Nicknames: The Cherry & Whites, The Riversiders, Warriors
Ground: DW Stadium
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Wigan Rugby League
The Wigan Warriors are probably the most famous brand in either code of rugby and there Cherry and White playing strip is also most probably the most iconic.
The late 80s and 90’s saw an era of domination by the Warriors and although those incredible high heights haven’t quite been match in the Super League era, the club have still won all that there is to win during the summer era and are sure to be there or thereabouts at the business end of the season for a number of years to come.
As a club that have been successful for most of their history the Warriors have a number of rivalries with teams from across the country but there is one rivalry that’s stands heads and shoulders above the rest and that is the rivalry with St Helens.
Due to the location of both clubs and the historical importance of this rivalry, matches between Wigan and St Helens are one of only 2 sporting events to be officially given the title of ‘A Derby’ from Lord Derby- the other is the major horse race.
Wigan also have a big rivalry with near neighbours the Leigh Centurions although this rivalry has dropped off in recent times due to the lack of matches between the 2 but with Leigh now back in the top flight, matches between the 2 must watch events.
Smaller rivalries have developed inn recent season with both the Warrington Wolves and the Leeds Rhinos due to both teams battling with Wigan for trophies with matches between the Warriors and the Rhinos especially becoming big events.
Originally Wigan played in blue and white hoops and whilst this colour scheme has been used recently for away games, it was the 1886 switch to cherry and whites hoops that gave birth to the iconic Wigan strips that have been a part of the club identity ever since.
Due to the sustained years of success and the never ending list of star players to pull on the Wigan jersey, the cherry and white stripes of Wigan have become arguably the most iconic colour scheme in the Super League and perhaps in Rugby League in general.
Throughout the club’s long history, Wigan have had 2 grounds in which they called home, Central Park and the DW Stadium.
The club built there Central Park home back in 1902 and they won their first ever match at the ground 14-8 against Batley. This ground was to be their home right through until 1999 when the club moved to the then named JJB Stadium.
The last ever match played at Central Park was against rivals St Helens and once again Wigan one the match.
The first ever game for the Warriors at their new home was a play-off match against Castleford which Wigan lost 10-14.
It’s difficult to summarise Wigan’s history in just a few hundred words because basically they have not just won everything that there is to win but they have continued to do so throughout most of their history.
The club can trace their roots back to 1872 when the first Wigan rugby club was formed by members of the Wigan Cricket Club with the new clubs first ever match taking place on the 30th of November in a friendly with their first competitive match taking place against Warrington on the 18th of January 1873.
Financial difficulties in their early days saw the club merge and amalgamate with many other clubs in the local area before they disbanded in 1879.
In September 1879, members of former club joined together to form the Wigan Wasps and in 1884 the club won their first ever trophy, the West Lancashire Cup.
After been suspended by the RFU for making payments to players it was no surprise to see Wigan joining the breakaway Northern Union which they did in 1895 to become one of the first 21 Rugby League teams in the world. At the same time the club dropped the Wasps moniker to be known simply as Wigan.
That was the official start of the club we now know as the Wigan Warriors and it also started an existence of almost constant success.
The club won their first ever League Championship in the 1908-09 season a feat they have now managed on over 20 occasions) and whilst they had to wait until the 1923-24 season for their first ever Challenge Cup victory, they have now gone on to win that trophy a record number of times.
Other titles to have been won by Wigan include the League Cup won on 8 occasions), the Premiership won on 6 occasions), the Floodlit Trophy won once), the League Leaders Shield, the Charity Shield won on 4 occasions), the Lancashire Cup won on 22 occasions), the Lancashire League won on 18 occasions) and they have also won the World Club Championship on multiple occasions.