How Wigan Warriors' poignant film release is inspiring current stars to secure Challenge Cup glory
Matty Peet admits Wigan Warriors will take inspiration from their rich history heading into Saturday’s Challenge Cup final following the release of a poignant film to mark the club’s 150-year anniversary. The poem has been written specially for the 150th year anniversary and is narrated by Wigan Warriors Hall of Famer Martin Offiah, whose feats in the cherry and white jersey saw him become one of the greatest wingers in rugby league history. “What I like personally about the film is that it celebrates the highs but also acknowledges the lows,” he said. “It’s probably a large part of our talk on a daily basis not just because there’s a big game coming up.
Warriors executive director, Kris Radlinski, said of the production: “It’s obviously a celebration of 150 years and we had to do that but it comes from a great place of humility from us all. Walsh started working with the club in August last year and a group of 20 Wigan fans were invited to what he calls a ‘panning for gold’ session where he gauged ideas and words of what Wigan Warriors was all about. On the poem, Walsh said: “From watching the sport in the 80s and 90s I was very well aware of the legacy of the club but when I looked into it more deeply, I did my research, spent some time with Kris, the chairman and a couple of hours with a group of fans and came away with thirty or forty pages of flipchart paper covered in words of what the club meant to people. “When I brought it back and shared it with those fans, it’s fair to say there was more than a few tears and there was a standing ovation in the room.
Once the poem had been written, work got underway in creating the film. Offiah said: “I haven’t got a Wigan accent, but having spent time with the likes of Shaun Edwards over the years and being around Wigan, I really wanted to do justice to the terminology and to make people feel – that’s what I tried to do as a player, to make people feel emotions and that’s what I was trying to do when I performed the piece. “I thought to myself – this is something that is going to inform, inspire, connect future generations even when I’m gone. “It’s a concise bit of history in a poem, with the visuals that some children in five, ten or even fifty-years time will look at and connect with it.
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