge Cup Finals, winning 19 of them. Wane then guided his team to the League and Cup double, by defeating Warringtion 30–16 in the Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford. The achievement marked the first time that a team had finished fourth and gone on to win the title. After Grand Final losses to St Helens in 2014 and Leeds Rhinos in 2015, the Warriors reached the Grand Final again in 2016 despite injury problems ruling out several star players throughout the season. Wigan defeated the Warrington Wolves 12-6 in a hard fought rematch of their 2013 contest to win their fourth Super League championship. Wigan became World Champions for a record fourth time in 2017 as they defeated NRL champions Cronulla Sharks 22-6.

World Club Challenge victory aside, 2017 was a tumultuous year for Wigan as they finished outside the play-off positions for the first time since 2006. Due in part to a raft of mid-season injuries (including a humiliating 24-50 defeat at the hands of local rivals Leigh Centurions who would go on to be relegated at the end of the season), they could not rally in time to make the coveted top 4 spots.

2018 was a much brighter year for the Warriors. The year began with a trip to Australia in week 2 to play Hull F.C. in the first-ever Super League game to be played outside of Europe. Wigan were victorious at St George-Illawarra Dragons WIN Stadium, defeating Hull FC 24-10. A first win in 9 years for St. Helens in the annual Good Friday derby was the catalyst for an 8 game winning streak in April and May, with only the Hull Kingston Rovers stopping Wigan after the former had been knocked out of the Challenge Cup by the Warriors two weeks prior. Wigan's own Challenge Cup journey would come to a somewhat humiliating ending at the hands of Warrington Wolves in a 0-23 reverse at the Halliwell Jones Stadium televised live by the BBC. Wigan would get their first of many revenges over Warrington at the beginning of June with a last minute Josh Woods drop goal completing a 13-12 victory over the Wolves at the DW Stadium.

Into the Super 8s stage of the season, Wigan won an unprecedented 7 out of 7 matches including revenge for the Good Friday defeat by soundly beating arch rivals St Helens 30-10 at the Totally Wicked Stadium. Wigan's defence was imperious as the season drew to its climax, conceding only 8.4 points per game. A 14-0 victory over Castleford Tigers set up an Old Trafford meeting between Wigan and Warrington for the 3rd Grand Final in 6 years. Wigan went into the game as slight favourites having finished in 2nd place in the league season and Warrington finishing in 4th. The game was a tight affair, with both defences fulfilling their pre-match billing. Former Wigan player Josh Charnley opened the scoring early in the game, only to be cancelled out by Dominic Manfredi's try midway through the first half. Tom Davies got the nod from the video referee to give Wigan an 8-4 lead at half time. As the players left the field a push from Warrington's Bryson Goodwin on Wigan's Morgan Escare sparked a fracas in the tunnel mirroring the fiery first half. In the second half, both teams went toe-to-toe with neither side able to score the try that would put their side in the driving seat. However, with 3 minutes to go, Manfredi's second try of the game capped an amazing comeback for the Wigan winger, who considered giving up rugby league for a job as a HGV driver during a 2 year absence through a serious knee injury. Wigan's victory capped a glorious year for the Cherry & Whites and gave departing players Sam Tomkins, John Bateman and Ryan Sutton plus coach Shaun Wane a perfect send off. Wane in particular brought his 30-year association with the club to an end after this match, becoming Wigan's longest-serving Summer era coach.[25]


On 7 July 2020, the Warriors announced plans to buy out fellow Wigan club Wigan Athletic following their administration, however they were unable to even come up with £10m proof of funds.[26]

Colours and badgeEdit


The Wigan team first played in cherry and white jerseys on 19 September 1885 in a match against Bury. The club didn't settle on the colours however until 22 December 1888 when after this time there is no mention of Wigan deviating from these colours as the primary colours. It is known that the team did wear a variety of different coloured jerseys at different times before 19 September 1885 and in-between that date and 22 December 1888. These included; blue and white hooped jerseys, black jerseys with white shorts and black socks, white jerseys and a chocolate & coral hooped jersey with black socks. The white Maltese cross was added to the club's jerseys for the start of the 1884-85 season but how long this remained as a feature on the jersey is unknown. The white jerseys were worn on several occasions during the 1885 season and were also worn at least once during 1887. The chocolate & coral hooped jerseys were worn during the 1886-1887 season with black socks however the colour of the shorts which were worn is unknown. It is also unknown how many times Wigan turned out in the chocolate & coral jersey that year. The colours cherry and white are the most synonymous with the club. The home kits have mostly consisted of the colours cherry and white since 1888 in different variations, usually hoops, but not always.[27] [28]

The Away or Alternate kit colours have usually been blue and white. Some fans assume this is because Wigan originally played in these colours before the switch to the red and white hooped kits and it would therefore be appropriate that these colours became the club's secondary kit colours. The Away kits have been in different shades of blue over the years, royal blue, navy blue and light blue with varied designs. These designs have sometimes been hooped, one irregular hoop or just a block colour of blue. There have been a few exceptions, with a black and white alternative kit being used in 2001, a black kit with red piping in 2007, a black and gold kit in 2012 and a purple and black hooped kit in 2013.


Wigan, like most teams, originally used the council's coat of arms as their club badge until the Super League era when many clubs rebranded. Wigan became known as the Wigan Warriors and had a new club crest with the words Warriors and a warrior on it. Eventually the club reverted to an updated design of Wigan Council coat of arms.

Kit manufacturers and sponsorsEdit

Period Kit Sponsor Shirt Sponsor
1986–1987 Umbro none
1987–1989 JJB
1989–1990 Norweb
1990–1994 Ellgren
1994–1996 Puma
1997 Bulldog
1998–1999 Nike Energi
2000–2002 Adidas JJB
2003–2005 Patrick
2006–2007 JJB
2008 Kooga
2009–2010 Mecca Bingo
2011 Applicado FS
2012–2013 ISC
2013 DW Sports
2014 Houses for Homes
2015 Erreà Coral
2016-2018 188BET
2019 Prestone
2020- Hummel

Current kitEdit

The kit is made by Erreà. On the front of the shirt, Coral appears in the centre while Netsuite appear on the far top right and the far top left. Magners appear on the left sleeve while Ainscough appear on the right sleeve. On the back of the shirt. Caliper Engineering and Light Distribution Ltd. with its website www.lightdisbribution.co.uk appear at the top while Brockwells Forestry appear on the bottom. Multipave appear on the right of their front shorts while MusclePharm appear on the right of their back shorts.


Wigan are proud of their community club image and of their world famous academy. The club prides itself on being innovators in the sport and run a number of Rugby League Teams.

Wigan Warriors Rugby League Teams for 2020:

1. Wigan Warriors Mens First Team

2. Wigan Warriors Mens Reserves

3. Wigan Warriors Academy (under 18s)

4. Wigan Warriors Scholarship (under 16s)

5. Wigan Warriors Ladies First Team

6. Wigan Warriors Ladies Academy (under 19s)

7. Wigan Warriors PDRL

8. Wigan Warriors Wheelchair Team



Wigan Football Club played on Folly Field, Upper Dicconson Street. The club played its first match at Folly Field on 30 November 1872 and remained at the ground for four years. Wigan Football Club went on to become Wigan & District Football Club, the newly named Wigan & District Football Club played its matches at Prescott Street (The West End Grounds). The club played at Prescott Street until the club disbanded. With the reformation of the Club as Wigan Wasps Football Club, the club returned to Folly Field from 1879 to 1886 when it moved its matches back to Prescott Street.

Wigan played their home games at Wigan Cricket Club on Prescott Street until 1901 when they moved to Springfield Park which they shared with the town's association soccer club Wigan United A.F.C. The first rugby match at Springfield Park was played on 14 September 1901 and was between Wigan and Morecambe in front of 4,000 spectators. The record rugby attendance for the ground was 10,000 achieved on 19 March 1902 when Wigan beat Widnes. Forty days later Wigan played their last game at Springfield Park when they defeated the Rest of Lancashire Senior Competition.

1902–1999: Central ParkEdit

In 1902 Wigan moved to their purpose-built rugby ground called Central Park. Wigan played their first game at Central Park against Batley on 6 September 1902, which Wigan won 14–8. Central Park would be the home of Wigan Rugby League until 1999, when they moved to the newly built JJB Stadium. The last match at Central Park was against St Helens on 5 September 1999, a game which Wigan won 28–20 in front of 18,179 supporters. As Wigan developed into one of the most famous rugby league clubs in the world, Central Park also became one of the most famous grounds.

Wigan won the 1987 World Club Challenge match against 1987 Sydney (New South Wales Rugby League) Premiers Manly-Warringah at Central Park played on 7 October. The try-less game, won 8–2, was played in front of a reported crowd of 36,895, though many of those in attendance believed the attendance was actually closer to 50,000.[29][30]

The record attendance for a game at Central Park was 47,747 set on 27 March 1959 against St Helens.[citation needed]

2000–present: DW StadiumEdit

DW Stadium before the 2013 Rugby League World Cup Quarter-final between England and France

Towards the end of the 2000 season Wigan Warriors moved to the newly built DW Stadium which they currently share with the Wigan football club Wigan Athletic. The stadium is owned by the football club who gave Warriors a 50-year lease on the Stadium.[31] Warriors first game at the then JJB Stadium was a Super League play-off match against Castleford Tigers which Wigan lost 14–10.

Wigan also have a state-of-the-art training facility at the small stadium Edge Hall Road in Orrell (now named the Co-Operative Community Stadium) where the first team, reserve team & academy team prepare, train and rehabilitate ahead of and after matches. It is also where the Reserve & Academy sides play their home games.

DW Stadium has an official capacity of 25,133.[citation needed] The Warriors record attendance at DW is 25,004 set against St Helens on 25 March 2005.[32]

2020 squadEdit

2020 Wigan Warriors Squad
First team squad Coaching staff

Head coach

Assistant coaches

  • (c) Captain(s)
  • (vc) Vice captain(s)
  •   Injured

Updated: 15 November 2019
Source(s): 2020 Squad Numbers

2020 transfersEdit


Player Club Contract Date
  Mitch Clark Leigh Centurions 3 Years June 2019[33]
  Jake Bibby Salford Red Devils 2 Years June 2019[34]
  Jackson Hastings Salford Red Devils 2 Years June 2019[35]
  George Burgess South Sydney Rabbitohs 3 Years July 2019[36]
  Bevan French Parramatta Eels 2 Years July 2019[37]
  Kai Pearce-Paul London Broncos 4 years November 2019[38]


Player Club Contract Date
  Samy Kibula Warrington Wolves 1 year September 2019[39]
  Caine Barnes Workington Town N/A September 2019[39]
  Dan Sarginson Salford Red Devils October 2019[40]
  George Williams Canberra Raiders 2 years October 2019[41]
  James Worthington Oldham Roughyeds 1 year October 2019[42]
  Callum Field Leigh Centurions N/A November 2019[43]
  Tom Davies Catalans Dragons 2 years November 2019[44]
  Sam Grant Swinton Lions 1 year November 2019[45]
  Josh Woods Leigh Centurions 1 year Loan December 2019[46]
  Craig Mullen Leigh Centurions 1 year Loan December 2019[47]
  Morgan Escaré Released N/A June 2020[48]


  • World Club Challenge Winners: 1987, 1991, 1994, 2017.
  • World Club Challenge Runners-Up: 1992, 2011, 2014, 2019.
  • Super League Champions: 1998, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2018.
  • Super League Runners-Up: 1996, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2014, 2015.
  • Super League Minor Premiership Winners: 1998, 2000, 2010, 2012.
  • League Championship Winners: 1908–09, 1921–22, 1925–26, 1933–34, 1945–46, 1946–47, 1949–50, 1951–52, 1959–60, 1986–87, 1989–90, 1990–91, 1991–92, 1992–93, 1993–94, 1994–95, 1995–96.
  • League Championship Runners-Up: 1909–10, 1910–11, 1911–12, 1912–13, 1923–24, 1963–64, 1970–71, 1974–75, 1985–86, 1988–89.
  • Challenge Cup Winners: 1923–24, 1928–29, 1947–48, 1950–51, 1957–58, 1958–59, 1964–65, 1984–85, 1987–88, 1988–89, 1989–90, 1990–91, 1991–92, 1992–93, 1993–94, 1994–95, 2002, 2011, 2013.
  • Challenge Cup Runners-Up: 1910–11, 1919–20, 1943–44, 1945–46, 1960–61, 1962–63, 1965–66, 1969–70, 1983–84, 1998, 2004, 2017.
  • Lancashire League Winners: 1901–02, 1908–09, 1910–11, 1911–12, 1912–13, 1913–14, 1914–15, 1920–21, 1922–23, 1923–24, 1925–26, 1945–46, 1946–47, 1949–50, 1951–52, 1958–59, 1961–62, 1969–70.
  • Lancashire County Cup Winners: 1905–06, 1908–09, 1909–10, 1912–13, 1922–23, 1928–29, 1938–39, 1946–47, 1947–48, 1948–49, 1949–50, 1950–51, 1951–52, 1966–67, 1971–72, 1973–74, 1985–86, 1986–87, 1987–88, 1988–89, 1992–93.
  • Lancashire County Cup Runners-Up: 1913–14, 1914–15, 1925–26, 1927–28, 1930–31, 1934–35, 1935–36, 1936–37, 1945–46, 1953–54, 1957–58, 1977–78, 1980–81, 1984–85.
  • Premiership Winners: 1986–87, 1991–92, 1993–94, 1994–95, 1996, 1997.
  • Premiership Runners-Up: 1992–93.
  • Regal Trophy Winners: 1982–83, 1985–86, 1986–87, 1988–89, 1989–90, 1992–93, 1994–95, 1995–96.
  • Regal Trophy Runners-Up: 1993–94.
  • Charity Shield Winners: 1985–86, 1987–88, 1991–92, 1995–96.
  • Charity Shield Runners-Up: 1988–89, 1989–90, 1990–91, 1992–93.
  • BBC2 Floodlit Trophy Winners: 1968–69.
  • BBC2 Floodlit Trophy Runners-Up: 1969–70.
  • Rugby League World 7s Winners: 1991–92.
  • Middlesex Rugby Union 7s Winners: 1996.
  • Carnegie Floodlit 9s Winners: 2010.
  • War Emergency League Winners: 1943–44.
  • Lancashire War League Winners: 1940–41.
  • League Leaders Trophy Winners: 1970–71.
  • Kenny Sterling Shield Winners: 2018
  • Wigan Charity Cup Winners: 1883, 1885, 1888, 1889, 1890, 1891
  • West Lancashire and Border Towns Union Cup Winners: 1889, 1889/1890
  • BBC Sports Team of the Year: 1994.

Challenge Cup historyEdit

Year Placing Result Notes
2019 R6 Lost to Warrington (24-26) N/A
2018 QF Lost to Warrington (23-0) N/A
2017 F Lost to Hull F.C. (14-18) N/A
2016 SF Lost to Hull F.C. (12–16) (Played at Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster)
2015 R6 Lost to Hull KR (12–16) ("Home" game played at Leigh Sports Village, Leigh)
2014 QF Lost to Castleford (4–16) N/A
2013 F Beat Hull F.C. (16–0) 19th Title.
2012 SF Lost to Leeds (28–39) (Played at John Smith's Stadium, Huddersfield)
2011 F Beat Leeds (28–18) 18th Title
2010 QF Lost to Leeds (12–10) N/A
2009 SF Lost to Warrington (39–26) (Played at Select Security Stadium, Widnes)
2008 QF Lost to Leeds (23–16) N/A
2007 SF Lost to Catalans (24–37) (Played at Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington)
2006 R5 Lost to Salford (16–4) N/A
2005 QF Lost to St. Helens (75–0) N/A
2004 F Lost to St. Helens (32–16) Played at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
2003 SF Lost to Bradford (36–22) (Played at John Smith's Stadium, Huddersfield)
2002 F Beat St. Helens (21–12) (Played at Murrayfield, Edinburgh). 17th Title
2001 R4 Lost to St. Helens (22–8) N/A
2000 QF Lost to Hull F.C. (14–4) N/A
1999 QF Lost to Leeds (28–18) N/A
1998 F Lost to Sheffield (17–8) N/A
1997 R4 Lost to St. Helens N/A
1996 R5 Lost to Salford (26–16) N/A
1995 F Beat Leeds (30–10) 16th Title. (8th In a Row).
1994 F Beat Leeds (26–16) 15th Title. (7th In a Row).
1993 F Beat Widnes (20–14) 14th Title. (6th In a Row).
1992 F Beat Castleford (28–12) 13th Title. (5th In a Row).
1991 F Beat St. Helens (13–8) 12th Title. (4th In a Row).
1990 F Beat Warrington (36–14) 11th Title. (3rd In a Row).
1989 F Beat St. Helens (27–0) 10th Title. (2nd In a Row).
1988 Final Beat Halifax (32–12) 9th Title.

Bold - Denotes Cup Winners.

All Finals Played At Wembley Stadium, Unless Otherwise Noted.

Semi-Finals Played At Neutral Grounds.

Club recordsEdit



  • Biggest victory (All Time): 116–0 vs Flimby & Fothergill, 14 February 1925
  • Biggest victory (Super League Era): 84–6 vs Hull Kingston Rovers, 1 April 2013 & 84–6 vs Bradford Bulls, 21 April 2014.
  • Highest attendance (Central Park): 47,747 vs St. Helens, 27 March 1959
  • Highest attendance (DW Stadium): 25,004 (Good Friday 2005 vs St Helens)
  • Highest attendance (all-time): 99,801 vs Hull FC, 4 May 1985 (1985 Challenge Cup Final) at Wembley Stadium
  • Highest attendance vs an international touring team: 30,622 vs Australia, 12 October 1986 (1986 Kangaroo Tour)
  • Heaviest Defeat (Super League): 0–70 vs Leeds Rhinos, 18 June 2005
  • Heaviest Defeat (Challenge Cup): 0–75 vs St Helens, 26 June 2005


Current coaching staffEdit

Adrian Lam was confirmed as Wigan coach on 8 August 2018, but wasn't named as head coach, until the end of the 2018 campaign, when Shaun Wane left for Scotland. Lam was hired as interim coach, on the basis that Shaun Edwards would be taking over in 2020, after the World Cup, however, Edwards confirmed that he will not be taking over as Wigan head coach, due to "lack of preparations", and is expected to stay on with Wales.[49]

On 8 July 2019, it was confirmed that Lam had signed for an additional year at Wigan, thus turning his role from interim to full time.

The Head of Strength & Conditioning is Mark Bitcon, and Mick Turner will continue as a Strength & Conditioning coach.

Paul Deacon has also been appointed as an assistant coach after his role as a player in the 2010 and 2011 seasons.

Kris Radlinski is the current Rugby General Manager at the club, as well as being head coach for the women's first team.[50]

Coaching registerEdit

Name Contract started Contract ended Reason for leaving Honours*
  Adrian Lam October 2018 ???
  Shaun Wane October 2011 October 2018 Left to coach Scotland Rugby Union 1 League Leaders Shield, 1 Challenge Cup, 3 Championships, 1 World Club Challenge, Undefeated in the Magic Weekend
  Michael Maguire October 2009 October 2011 Left to coach South Sydney Rabbitohs 1 Championship, 1 Challenge Cup, 1 League Leaders' Shield
  Brian Noble April 2006 October 2009 Contract not renewed
  Ian Millward May 2005 April 2006 Sacked
  Denis Betts May 2004 May 2005 Resigned
  Mike Gregory July 2003 May 2004 Sick leave
  Stuart Raper May 2001 July 2003 Sacked 1 Challenge Cup
  Frank Endacott December 1999 May 2001 Sacked
  Andy Goodway June 1999 December 1999 Sacked
  John Monie November 1997 June 1999 Sacked 1 Championship
  Eric Hughes February 1997 November 1997 Sacked
  Graeme West May 1994 February 1997 Sacked 2 Championships, 1 Challenge Cup, 1 World Club Challenge
  John Dorahy June 1993 May 1994 Sacked 1 Championship, 1 Challenge Cup
  John Monie September 1989 May 1993 Resigned 4 Championships, 4 Challenge Cups, 1 World Club Challenge
  Graham Lowe August 1986 June 1989 Left to coach Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 1 Championship, 2 Challenge Cups, 1 World Club Challenge
  Colin Clarke/Alan McInnes August 1984 May 1986 Left – mutual consent 1 Challenge Cup
  Alex Murphy June 1982 August 1984 Sacked
  Maurice Bamford May 1981 May 1982 Resigned
  George Fairbairn April 1980 May 1981 Sold
  Kel Coslett October 1979 April 1980 Left - wanted to coach St. Helens
  Vince Karalius September 1976 September 1979 Resigned
  Joe Coan January 1975 September 1976 Resigned
  Ted Toohey May 1974 January 1975 Caretaker
Graham Starkey June 1973 May 1974 Sacked
  Eric Ashton September 1963 May 1973 Resigned 1 Challenge Cup
Griff Jenkins October 1961 September 1963 Resigned
John "Johnny" Lawrenson September 1961 October 1961 Caretaker
  Jim Sullivan July 1961 September 1961 Ill-Health
  Joe Egan August 1956 May 1961 Resigned 1 Championship, 2 Challenge Cups
Edward "Ted" Ward August 1953 End of 1956 Resigned
Maurice Hughes August 1952 End of 1953 Sacked
  Jim Sullivan October 1932 End of 1952 Resigned 5 Championships, 2 Challenge Cups

Note *only Championship, Challenge Cup and World Club Challenge honours shown.


Notable playersEdit

In 2005 during the tenth season of the current Super League championship format, the fans of Wigan RLFC voted for their best thirteen players of the 'Nineties' and the 'Noughties', called the Team of the Decade. This is a list of the ballot's resulting thirteen players.[51]

No. Player name Position Years at club
1 Kris Radlinski MBE Fullback 1993–2006
2 Jason Robinson OBE Wing 1992–2000
3 Va'aiga Tuigamala MNZM Centre 1993–1997
4 Gary Connolly Centre 1992–2002, 2004
5 Martin Offiah MBE Wing 1991–1996
6 Henry Paul Stand-off 1994–1998
7 Shaun Edwards OBE Scrum-half 1983–1996
8 Craig Smith Prop 2002–2004
9 Terry Newton Hooker 2000–2005
10 Terry O'Connor Prop 1994–2004
11 Denis Betts Second-row 1986–1995, 1998–2001
12 Mick Cassidy Second-row 1990–2004
13 Andy Farrell OBE Loose forward 1991–2004

The club also has its own Hall of Fame for players the club recognises as having made a significant contribution to its success, especially during the late 1980s, and early 1990s when the club entered the most successful period in its history trophy-wise. There are currently ten members of the Wigan RLFC Hall of Fame.

Player name Position(s) Profile
Eric Ashton MBE Centre Link
Dean Bell Centre Link[dead link]
Billy Boston MBE Wing Link
Shaun Edwards OBE Stand-off Link
Joe Egan Hooker Link
Ken Gee Prop Link
Andy Gregory Scrum-half Link
Ellery Hanley MBE Loose forward Link[dead link]
Brian McTigue Prop Link
Jim Sullivan Fullback Link


Wigan is one of the most well supported British rugby league clubs. During the 2006 season, in which the team was struggling to avoid relegation, the attendances were increasing as fans came to support the club and offer vocal support, many of whom may have not attended on a regular basis previously.

The club averaged 16,016 per home game in 2007. In 2010 Wigan were officially the best supported club in Super League with a higher average attendance than nearest rivals Leeds Rhinos. The club have now been confirmed as the best supported club for the last three seasons of 2010, 2011 and 2012.[52]

As a gesture of thanks, the 2008 season saw the Wigan fans have the squad number 18 dedicated to them, a practice which has since continued each season. Joe Lydon commented "This is a new practice for clubs who recognise the extra special support which loyal fans can provide to their team in both good and bad times. It is particularly apt for Wigan fans".[53]

From early 2008, the Wigan fans have often chanted to the tune of The Entertainer. One of the beginning lines of this particular chant is "We're the Greatest Club in the World".

The fans have their own supporters club, The Riversiders, who meet monthly and often have special guests at the meetings including past and present players, coaching staff and members of the Rugby Football League.

In 2010 some supporters set up a group to improve the atmosphere at both home and away games, known as the Wigan Brigantes, Brigantes being the name of the tribe that inhabited this and other large parts of northern England before and during the Roman era. The group started by erecting flags across the South Stand gantry at the DW Stadium, beginning with 12 at the start of the 2010 season and grew steadily from there. The group's banner had the phrase "Long After Tonight Is All Over" as a nod to the Jimmy Radcliffe song that was a staple of the Wigan Casino club during the Northern Soul era, and to show their rivals that their support would continue well after the final whistle had sounded. This was particularly true of some of Wigan's away games during the 2011 season where their fans often stayed well over half an hour after the final hooter singing to the tune of "Dale Cavese".

There is also a regular fans' forum meeting with chairman Ian Lenagan and the current head coach to discuss the latest issues concerning the club and the work that is being done behind the scenes. So far every meeting has been a sell out.[54]

Wigan's fans and Wigan people in general are known as 'pie eaters' or 'pies' which is reference to the 1926 General Strike, when Wigan miners were forced to eat 'humble pie' and return to work before miners in other towns, even though they had been on strike before the other towns joined in.[55] Since then the word 'pie' has come to mean the pastry rather than the metaphor 'Humble Pie'. Wigan fans are notoriously known for leaving the match early when they are losing, creating the phrase doing the "Wigan walk"

Supporter clubsEdit

  • Riversiders
  • Brigantes

Notable fansEdit


The club's strongest and fiercest rivalry is with St. Helens. Matches, between the two teams are played traditionally on Good Friday and in previous seasons on Boxing Day. The clubs are often described as archenemies such is the history of the rivalry. The matches between the two clubs are said to have bragging rights at stake and banter between the fans of both clubs is commonplace. The rivalry is so fierce that matches between the two teams are one of only two sporting events to officially be given the title of The Derby.

Leigh Centurions are traditional rivals of the club and similarly matches between the two clubs are local derbies. The rivalry between these two clubs however has been muted due to the fact that the two clubs compete in different competitions and therefore do not play each other regularly (during the Super League era, Wigan and Leigh have only been together in Super League for two seasons, in 2005 and 2017).

The club has forged a more recent fierce rivalry with Warrington Wolves following a resurgence in the club's success and Warrington's emergence as one of the most competitive teams in the Super League.

A more notable rivalry is one with the Leeds Rhinos because when the 2 teams meet there is usually something at stake as the two teams are labelled as super league giants and have met 11 times in Super League play offs Wigan edging that head to head record 6–5 plus both teams have played each other in Challenge Cup Finals, Semi Finals & Quarter Finals and it is always fiercely competitive when they meet. Leeds and Wigan dominated Super League from the late 2000s and through the 2010s, with either Leeds or Wigan winning Super League every year, aside from 2014, between 2007 and 2018 (strangely enough during this period, Wigan and Leeds have only met in the Grand Final once, in 2015).

In the communityEdit

Wigan confirmed via the official website that they had been granted charitable status on Wednesday 29 April 2009 via the "charitable arm" of the club the Wigan Warriors Community Foundation. Wigan Warriors carry out extensive community work that stretches from Amateur Rugby League Football clubs to Schools as well as running highly successful community training camps for young people. A part of the community work is visiting primary schools to deliver a programme specifically designed for young people entitled 'Lessons for Life'. The programme is delivered via a geographic family of schools approach and results in each school receiving two hours of Rugby League coaching per week for a six-week period. Additionally every school is offered the opportunity to start an extra curricular club and take part in a "Warriors Tag Festival". The club will now be able to deliver an even more extensive community programme via the Wigan Warriors Community Foundation

Wigan became the first club in the country to receive Sport England's Clubmark Gold Award.[61] The Gold award, only available from 1 April 2009, shows the clubs commitment to Duty of Care and Child Protection, Coaching and Competition, Sports Equity and Ethics and Club Management. The Gold award not only meets the minimum standards in all areas, but surpasses them and meets additional criteria too.

Combined with education provider ProCo, Wigan have established a work based learning academy in the town to provide opportunities to young people whilst also providing a permanent base for its scholarship and academy squads. The Work Academy has been given the name "Central Park" in reference to Wigan's former home and also makes reference to the education provider.[62]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Jackson Hastings is Australian of British descent. He has been capped by Great Britain but is yet to represent a Home Nation.
  2. ^ James McDonnell is currently undeclared for a national side and is elegible for either England or Ireland


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External linksEdit