Warrington Rugby League through the ages
Photos courtesy of Bob Brough
The Warrington Wolves Charitable Foundation, in association with the club, officially unveiled the Wire2Wolves Timeline at The Halliwell Jones Stadium at the weekend.
The Foundation were awarded Heritage Lottery Funding to create the interactive timeline to celebrate the rich history of Warrington Rugby League club and the town.
The fantastic piece of artwork, which has also been supported by Warrington business Central Self Drive and designers Fuzzy Duck Create, runs the length of the South Stand concourse and commemorates the past successes of the ‘Wire' and also the recent achievements of the ‘Wolves'.
The timeline features all heritage numbers to mark each player's place in the club's history and encompasses the journey of the Warrington club from its inception in 1876 up to the present day including a timeline of town events. The project also consists of living walls with player and supporter memories recorded on timeline projection.
Opening section of the Wire2Wolves Timeline
Club chairman Professor Steven Broomhead said: "As a template club within Super League we recognise the importance of this Wire2Wolves timeline to each and every person within the borough-wide community. There is a genuine passion about our sport and this 100 metre display of history and achievement yet again demonstrates the club leading the way in Rugby League and throughout sport stadias."
The heritage wall was officially opened by past players Alastair Brindle, Laurie Gilfedder and Paul Cullen alongside current legend Lee Briers on Saturday, 13 April: Warrington-born prop Alastair won the Lancashire Cup in 1959, Laurie debuted at the age of 16 earning several Great Britain caps, Paul Cullen is renowned for both his playing and coaching achievements for his hometown club and Lee Briers' 16 years at the club have seen him become the leading points scorer in Warrington's history.
Paul Cullen (below) said on attending the official opening: "Something like this makes you stand back and be immensely proud of being part of this great town and club. To be recognised with some of the great players of this club is a privilege and I can only congratulate all involved."
Throughout the launch day players past and present, families, directors, club staff, Wolves Charitable Foundation Trustees, club sponsors and partners, and supporters joined together to take a trip down memory lane.
Wolves' head of coaching and rugby Tony Smith, who has helped add to the club's history guiding the team to silverware in recent years, said: "It was fantastic. All the players were commenting on just how great it was. It really is spectacular, a great initiative and it's very humbling to be part of that history. Each time I see it I get some new information from it and something that helps me understand the club better; some of the things the club has gone through, and the town as well. I think that's really important, the tie-in between the club and the town and just how important they are to one another."
The day was also celebrated with the watching of a video reel reminiscing with players past and present, commemorative Record Breaking beer, memory cards, shirt displays through the ages and more.
Neil Kelly, Wolves' Foundation director, said: "Thanks to Lottery funding and Central Self Drive, a dream has turned into reality. It is great to see the history created by so many has been remembered in this special way. The passion was certainly on display at the opening and made me proud to be from Warrington."
Roy Chicken, of the Supporters Trust, added: "The timeline is a tremendous achievement by the Foundation and everyone else involved in the project. It successfully combines the history of Warrington Wolves and the town of Warrington. It is a must for all supporters young and old to see and to spend time studying the photographs and words."
The next viewing of the timeline will be for the South Stand spectators at the Bradford game. Following this, there will be events open to the public. The Foundation also intend to open the timeline up to the public in the near future.
Pictured Top: L-R: Paul Cullen, Alastair Brindle, Laurie Gilfedder, Lee Briers
18, Apr, 2013