Sporting People

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This page last updated Friday, 3 August 2012
This sporting life...

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This page features profiles of famous Warrington people connected with sport.

Actors, entertainers, etc are featured in Entertaining People.
Warrington Wolves rugby players are featured on the Warrington Wolves page.
For profiles on other famous people, see the Warrington People page.

Sport categories are listed alphabetically throughout the page, with individuals listed in
date of birth order within the categories. They are also listed alphabetically by surname in the table below.
Click the links to navigate either by sport categories, or by looking up an individual name. 
Or better still, start at the top and read how Warrington has contributed to the worldwide sporting scene.
If you think somebody should be included, let me know!

Featured on this page
ARCHERY FOOTBALL JUDO RUGBY UNION
ATHLETICS GOLF POLO SWIMMING 
CANOEING HANDBALL ROWING TENNIS
CRICKET HORSE RACING RUGBY LEAGUE WATER POLO
Achieng Ajulu-Bushell (Swimming)

Clifford Eccles (Rugby League)

Harold Keenan (Football) Suzanne Rigg (Athlete)
Johnny Akinyemi (Canoeist) Richard Egington (Rowing) Frederick Kelsall (Rugby League) Jack Robinson (Football)
Phillip Archer (Golf) Keith Elwell (Rugby League) Steve Kindon (Football) Steve Saunders (Footballer)
Danny Arnold (Rugby League) Neil Fairbrother (Cricket) Holly Lam-Moores (Handball) Helen Slatter (Swimming)
Gary Bannister (Football) Simon Finnigan (Rugby League) John Lawrinson (Judoka) Ady Spencer (Rugby League)
Mike Bennett (Rugby League) Stephen Foster (Football) Chris Lightfoot (Football) David Strettle (Rugby Union)
Ronnie Birkett (Football) Bob Fulton (Rugby League) "Sunny" Lowry (Swimming) John Stubbs (Archery)
John Bramhall (Football) John Green (Football) Alex MacDonald (Football) Stephen Titchard (Cricket)
Steven Bramhall (Cricket) Richard Green (Cricket) Gerard Mannion (Football) Glenn Walker (Football)
Nick Brown (Tennis) Phil Hadland (Football) Joe Mellor (Rugby League) Leigh Walmsley (Archery)
Anthony Bullock (Football) Andy Haigh (Rugby League) David Mercer Joe Warham (Rugby League)
Mark Carrington (Football) Paul Hanagan (Jockey) Geoff Molyneux (Football) Ernest Whitty (Football)
James Chester (Football) Tim Hartley (Rugby League) John Molyneux (Football) Ian Wilkinson (Football) 
Andy Coley (Football) Darren Heesom (Football) William Mortimer (Rugby Union) Stanley Woodhouse (Football)
Matthew Cook (Rugby League) James John Hornby (Rowing) Steven Mullaney (Cricket) Harry Worley (Football)
Hugh De Prez (Cricket) Phipps Hornby (Cricket) Hazel Musgrove (Water Polo) Mike Worsley (Rugby Union)
Steve Donoghue (Jockey) Roger Hunt (Football) Jon Newby (Football) Frederick Worrall (Football)
Wade Dooley (Rugby Union) Walter Jones (Polo) Callum Reilly (Football) Joseph Worrall (Football Referee)
Matt Doughty (Football) Stephen Jordan (Football) John Richards (Football) David Wright (Football)
George Duckworth (Cricket)

Note: some of this material is from Wikipedia, the online encyclopaedia. Please see the foot of the Feedback page 
for important copyright information. mywarrington is not responsible for the content of external websites.

ARCHERY

John Stubbs (Paralympic Archer) 1965-

John Stubbs (born 12 July 1965 in Manchester, based in Warrington) is a world champion in his chosen sport as a Paralympic archer. He survived a car crash at the age of 24, but lost a leg in the accident.

Having once played disabled cricket at international level, he took up archery at an open sports day in 1996, purely for recreation, but his talent led him to the world championships in New Zealand in 2000, and he hasn’t looked back. Five years later he became the world champion and took part in the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games, where he won the gold medal. He once said that archery has not been adapted for the disabled world. It doesn’t need to because he can compete against his able-bodied counterparts.

He was later awarded the MBE from the Queen for his services to disabled sport and archery. He will take part in the 2012 London Paralympic Games, along with fellow Warrington-born archer Leigh Walmsley (featured below). In early 2012 he took part in the test event for the London 2012 games at the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich on 5 and 6 May 2012. Stubbs, commenting on the Paralympic Games, said: "London 2012 will be a great spectacle to put disabled sport firmly on the map."

He is associated with two clubs, the North Cheshire Bowmen and Royal Richmond Archery Club. In April 2012 he visited St Anne’s Primary School in Orford to tell the delighted children of his achievements. Those achievements to date include:

Paralympic World Champion 2005
European Grand Prix Champion 2006, 2008, 2009 (Stoke Mandeville, Gold)
World Number 1, 2008
Paralympic Champion 2008 (Beijing Paralympic Gold, Men's Open Compound)
European Championships 2010 (Bronze individual, Silver, Gold)
Para-Archery World Record 2010, 70m FITA (696).

The archery at the Paralympic Games will run from 30 August to 5 September 2012, with Channel 4 as the host broadcaster.

Leigh Walmsley (Paralympic Archer) 1969-

Leigh Walmsley (born 1 May 1969 in Warrington) is a Paralympic archer who will take part in the Paralympic Games at London 2012, alongside fellow warrington-based archer John Stubbs (featured above). These will be her first Paralympic Games and she said: “I’m thrilled to have made the GB squad for the Paralympic Games”. She also took part at the test event at the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich on 5 and 6 May 2012, losing to Magali Comte 7-1. Leigh says being at the test event has whetted her appetite. "It's an awesome venue," she said.

The National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS) congratulated Leigh on her selection for the GB Paralympic Archery Team. They said: “Leigh has RA and thoroughly deserves her place on the team!” 

She has been competing at international level since 2007. At the Euro Grand Prix in Nymburk, Czech Republic, in August 2011, she won a team gold medal alongside Kate Murray and Sharon Vennard. In the individual event she scored 550 points from 72 arrows (an average of 7.64 per arrow), just missing out on the medals in 4th place. In September 2011 she won a bronze medal at Stoke Mandeville in the pouring rain and wind with a score of 437.

She says her role models are her mum and dad and her biggest influence is John Stubbs. Her aspiration is “To continually improve myself and strive to be the best”. To relax she enjoys music (OK GO, Guillemots and Sarah McLachlan) and some of her favourite films include Lost in Translation, Princess Bride, As Good as it Gets and Bridesmaids.

The archery at the Paralympic Games will run from 30 August to 5 September 2012, with Channel 4 as the host broadcaster.

ATHLETICS

Suzanne Rigg (Athlete) 1963-

Suzanne Rigg (born 29 November 1963 in Essex, Massachusetts, United States). As a member of Warrington Athletics Club, she was the fastest woman in the 1991 Birchwood 10k race with a time of 35:22. She also won the Admiral Swansea Bay 10k race in 1993 with a time of 33:48. She competed at the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Canada, where she finished 4th in the 10,000 metres. She also competed in the marathon at the Atlanta Olympics In 1996 with a time of 2:52:09 (58th position). In that race she was up against GB's number one Liz McColgan (2:34:30, 17th position) and Karen McCloud (2:42:08, 46th position). Suzanne had letters of support from Buckingham Palace and Doug Hoyle MP (now Lord Hoyle) when she represented her country in Atlanta. In the UK Women’s 10k road race all-time list (as at 2 September 2010), Suzanne is in position 22 with a time of 32:35, achieved at Redditch on 15 August 1992.

CANOEING

Johnny Akinyemi (Olympic Canoeist) 1988-

Johnny Akinyemi (born 22 November 1988 in Warrington) is a canoeist who represents Nigeria in canoe slalom (kayak) events. He attended Culcheth High School and started out at Warrington Canoe Club.

At the age of 11 he was sitting in the family living room watching the final run of British canoeist Paul Ratcliffe at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and decided that was what he wanted to do as a career. He secured a place in the British national team at the age of 13, having spent some time on the junior circuit. Johnny first visited Nigeria in 2007, aged 18, and within a year had signed up for the Nigerian team. He is coached by John Cofie Akinyemi and John McCalla-Leacy.

His Olympic journey began in February 2012 when he defeated the 2008 Olympic bronze medallist Benjamin Boukpeti in the 2012 African Slalom Championships in Bethlehem, South Africa.

At London 2012 he became Warrington’s first canoe slalom Olympian but went out in the kayak heats at the Lee Valley White Water Centre. His best time of 104 seconds was 17 seconds off the pace after he hit four gates in the first run. He needed a time of less than 94.4 seconds in his second run to get into the last 15 places, but incurred a 50-second penalty for missing gate 12. He finished 21st out of 22 in the K1, which ended his Olympic dream for 2012. After his defeat he said, “It's been a real privilege to have been given the opportunity to represent Nigeria at the Olympics.”

Away from his chosen sport he enjoys spending time with his family and friends, archery, playing the guitar and writing songs.

CRICKET

Phipps Hornby (Cricketer) 1820-1848

Phipps John Hornby (born 24 April 1820 in Warrington, died 8 April 1848 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, age 27), represented pre-county club Hampshire in a single first-class match in 1842 against the Marylebone Cricket Club. He scored 3 runs with a batting average of 1.5 runs (i.e. he faced two balls).

Phipps was the son of Admiral Sir Phipps Hornby and Sophia Maria Burgoyne. Phipps’ brothers were Geoffrey and James. Geoffrey had a notable career in the Royal Navy, where he became Admiral of the Fleet. James was a notable rower who rowed for Oxford and was later the headmaster of Eton College. Read his profile here.

Phipps served with the Royal Engineers, where he gained the rank of Captain. While serving with the Royal Engineers in Montreal, Canada, Phipps was killed on 8 April 1848 at the young age of 27.    Read more in Wikipedia.

George Duckworth (Cricketer) 1901-1966

George Duckworth (born 9 May 1901 in Warrington, died 5 January 1966, age 64) was a professional cricketer who played first-class cricket for Lancashire and England.

Duckworth, who won his cricketing fame as a wicket-keeper, joined Lancashire in 1922, playing his first game in 1923 and his last in 1938. He went on to become a Lancashire committee member. 1928 saw his best season, when he took 77 catches and made 30 stumpings. This earned him the accolade of being one of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 1929. He played 24 Test matches for England, but as a wicketkeeper he was in direct competition in his later years with Les Ames, who was a much better batsman. He was awarded a benefit in 1934, which raised £1,257. He was reputed to have the loudest shout of appeal of any cricketer of his time.

Duckworth's total of 925 dismissals for Lancashire is a record for the county. After retirement, Duckworth was a journalist and a broadcaster on both cricket and rugby league. He also acted as a cricket tour organiser and as baggage master and scorer on MCC tours. A dog-bone roundabout in his home town of Warrington has been named after him. Duckworth's Roundabout is at Birchwood Way (A574) and Oakwood Gate.    Read more in Wikipedia.

Hugh de Prez (Cricketer) 1951-2008

Hugh de Prez (born 9 November 1951 in Warington, died 9 July 2008, age 56), born Peter Hugh de Prez. He was a right-handed batsman and right-arm off-break bowler who played for Cheshire. De Prez made his debut in the Minor Counties Championship in 1970. His best seasons in the league were 1978 and 1986. He made a single List A appearance, in the 1987 NatWest Trophy. He scored 11 runs and took bowling figures of 0-33 from 9 overs.    Read more in Wikipedia.

David Mercer (Cricketer) 1962-

David Jeremy Matthew Mercer (born 7 May 1962 in Warrington) is a former cricketer. Mercer was a right-handed batsman who bowled right-arm off break.

Mercer made his Minor Counties Championship debut for Wiltshire in 1981 against Dorset. From 1981 to 1988, he represented the county in 52 Championship matches. He also made his debut in the MCCA Knockout Trophy for Wiltshire against Norfolk in 1983. From 1983 to 1988, he represented Wiltshire in eight Trophy matches. His debut in List A cricket also came for the county against Northamptonshire in the 1983 NatWest Trophy. During his first stint with the county, he played two further List A matches against Yorkshire in the 1987 NatWest Trophy and Essex in the 1988 NatWest Trophy.

In 1989, Mercer joined Berkshire, making his debut for the county in the Minor Counties Championship against Wiltshire. From 1989 to 1994, he represented the county in 51 Championship matches, the last of which came against Cheshire in the 1994 Championship. Mercer also played MCCA Knockout Trophy matches for Berkshire, playing 8 Trophy matches for the county with his final match coming against Buckinghamshire. His List A debut for Berkshire came in the 1989 NatWest Trophy against Sussex. From 1989 to 1994, he represented the county in 4 List A matches, the last of which came against Kent in the 1994 NatWest Trophy.

In 1995, Mercer rejoined Wiltshire. In his second spell with the county he played 18 Minor Counties Championship matches, the last of which came against Dorset in 1996; and 4 Knockout Trophy matches, the last of which came against Hertfordshire in 1996.

In 1997 he joined Bedfordshire. His Minor Counties Championship debut for the county came against Lincolnshire. From 1997 to 2005, he represented Bedfordshire in 47 Championship matches, the last of which came against Cambridgeshire. Mercer also represented Bedfordshire in the MCCA Knockout Trophy, making his debut in that competition for the county in 1998 against the Surrey Cricket Board. From 1998 to 2003, he represented the county in 18 Trophy matches, the last of which came against Suffolk. His List A debut for the county came against Glamorgan in the 1998 NatWest Trophy. From 1998 to 2001 he represented the county in 10 List A matches, the last of which came against Devon in the 2nd round of the 2002 Cheltenham & Gloucester Trophy which was played in 2001.

In his combined 17 List A matches, he scored 184 runs at a batting average of 12.26, with a high score of 45. In the field he took ten catches.

Read more in Wikipedia.

Neil Fairbrother (Cricketer) 1963-

Neil Harvey Fairbrother (born 9 September 1963 in Warrington). He was named by his mother after her favourite player, famous Australian cricketer Neil Harvey. He was educated at Lymm High School and played for Lancashire County Cricket Club, Transvaal and England.

Fairbrother made his international debut on 2 April, 1987 in a One Day International against India. Following a match-winning century against a West Indies side including Malcolm Marshall, Curtley Ambrose and Courtney Walsh at Lord's in 1991, he established himself as a regular in the middle-order of the one-day side for several years. Test success, however, proved elusive. Bowled out for a duck on his debut, he made just ten Test appearances for England, with only one half-century from 15 innings.

In 1990, Fairbrother scored 366 for Lancashire against Surrey at The Oval - 311 of his runs came in a single day, and his feat is unique in that he scored at least 100 runs in each of the three sessions that day. Another first came in 1998, when he became the first man to play in ten Lord's finals. He retired in 2002 and became Director of Cricket at International Sports Management, a sports agency that represents several leading English Test cricketers.    Read more in Wikipedia.

Steven Bramhall (Cricketer) 1967-

Steven Bramhall (born 26 November 1967 in Warrington) is a former English cricketer. Bramhall was a right-handed batsman who fielded as a wicket-keeper.

Bramhall made his debut in county cricket for Cheshire in the 1988 Minor Counties Championship final against Cambridgeshire, having played Second XI cricket for the Worcestershire Second XI prior to that. He played Minor Counties cricket for Cheshire from 1989 to 1991, playing in both the Minor Counties Championship and MCCA Knockout Trophy. In the 1990 County Championship, Bramhall made his first-class debut for Lancashire against Northamptonshire. He played one further first-class match that season for Lancashire, against the touring Sri Lankans.

He next appeared in first-class cricket in 1992, when he joined Nottinghamshire. It was in this season that he made his debut in List A cricket against Durham in the Sunday League. Bramhall played for Nottinghamshire from in the 1992 and 1993 seasons, playing ten first-class and six List A matches. His departure from the first-class scene at the end of the 1993 season left him having played a total of 12 matches in which he scored 115 runs at a batting average of 14.37, with a high score of 37. Behind the stumps he took 19 catches and made six stumpings.

Bramhall returned to his native county of Cheshire for the 1994 season, where he continued to represent the county in Minor Counties cricket until 2001. In total he played 84 Minor Counties Championship matches and 24 MCCA Knockout Trophy matches. He represented Cheshire in List A cricket in the 1994 NatWest Trophy against Essex. He played for the county in seven further List A matches, the last coming against Cornwall in the 2001 Cheltenham & Gloucester Trophy. In total, he played 14 List A matches in his career, scoring 55 runs at an average of 7.85, with a high score of 23. Behind the stumps he took 12 catches and made five stumpings.    Read more in Wikipedia.

Stephen Titchard (Cricketer) 1967-

Stephen Paul Titchard (born 17 December 1967 in Warrington) was a right-handed batsman and right-arm medium bowler for Lancashire and Derbyshire, from 1989 to 2001. Coming through into the Lancashire first team at roughly the same time as contemporaries such as Mike Atherton and Graham Lloyd, he never made the runs his talent suggested he was capable of. He played his junior cricket at Grappenhall Cricket Club. His junior successes were shared with Stephen Bramhall and Rob Cook who both went on to play professional cricket. He was also a capable fielder, at short leg or slip.    Read more in Wikipedia.

Richard Green (Cricketer) 1976-

Richard James Green (born 13 March 1976 in Warrington) is a former English cricketer who played 31 matches for Lancashire between 1995 and 2000. He won the coveted NBC Denis Compton Award in 1996, which is given to the most promising young player at each of the 18 English first-class counties.    Read more in Wikipedia.

Steven Mullaney (Cricketer) 1986-

Steven John Mullaney (born 19 November 1986 in Warrington) played in the 2006 U-19 Cricket World Cup in Sri Lanka. For the 2008-09 Australian season he played for South Caulfield in Melbourne's Victorian Turf Cricket Association competition as that club's visiting professional.

At the age of 17, Steven Mullaney joined Lancashire in 2003 and was part of the first intake of Lancashire's cricket academy. Between 2005 and 2006 Mullaney played two Youth Test matches. He debuted on 2 February 2005, playing for England U-19s against India U-19s. He bowled 8 overs for 42 runs in the match and scored 29 not out in the first innings and 14 in the second. England lost the match by an innings and 137 runs.

His second and final Test was in July 2006, also against India U-19s. He scored 0 and 31, both times batting at seven, and conceded 43 runs from 11 overs. He finished the tournament as England's leading wicket-taker; from 5 matches he took 9 wickets at an average of 15.11.

Also between 2005 and 2006, Mullaney played 15 Youth One Day Internationals. He also took part in the 2006 U-19 World Cup. He made his first-class, list A, and Twenty20 debuts for Lancashire in 2006. His first team cricket with Lancashire in 2006–2009 was limited, and in that time he played 4 first-class matches, 7 list A matches, and three Twenty20 matches.

In April 2007, Mullaney scored his maiden first-class century. Playing against Durham University, his innings of 165 not out came at quicker than a run a ball and allowed Lancashire to win the match. His first hundred runs came off 92 balls and the next 65 from 26 and included 10 sixes. It beat his previous highest score of 44.

In the 2007 cricket season, Mullaney played for Northern Cricket Club, in the Liverpool and District Cricket Competition, averaging 70 with the bat and taking over 30 wickets. After he spent the winter of 2007/08 playing grade cricket for McKinnon in the Victorian Turf Cricket Association, Mullaney signed a professional contract with Atherton Cricket Club in the Bolton Association at the start of the 2008 season.

He set his sights on establishing himself in Lancashire's second team in the 2008 season and then forced his way into the first team. In 2009, Mullaney was a regular in the top order of the Lancashire second team which progressed to the final of the Second XI Championship and the semi-final of the Second XI Trophy. At the end of the season he turned down a two-year contract with the club and signed for Nottinghamshire.    Read more in Wikipedia.

FOOTBALL

Harold Keenan (Footballer) 1893-?

Harold Keenan (born 20 December 1893 in Warrington, date of death unknown) spent his entire professional career with Blackpool in the early 1900s, making over 100 Football League appearances for the club. He played as a defender.

Keenan made his debut for Blackpool on 25 January 1913, in a 4–2 defeat at Fulham. It was his only appearance of the 1912–13 season. He also made one league appearance the following season, 1913–14, in a goalless draw against Notts County at Bloomfield Road on 13 April 1914. Keenan didn't make any appearances in 1914–15, but scored three goals in 36 appearances during the 1917-18 season. In the 1918–19 season, the final season of inter-war football, Bill Norman was installed as Blackpool's first full-time manager. He selected Keenan in 33 of the club's 37 games.

The 1919-20 season saw him make 35 out of 42 appearances where the club reached the third round of the FA Cup, being knocked out by local rivals Preston North End. In the 1920–21 season, he scored his first League goals for the club. He made just fifteen appearances in the 1921-22 period. In 1922–23, Keenan's final season with Blackpool, he appeared in just the first seven league games, the final one being a 2–1 defeat at home to Southampton on 23 September, in front of a crowd of 13,500.    Read more in Wikipedia.

Stanley "Stan" Woodhouse (Footballer) 1899-1977

Stanley "Stan" Woodhouse (born 10 February 1899 in Warrington, died 18 March 1977) played initially as an inside forward and later as a halfback with Bury and Southampton in the 1920s and 1930s.

Woodhouse played as a teenager for Monk's Hall in the Cheshire County League, before joining Bury in May 1921. At Bury he played at inside right making six appearances in each of the 1921–22 and 1922–23 seasons. In 1923–24 he made eleven appearances, contributing three goals as Bury gained second place in the Second Division table, thus gaining promotion to the top flight. Woodhouse moved south and made his debut for Southampton on 30 August 1924.

In 1926–27 he only missed two league matches and appeared in all six FA Cup matches in Saints' run to the FA Cup Semi-final at Stamford Bridge on 26 March 1927, which Southampton lost 1–2 to Arsenal.

He retired at the end of the 1935–36 season after twelve seasons at The Dell, during which he made a total of 366 appearances (with 5 goals). At the time of his retirement, his total of 351 league appearances was only exceeded by Bert Shelley. After retiring from professional football, Woodhouse had a brief spell with Basingstoke Town before returning to Southampton where he became the licensee of the Bricklayers Arms in Warren Avenue, Shirley.

In 1951 he spent a few months as trainer to Southampton's youth teams. He died in Southampton on 18 March 1977, aged 78.    Read more in Wikipedia.

Ernest Whitty (Footballer) 1907-1985

Ernest Whitty (born 7 July 1907 in Warrington, died 1985). He played as a winger and made two appearances for Burnley and also played for Darwen and Chorley.    Read more in Wikipedia.

Frederick J. "Fred" Worrall (Footballer) 1910-1979

Frederick J. "Fred" Worrall (born 8 September 1910 in Warrington, died 13 April 1979, aged 68) played as an outside right in the Football League for Oldham Athletic, Portsmouth and Crewe Alexandra. He was capped twice for the England national team. He played in the 1934 FA Cup Final for Portsmouth, and was the only player from the 1934 side to play for the Pompey team that beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 4–1 in the 1939 FA Cup Final.    Read more in Wikipedia.

Ronnie Birkett (Footballer) 1927-1992

Ronald Birkett (born 25 July 1927 in Warrington, died 1992 in Salford, aged 65) was a professional footballer who played as a left-winger in the Football League. His career included an unspecified number of appearances for Manchester City (1945-46), New Brighton (8 appearances between 1946 and 1948) and Oldham Athletic (4 appearances, 1948-49). His final two clubs were Accrington Stanley (14 appearances between 1949 and 50, where he scored two goals) and Mossley (1950-51) with 6 appearances.    Read more in Wikipedia.

Joseph Worrall (Football Referee) 1945-

Joseph Bertram Worrall (born 21 October 1945 in Warrington) is a former football referee, who operated in the Football League and for FIFA. He has the distinction of having refereed both of the major club competition Finals in England.

Worrall took up refereeing in 1964, at the age of 19, officiating in the Warrington and District Football League. He eventually progressed to the Cheshire Association Football League, before gaining promotion to the Football League list in 1973. He was appointed as a FIFA referee in 1981, serving the world body for 11 years until 1992, when he had to step down due to age restrictions.

He was given control of the first of his two major domestic competition Finals on 24 April 1988, when Luton Town defeated Arsenal by three goals to two at Wembley in the League Cup Final of that year. Worrall awarded Arsenal a penalty in the last ten minutes, with the score at 2-1 to the 'Gunners', but Nigel Winterburn failed to convert it. On May 20, 1989, he stepped out again at Wembley to take charge of the FA Cup Final between Liverpool and Everton, with Liverpool winning 3-2 in extra time after the scores were tied at 1-1 after 90 minutes.

His last appointment on the FIFA list, and his highest international honour, was to referee the 1992 UEFA Cup Final first leg at the Stadio Delle Alpi on 29 April 1992 between Torino of Italy and Ajax of Holland. The score from that match was 2-2, but after a 0-0 draw in the second leg in Amsterdam, Ajax were declared winners on away goals.

Joe Worrall retired from refereeing in 1995, having never officiated in the Premier League. However, he continued his involvement in the game by becoming a referees' assessor and match delegate.    Read more in Wikipedia.

John Molyneux (Footballer) 1931-

John Molyneux (born 3 February 1931 in Warrington) began his career with Chester, breaking into the side early in 1949-50 in place of captain Eric Sibley. He went on to play regularly for the club in Football League Division Three North until Liverpool manager Don Welsh paid £4,500 for him on 23 June 1955.

Molyneux made his Liverpool debut on the 3 September 1955 in a 2nd Division game at Ewood Park, as the Reds and Blackburn Rovers shared the points in an exciting 3–3 draw. He scored his first goal for the club on 8 January 1958 in an FA Cup 3rd round replay at Roots Hall after Southend United had earned a draw at Anfield. Liverpool won the match 3-2 after late goals from Dick White (79th minute) and Tony Rowley (81st).

John spent six seasons at Liverpool and left the club in the August of 1962 after clocking up 249 appearances. Molyneux rejoined former club Chester, where he played for two more years before dropping into non-league football with New Brighton.

John's brother, Geoff, also played in The Football League for Chester (see his profile further down the page).    Read more in Wikipedia.

Roger Hunt (Footballer) 1938-

Roger Hunt (born 20 July 1938 at Golborne near Warrington). His connection with Warrington is that played some of his early football for Stockton Heath Albion, who became Warrington Town FC from 1961. He scored 245 goals in 404 appearances for Liverpool between 1958 and 1969. He played for Bolton Wanders for the next three seasons with 24 goals in 76 appearances. Internationally he played 34 games for England between 1962 and 1969, including England's World Cup win in 1966. He score a total of 18 goals in his England career. He received an MBE in 2000 and was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2006.    Read more in Wikipedia.

John Green (Footballer) 1939-

John Green (born 22 May 1939 in Warrington) played seven years at Blackpool from 1959, making over 100 Football League appearances for the club. He also played for Port Vale from 1967 when Stanley Matthews signed him up, making 94 league appearances. He also played with lifelong friend Roger Hunt for Stockton Heath Albion. His first professional club was Tranmere Rovers in 1958. He also played for Vancouver Royals (May to October 1968) and Northwich Victoria as player-manager for the latter part of the 1971-72 season.    Read more in Wikipedia.

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Gerard Mannion (Footballer) 1939-1994

Gerard Patrick Mannion (born 21 December 1939 in Warrington, died 15 June 1994, age 54) played in the Football League for Wolverhampton Wanderers, Norwich City and Chester City. Mannion joined First Division Wolverhampton Wanderers as a youngster, signing professionally in November 1957. He spent his early professional days in the reserves before finally making his senior debut in the 1958 Charity Shield where Wolves went down 4–1 at Bolton Wanderers.

The 1959–60 season saw his strongest run of games in a Wolves shirt as he made 10 consecutive appearances in the final run-in. Despite scoring six times in this spell, the club lost out on a third successive league title by a single point to Burnley, denying them a domestic double. He was limited to just 21 appearances in total for the Molineux club, largely due to the presence of Norman Deeley on the wing. With playing opportunities limited, he moved to Norwich City in September 1961, for £13,000.

Mannion made 100 league appearances for the Canaries in six and a half years in the Second Division. He scored 17 league goals for the club and played in both legs of their 1962 League Cup triumph. The winger eventually left to join Chester City in January 1968, but spent just five months there before dropping into the non-league with Kidderminster Harriers.    Read more in Wikipedia.

Geoff Molyneux (Footballer) 1943-

Geoff Molyneux (born 23 January 1943 in Warrington) who played as a winger.

The younger brother of Liverpool and Chester defender John Molyneux, Geoff joined Chester as an amateur from Rylands Youth Club in Warrington in 1962. He made his only appearance in The Football League in a 3–1 win over Exeter City (with John also in the side) on 22 September 1962, also playing in a Football League Cup tie with Mansfield Town four days later.

He did not make any more first-team appearances for Chester and quickly dropped into the Cheshire County League with New Brighton.    Read more in Wikipedia.

Steve Kindon (Footballer) 1950-

Steve Kindon (born 1950 in Warrington). He played mainly on the wing where his speed was an asset, but also played at centre forward. Steve began his career at Burnley where he played over 100 games and scored 28 goals.

“The Tank” moved to Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1972, where his bustling style made him a crowd favourite. He scored 31 goals in over 150 league and cup appearances for Wolves.

In 1977, he returned to Burnley before moving to Huddersfield Town where injury ended his career in 1982. Steve was an England Youth, Under-23 and “B” international. He is now an after-dinner speaker.    Read more in Wikipedia.

John Richards (Footballer) 1950-

John Peter Richards (born 9 November 1950 in Warrington) is most associated with Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Richards signed for the Molineux club as a trainee in July 1967 and made his debut on 28 February 1970 in a 3-3 draw at West Bromwich Albion. He scored his first league goal for Wolves the following season against Huddersfield Town on 19 September 1970.

In 1971-72, "King John" came of age, scoring 13 league goals and helping Wolves become runners-up in the UEFA Cup. The following season he was even stronger, scoring 36 goals in total (his highest seasonal tally) and, in 1974, he scored the winning goal as the team beat Manchester City to win the League Cup. Richards was leading scorer for Wolves in six of the next seven seasons, culminating in winning a second League Cup medal in 1980 against Nottingham Forest.

During his time with the club, Richards became Wolves’ all-time leading scorer with 194 goals in total, a record that was subsequently bettered by Steve Bull in 1992. However, he still holds the club record for the most FA Cup goals, with 24. Richards eventually left the club and moved to Portugal in 1983, following a loan spell with Derby County. He played two seasons for C.S. Marítimo, helping the side to promotion.

Richards' goal-scoring prowess was rewarded with a single England cap, against Northern Ireland on 12 May 1973 at Goodison Park. After retiring as a player, Richards went into local government. However he later returned to Wolves as managing director in 1994, a post he held until 2000. He currently works as operations director of Pitchcare, a Wolverhampton-based online service for groundsmen.    Read more in Wikipedia.

John Bramhall (Footballer) 1956-

John Bramhall (born 20 November 1956 in Warrington) who played as a defender. He made more than 500 Football League appearances for six clubs from 1976 to 1991 and is now assistant chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association.

Bramhall joined Tranmere Rovers in July 1976 from Stockton Heath. He made 170 league appearances for Rovers before joining Fourth Division rivals Bury in March 1982. He has also played for Rochdale, Halifax Town and Scunthorpe United.    Read more in Wikipedia.

Gary Bannister (Footballer) 1960-

Gary Bannister (born 22 July 1960 in Warrington). He played for Coventry City (two spells), Sheffield Wednesday, Queens Park Rangers, West Bromwich Albion, Nottingham Forest, Stoke City, Lincoln City and Darlington. He now lives in the west country where he is involved in the holiday accommodation business.    Read more in Wikipedia.

Steve Saunders (Footballer) 1964-

Steve Saunders (born 21 September 1964 in Warrington) is a former footballer who had a seven year professional career in the Football League.

As a schoolboy he represented Boteler Grammar School, where he came to the attention of local amateur side Warrington Town. In 1981 he became an apprentice at professional side Bolton Wanderers, before he became a pro with the club in 1983.

Trained by coach Walter Joyce, Saunders' career was put in jeopardy when he suffered a double hernia and torn pelvic muscles shortly after turning pro. This limited him to just three league appearances in his only season as a Trotter.

Crewe Alexandra manager Dario Gradi signed him, and Saunders went on to score two goals in 25 league and cup appearances for the club.

He moved on to Preston North End, but was soon sidelined after picking up an ankle injury playing on the club's artificial pitch. He never made a first team appearance, however he impressed Grimsby Town captain Don O'Riordan in a reserve team game, and so joined the club on a loan deal that was made permanent in August 1987.

He impressed Mariners' supporters with his work-rate and commitment, and his natural pace also helped him to bag thirteen league goals for the club in 76 appearances. In 1989 he moved on to Scarborough, where he made a further 32 appearances in the Football League. The next year he moved into non-league football with Runcorn.

Read more in Wikipedia.

Glenn Walker (Footballer) 1967-

Glenn Philip Walker (born 15 March 1967 in Warrington) played as a midfielder. He made two appearances for Crewe Alexander in 1985, having been part of the Burnley team the season before.    Read more in Wikipedia.

Darren Heesom (Footballer) 1968-

Darren Heesom (born 8 May 1968 in Warrington) played 38 matches in the Football League for Burnley before having spells with a number of non-league clubs, including Altrincham, Macclesfield Town and Southport.    Read more in Wikipedia.

Chris Lightfoot (Footballer) 1970-

Chris Lightfoot (born 1 April 1970 in Penketh, Warrington). Lightfoot spent much of his career with Chester City, where he came through the youth ranks to make his debut as a 17-year old on 19 September 1987 in a 1-0 win over Grimsby Town. He scored his first goal in his next appearance against Walsall in November 1987 and ended the season with 17 first team appearances to his name.

In the summer of 1995 Lightfoot followed Graham Barrow to Wigan Athletic for a tribunal fee of £87,500. However, by March 1996 he was on the move again when he joined Crewe Alexandra. In May 1997 Lightfoot appeared as a substitute as Crewe beat Brentford in the Division Two play-off final at Wembley Stadium, giving Lightfoot his first chance to play in the second tier in English football.

Lightfoot’s final taste of league football came during a loan spell with Oldham Athletic in the early weeks of the 2000 –01 season. At the end of the campaign he left Crewe and joined Conference side Morecambe, where he played for one season. In 2002 he joined Runcorn, becoming manager in October 2003. He was sacked 12 months later.

After spells with Marine and Leek Town, Lightfoot ended his playing days with two appearances for Welsh club NEWI Cefn Druids near Wrexham.    Read more in Wikipedia.

Anthony Bullock (Footballer) 1972-

Anthony Brian Bullock (born 18 February 1972 in Warrington). Bullock started his career with Leek Town before signing for Barnsley in March 1997. He left for Macclesfield Town in 2000 on a free transfer. In March 2001 he signed for Lincoln City, again on a free transfer, before moving to Scotland to sign for Ross County in July. A successful spell with County brought him a move to Dundee United in 2003, where his final game was the 2005 Scottish Cup Final defeat to Celtic, before he returned to England with Gillingham.

After only five months with Gillingham, Bullock signed for St. Mirren in January 2006, but he failed to cement a first-team place and was released in May 2007. He rejoined Ross County in June 2007, along with Stuart Golabek. Bullock was Steven Tweed's first signing for Montrose. He then signed for Dundee on a pre-contract agreement and joined his new teammates for pre-season training ahead of the 2009-10 season on 1st July 2009.    Read more in Wikipedia.

Ian Wilkinson (Footballer) 1973-

Ian Wilkinson (born 2 July 1973 in Warrington) was a professional footballer who made one appearance as a goalkeeper for Manchester United in the early 1990s.

He made his senior debut for Manchester United on 9 October 1991 in the second leg of their League Cup second round tie against Cambridge United; the match finished as a 1-1 draw, giving the Red Devils a 4–1 aggregate victory. They went on to win the competition that season.

He also played for Stockport County and Crewe Alexandra. After sustaining a detached retina, he retired from football and trained to be a physiotherapist. He obtained his degree in physiotherapy from the University of Salford in 1998. He is now a qualified doctor and lives in Manchester. Wilkinson plays crown green bowls at County level and is a middle distance runner.    Read more in Wikipedia.

Jon Newby (Footballer) 1978-

Jon Newby (born 28 November 1978 in Warrington). He began his career with Liverpool, and was involved in their FA Youth Cup win of 1996. He made 4 appearances for Liverpool, and was loaned out to Carlisle United (December 1999), Crewe Alexander (March 2000), Sheffield United (August 2000) and Bury (February 2001). This final loan move was made permanent, with Bury getting him on a free transfer on 20 March 2001.

In summer 2003 he moved on to Huddersfield, but the move was not a success, and following a loan spell at York City, he returned to Bury a year later. He had a loan spell with Kidderminster Harriers during the 2005-06 season, but has since returned to Gigg Lane.

"Newbs" as he is affectionately known by the Gigg Lane fans, was released in May 2006 after failing to break his way back into the first team. He subsequently joined Wrexham for a short spell before leaving the club in December 2006. He joined Southport the following month but was released in May after the club were relegated from the Conference National. Newby signed for Morecambe after a trial period in August 2007.

His first professional hat-trick came against Rotherham United on 29 March 2008, scoring all three goals in the first half and helped Morecambe to a 5-1 Victory in a surprising good season for the club. After a great season at Morecambe where he finished joint top scorer, he was released by manager Sammy Mclroy to the fans dismay. He currently does not have a club.    Read more in Wikipedia.

David Wright (Footballer) 1980-

David Wright (born 1 May 1980 in Warrington) plays for Ipswich Town. He began his career with Crewe Alexandra in 1997, and became a regular in the 1998/99 season, before lending a hand in Crewe's promotion in 2002/03.

In the following season, he joined Wigan for £500,000 where he managed to achieve promotion as well. He joined Norwich City in 2005, playing 5 games. Wright joined Ipswich for around £200,000 on a 3 year contract in January 2007. He scored his first goal for the club on 22 April 2007 against Norwich in the 1-1 draw. His first home goal for Ipswich came against Bristol City in a 6-0 win (November 2007). David Wright is also a fan of Warrington Wolves rugby league team.    Read more in Wikipedia.

Stephen Foster (Footballer) 1980-

Stephen John Foster (born 18 September 1980 in Warrington). He is the current captain of Barnsley.

Foster signed for local club Crewe Alexandra as a trainee in August 1997 and made his debut on the 22nd of that month in Crewe's 1–0 loss to Bury. He made a second appearance in the same season a month later in Crewe's 1–1 draw with Bristol City. Foster however didn't play any first team games for Crewe during the next season.

A season on and Foster scored his first goal for Crewe in their 2–2 draw with Bury, and was named the captain of Crewe for the 2003–04 season. He signed for Burnley on a free transfer after Crewe were relegated from the Championship in the 2005-6 season. In August 2007 Foster was transferred to Barnsley for the sum of £100,000 where he signed a two-year contract. Foster was named Barnsley's player of the season in his first year at the club, as voted for by the fans.    Read more in Wikipedia.

Phil Hadland (Footballer) 1980-

Philip Jonathan Hadland (born 20 October 1980 in Warrington) is a professional footballer who plays as a winger. He made his debut at the age of 17 against Barnsley at the Madejski Stadium in the Worthington Cup. Tommy Burns was the manager in the 1-1 draw. Philip has played for a variety of football league clubs including Reading (1999-2000), where he began his career but made no appearances, Rochdale (2000-01), where he made 32 appearances (his highest total for a league club), Leyton Orient (2001-02), Carlisle (on loan from Leyton 2002), Brighton and Hove Albion (2002), Darlington (2002-03) and Colchester (2003).    Read more in Wikipedia.

Matt Doughty (Footballer) 1981-

Matt Doughty (born 2 November 1981 in Warrington). He signed professional terms with Chester City at the age of 16 and played regularly in 1999-2000 and 2000-01. He was attracting the interest of Football League clubs and he joined Rochdale in July 2001.

Doughty's first game for Rochdale in August 2001 saw him score in a 2-1 win at Oxford United, giving him the honour of scoring the first Football League goal at the Kassam Stadium. Doughty was not offered a contract renewal from Rochdale in the summer of 2004 and was left without a club, despite interest from clubs, most notably Bristol Rovers. He eventually agreed terms with Halifax Town.    Read more in Wikipedia.

Stephen Jordan (Footballer) 1982-

Stephen Robert Jordan (born 6 March 1982 in Warrington). Jordan grew up as a Manchester City fan and joined their youth development system as an eight year old. In 2000 he became part of the youth academy, going on to sign for the first team 2 years later. He was loaned out to Football League Two side Cambridge United F.C on 5 October 2002 for 3 months. He remained with Manchester City until 2007 when he signed for Burnley on a three year deal.    Read more in Wikipedia.

Mark Carrington (Footballer) 1987-

Mark Richard Carrington (born 4 May 1987 in Warrington). He operates as a central midfielder for Milton Keynes Dons FC, signing for them on 21 July 2009. Carrington signed his first professional contract with Crewe in 2006 and was soon sent out on loan to non-league Leigh RMI in order to gain first-team experience. He returned to his parent club to make three substitute appearances towards the back end of the 2006-07 campaign. He missed the last few games of the 2008-9 season with an injury before opting to leave the club when his contract expired in June 2009, after which he signed for Mk Dons.    Read more in Wikipedia.

Harry Worley (Footballer) 1988-

Harry Jonathan Worley (born 25 November 1988 in Lymm, Warrington). Worley was signed by Chelsea from Stockport County in the summer of 2005 and turned professional in November 2005. He joined Doncaster Rovers on loan in March 2007, making his debut in a vital 1-0 win at Nottingham Forest.

Worley was included in the squad for the 2007 FA Community Shield against Manchester United on 5 August 2007, at the new Wembley Stadium. He was an unused substitute as United won 3-0 on penalties. He joined Carlisle United on a month long loan on 31 August 2007, making his debut in a 1-0 victory over Cheltenham Town, the only game he would play for Carlisle.

Worley was given a trial by Leicester City on 6 February 2008 and then joined the club on loan until the end of the season before signing a three-year contract the following summer. Worley made his league debut in a 3-0 defeat to Sheffield United on 5 April 2008. His permanent move to Leicester became official on 5 May 2008.    Read more in Wikipedia.

James Chester (Footballer) 1989-

James Grant Chester (born 23 January 1989 in Warrington). He is the captain of the Manchester United reserve team.

Chester’s began his football career with his local club, Winwick Athletic, where, at the age of five, he was already playing in the club's Under-9s team. At the age of eight, he joined Manchester United, and signed a trainee contract at the age of 16 in July 2005. He went straight into the club's under-18 team, making 17 appearances in the 2005–06 season.

He also got his first taste of reserve team football on 21 February 2006, when he was named as an unused substitute for a 4–1 away win over Everton. He scored his first goal in a Manchester United shirt on 9 December 2006, scoring the opening goal in a 3–1 away defeat by Manchester City. He made his debut for the reserve team on 15 February 2007 and became a regular in the team in 2007-8.

On 2 February 2009, Chester joined League One side Peterborough United – managed by Alex Ferguson's son, Darren – on loan. He made five appearances for the Posh before returning to Manchester United on 2 March.    Read more in Wikipedia.

Alex MacDonald (Footballer) 1990-

Alex MacDonald (born 14 April 1990 in Warrington) is a Scottish footballer currently playing for Falkirk, on loan from Burnley.

He was promoted to the senior squad during the 2007-08 season after progressing through the youth ranks at the club and was given the squad number 27 and came on as a substitute, replacing Wade Elliott on 26 April 2008 in the 3–3 draw against Cardiff City. MacDonald joined Falkirk in July 2009.

Although he was born in England, he qualifies to play for Scotland through his father. He has become a regular at Scotland Under 19 level and has a ratio of a goal almost every game. He has recently been called up to the Scotland Under 21 squad for a training camp.    Read more in Wikipedia.

Jack Robinson (Footballer) 1993-

Jack Robinson (born 1 September 1993 in Warrington). He is the youngest-ever player to have played for Liverpool, having made his debut at the age of 16 years and 250 days old on 9 May 2010 against Hull City.

Robinson is also a regular fixture in the England national under-17 football team and has previously represented the Under-16 national team. He was a highly rated member of Liverpool's Under-18 side in the 2008/09 and 2009/10 season, and trained with the first team squad ahead of the Europa League matches with Benfica at Melwood.    Read more in Wikipedia.

Callum Reilly (Footballer) 1993-

Callum Anthony Reilly (born 4 October 1993 in Warrington) is an English footballer who plays for Birmingham City. He is a winger who can also play at full back. Reilly was raised in Solihull, West Midlands, and joined Birmingham City's youth system at the age of seven. He began a two-year scholarship in July 2010.

He was given a first-team squad number in January 2012, and his first competitive involvement came when he was named among the substitutes for the third-round FA Cup-tie against Wolverhampton Wanderers, but he did not play in the match. Reilly made his first-team debut on 28 January, coming on as an 80th-minute substitute for Jordon Mutch in the fourth-round FA Cup-tie against Sheffield United at Bramall Lane, with Birmingham already 4–0 ahead.    Read more in Wikipedia.

GOLF

Phillip Archer (Golfer) 1972-

Phillip Archer (born 17 March 1972 in Warrington). His father was a founder member of Birchwood Golf club, where he acquired his taste for the game as a nine year old. He turned professional in 1991 and is best known for shooting a score of 60 in the first round at the Celtic Manor Wales Open in 2006. He had a chance of being the first player on the European Tour to shoot a 59, but missed his birdie putt on the 18th green. His best European Tour Order of Merit finish is 29th in 2007. He lost his card after a poor 2010 season. He has won three tournaments on the Challenge Tour, Europe's second tier tour. He won the Rolex Trophy in 2004, the Allianz Open Côtes d'Armor Bretagne in 2011 and the Pacific Rubiales Colombia Classic in 2012.    Read more in Wikipedia.   See also his own official website.

HANDBALL

Holly Lam-Moores (Olympic Handball) 1990-

Holly Lam-Moores (born 12 September 1990 in Burnley, Lancashire) is a member of the Team GB Handball squad for the London 2012 Olympics. Her mother is Chinese. Holly is a left-winger for the British handball team. She got into handball at high school in Year 8, had a taster session, joined the local club and worked her way up from there. She played netball, football and athletics before taking up handball. She captained her school team before leaving at 16 to start a professional career. She loves the sport of handball because it’s extremely fast, physical and exciting and if she weren’t a sports person she would be a police officer.

She is a patron of the Warrington Wolves Foundation charity and a huge Warrington Wolves supporter. She recently did some training with the Warrington Wolves squad. She also supports Manchester City football club. She has dreamed of making the Olympics since she was a youngster. “It would just be overwhelming. Like a dream come true. As an athlete these are things that you need to keep under control – walking around the Olympic village and seeing the likes of Usain Bolt, you have to keep a lid on it,” she told BBC Northwest Tonight.

Her biggest disappointment, like that of most British handballers, was when UK Sport slashed funding by 51 per cent in 2009 and she had to break up from her training base in Denmark to find a job.

She was part of the first ever British team to reach the European Championship Qualifying tournament in 2009. A year later she was named the BOA Handball Player of the Year.

She plays full-time with Team GB, centralised in Crystal Palace National Sports Centre. She said Team GB will be the least-experienced nation in handball in the Olympic Games, but it is essential we prepare as a team. She says, "team spirit is fantastic, we are together every single day and the Olympics drives us as a team".

The Olympics handball competition is the top 12 teams in the world playing against each other so she is happy to play any of the teams, but especially Norway, who are currently the world and Olympic champions. She says there is a certain amount of pressure on the team as handball is still a minority sport in Britain. Being selected for the GB Olympic team means absolutely everything to her. She was once asked in an interview to choose between a £100,000 lottery win or a gold medal in the Olympics? Gold medal was the instant reply!

In another interview she said, “This is something I have worked towards for the past six years and I still can’t believe I will be going to the Olympics. It is the dream of any sportsman or woman. We are capable of beating teams ranked above us.”

The team start their games on Saturday, July 28 against fellow debutants Montenegro. They then play Angola, who GB beat last year, Russia, Brazil and finally Croatia on Sunday, 5 August.

After the Olympics she hopes to go back to Denmark where she has played since 2008.

HORSE RACING

Steve Donoghue (Jockey) 1884-1945

Steve Donoghue (born 8 November 1884 in Warrington, died 23 March 1945, age 60) was a leading English flat-race jockey in the 1910s and 1920s. He was Champion Jockey 10 times between 1914 and 1923 and was one of the most celebrated horse racing sportsmen after Fred Archer, arguably only Sir Gordon Richards eclipsing him.

Steve was apprenticed to John Porter at Chester when he was 14 years old. In 1904 he won his first winner in France, before returning to England to dominate the sport for the next two decades. His greatest triumphs came in the Epsom Derby which he won six times. Three consecutive wins in the early 1920s - on Humorist (1921), Captain Cuttle (1922) and Papyrus (1923) - were the high point. He was also associated with the horse Brown Jack - who he rode to six consecutive wins in the Queen Alexandra Stakes at Royal Ascot and The Tetrarch, a 2-year-old that raced in 1913 and was said to be the fastest horse ever ridden in England.

In 1915 and 1917, he rode the horses Pommern and Gay Crusader to the English Triple Crown. Steve Donoghue is the only jockey out of fifteen winners to have won the Triple Crown twice in its more than two hundred year history. Always popular with the public and his fellow professionals, Steve was never called up by the stewards. He retired in 1937, and died in 1945 from a heart attack, aged 60.

Classic Race Victories

Epsom Derby winners - 1915: Pommern, 1917: Gay Crusader, 1921: Humorist, 1922: Captain Cuttle, 1923: Papyrus, 1925: Manna
1,000 Guineas winners - 1937: Exhibitionist
2,000 Guineas winners - 1915: Pommern, 1917: Gay Crusader, 1925: Manna
Epsom Oaks winners - 1918: My Dear, 1937: Exhibitionist
St. Leger Stakes winners - 1915: Pommern, 1917: Gay Crusader

Read more in Wikipedia, which includes a photograph of Steve on Epsom Derby Winner Manna (not used in mywarrington due to uncertainty about copyright ownership).

Paul Hanagan (Jockey) 1981-

Paul Hanagan (born 8 September 1981 in Latchford, Warrington) is a champion jockey. He attended Sir Thomas Boteler High School. He became involved in horses in 1993 when he took a weekend job at Burley Hayes Stables in Appleton. He was later selected for a nine-week NVQ in horse racing management at the British Racing School at Newmarket. He was named 'top lad' out of the 26 on the course. He completed part two of the qualification at the Malcolm Jefferson Racing Stables in Malton, where his future in flat or jump racing was mapped out. At 5ft 3ins tall and weighing in at just 7 stones, he was the ideal build for a jockey and top trainers in the game had high hopes for him. In 2007 at the age of 16 he won a place as an apprentice jockey at a racing stables in Yorkshire.

To become a fully-fledged professional by the end of the 2001 flat race season he needed to win 36 races to achieve his goal. In 2001 he won 29 winners even though he suffered concussion in a televised race at York, which put him out of action for three weeks.

At the time he said: "I am improving all the time and I believe that 36 wins is a realistic target. Becoming a professional means a lot to me but I know that even if I don't manage to make it this year, it is only a matter of time before I do.”

In 2001 he won the £20,000 Ayrshire Handicap on Great News at the Eyre Western meeting. By 2002 he had 59 wins to his name and competed with the world's elite in one of the sport's glamour capitals, Dubai. He is based at trainer Richard Fahey's stables in Malton, Yorkshire.

In 2002 he was crowned champion apprentice and his trainer Richard Fahey was convinced that he would go on to become the best flat race jockey in the country.

He won 62 races in 2003 and picked up a 'small fortune' in prize money. Highlights of the season included finishing first in the Tote Silver Bowl at Haydock and winning the William Hill Mile at Glorious Goodwood.

Over the coming years he continued to be successful.

In 2004 he knocked up his first century of winning races with a tally of 106 out of 809 runs. He won the John Smith's Northumberland Plate (Heritage Handicap) riding Mirjan. By the end of 2004 he had ridden in the UK and abroad in Dubai, Spain, France and Norway.

In 2005 he rode 817 mounts, winning 79 races. The following year saw him take his winning total above a century again with 107 victories out of 1040 rides, one of which was on Greenwich Meantime in the Chester Cup.

In 2007 he polled the most votes from horse racing fans to receive a trophy at The Lesters ceremony in Birmingham. The honour marks his success riding Fonthill Road in the Paddypower.com Sprint Handicap at York in October. Of 943 races this year he completed 90 winning rides.

In 2008 he achieved success at the John Smiths Ayr Gold Cup meeting when he rode Kyllachy Star to win the opening race of the day. He also won the Lancashire Oaks at Haydock Park for the first time in the same year. In that year he was appointed to the Professional Jockeys Association Council. Total wins for the year were 97 out of 854 races.

In 2009 he produced 163 winners for Fahey. But there were greater achievements still to come.

2010 saw his best ever season so far, resulting in the 30-year-old Warrington jockey prevailed in an epic duel with Richard Hughes on 6 November at Doncaster, the last day of the season, to become only the third northern-based champion jockey in 105 years. His total number of wins was 191, with Hughes achieving 189. The last northern jockey to lift the title was Kevin Darley, then based in Sheriff Hutton, in 2000. And, prior to that, it was Elijah Wheatley back in 1905.

Major wins in 2010 included the DBS Premier Yearling Stakes on 19 August, the Weatherbys Insurance £300,000 2-Y-O Stakes on 9 September and the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (Grand Criterium) (Group 1) (2yo) (Turf) on 3 October, each time riding Wootton Bassett. Prize money for those three races alone amounted to over £500,000. In total he completed 1,109 rides during the season and ran up an estimated 60,000 miles of travelling around the country, for which he gets a brand new car every 10,000 miles from his sponsors, so I am told. His total prize money was around £1.7 million. He donated the last two weeks winnings of the season to charity.

At the start of the 2010 season he didn’t even think about the championship, despite four wins on the first day of the season. “I didn't give it a thought,” he said. “My only target at the start of the season was 100 winners. When things continued to go well, I began to think I might end up in the first three in the championship.

“Being called champion sounds great to me, though it will take a while to sink in,” said Hanagan. “I'm gobsmacked that I've done it. There are so many people to thank, including Richard Fahey, my boss for 14 years, my agent Richard Hale and my wife, Annie. Without her I wouldn't be here.”

Richard Hughes said of him, “I'm delighted for Paul, who is a worthy champion. He led from the start and deserves it.”

In January 2011 he was presented with his trophy by Liverpool football legend Ian Rush in front of the Kop. Paul has been a life-long fan of the club.

In March 2011 Paul was made a patron of the Warrington Wolves Foundation, the registered charity affiliated with the Super League club. He was guest of honour at the home match against Leeds Rhinos on 4 March 2011, in which the Wolves won 40-24.

On 21 April 2011 he won his fifth Lester award in Birmingham and won 10 races in the first week of the 2011 flat season. He won four races in June 2011 before going to Royal Ascot.

Warrington Museum will hang his photograph next to the painting of Steve Donoghue.
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JUDO

John Lawrinson (Judo) 1950s-

John Lawrinson (born 1950s in Orford, Warrington) is a former British judo International and member of the 1976 Olympic Team in Montreal, Canada. John, who took up judo when he was a child in the 1960s, is a 7th Dan, Level Three Coach, receiving the accolade on 28 November 1998. He worked hard to put judo on the map in the town and it is believed he was one of the founder members of the Warrington Judo Club in Loushers Lane. He later formed Warrington Samurai Judo Club at Broomfields Leisure Centre, which trained every Monday night. Judoka travelled from far and wide to train under his watchful eye. Many international players attended the club as the training was top quality. John was a ferocious trainer, great with kids and could see laziness straight away.... his watchword was 'no pain no gain'.

The club moved to Latchford, just in the shadow of Kingsway Bridge by the old Black Bear Locks, but later moved to Wellfield Street in Whitecross (alongside the railway line), where it is still based to this day. The club has gone from strength to strength and has given children and young people a chance to take part in this noble art. Link to the Warrington Samurai Club website.

Thanks to Shaun who helped to compile some of the information here.

History of Warrington Samurai Judo Club

Warrington Samurai Judo Club on Wellfield Street, Whitecross, was officially opened by Lord Hoyle on Saturday 16th April 2005. The club offers some of the best facilities for judo in the North of England, with two permanent contest areas on a sprung floor. The facility at Whitecross marks the end of uncertainty for the club, who were forced from their previous site shortly after its official opening in 1999.

From 1988 until 1997, the club was based in an old ex-works canteen on land owned by the Manchester Ship Canal Company (MSCC). In March 1997, work commenced on a permanent brick building on the same land. This work was almost entirely carried out by club members, a great achievement by any standards, and was opened by Lord Hoyle on 18th of December 1999.

However after only one month Peel Holdings, the new owners of the MSCC, gave notice of their intention to develop the land for housing. A long period of intense negotiations, a protest, petition and the involvement of the then Sports Minister Kate Hoey followed.

A demolition of the premises would have resulted in the closure of the club and the loss of the facility to the children of the community. Because of this, negotiations resulted in a loan of nearly £225,000 to the club from Peel Holdings, from which the new club dojo (Japanese for “place of the way, pursuit”) on Wellfield Street was financed.

The club has helped produce such stars as Olympic bronze medallist Neil Eckersley and Commonwealth Games double-gold medallist Carl Finney. Neil Eckersley (born 5 April 1964) represented his native country at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California. There he won the bronze medal in the men's extra-lightweight division (– 60 kg), alongside USA's Edward Liddie. Read about Carl Finney on the Judo Education website.

Coaches at Warrington Samurai include British champion, Olympic squad member and senior coach John Lawrinson. John, a 7th Dan, has over 44 years judo experience, much at international level. John has an excellent track record of passing his knowledge on to players, some who have subsequently gone on to the Olympics and international judo. The club operates on a non-profit-making principle with its team of coaches offering their services for free. The club is now calling for both old and new members to come along and enjoy the club and the benefits of judo.

Read more about the club here (this is the same website listed in the notes above on John Lawrinson).

POLO

Walter Jones (Polo Player) 1866-1932

Walter John Henry Jones (born 4 June 1866 in Warrington, died 14 April 1932, age 65). He was born at The Elms, Warrington, the son of William Charles Jones and Lucretia Elizabeth Jones. His father was the owner of Jones Brothers Cotton Mills in Leigh, and extremely wealthy. Jones, a fine sportsman, was educated at Harrow School and Jesus College, Cambridge, and played polo, primarily for the "Rugby" team. He represented Great Britain in polo at the 1908 Summer Olympics, playing for the Hurlingham team, winning the silver medal. He lived at Hurlingham Lodge in Fulham, London. He married Maud, the widow of George Lyttelton Dewhurst (another Lancashire cotton magnate) of Beechwood, Lymm, Cheshire and Aberuchill Castle, Scotland. He died leaving a net estate of £327,406.    Read more in Wikipedia.

ROWING

James John Hornby (Rower and Eton Headmaster) 1826-1909

James John Hornby C.V.O. (Commander of the Royal Victorian Order) (born 18 December 1826 in Warrington, died 2 November 1909, age 82) was an English rower, and headmaster of Eton College from 1868 to 1884. Hornby was born at Winwick, the third son of Admiral Sir Phipps Hornby and his wife Sophia Maria Burgoyne, eldest daughter of Sir John Burgoyne. He was educated at Eton, where he did not row, but played in the Eton cricket eleven in 1845.

Rowing

Hornby went to Balliol College, Oxford, and rowed bow for Oxford in the second Boat Race of 1849, which Oxford won on a foul by bumping Cambridge when Cambridge were in Oxford’s water. He was No. 3 in the O.U.B.C. crews that won the Grand Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta in 1850 and 1851 when there was no Boat Race on the Tideway in either year. In 1850 he became a Fellow of Brasenose College, Oxford. In that year, he won the University Pairs and Fours, and the Silver Goblets at Henley with J.W. Chitty. In 1851 he rowed again for Brasenose in the Ladies' Challenge Plate, Stewards' Challenge Cup, and Visitors Challenge Cup. He went Head of the River at Oxford in 1852. He had also become known as a fine skater and one of the best Alpine climbers of the day.

Academic career

In 1853, Hornby went to Durham University as Principal of Bishop Cosin’s Hall until 1864, when he returned to Brasenose as classical lecturer. Students long after recalled with pleasure the animation of his Virgil lectures and his excellent way of teaching Latin prose. He was also made Senior Proctor. In 1865 Hornby was the first to ascend the northwest ridge of the Silberhorn. In 1867, he was appointed Second Master of Winchester College, seen as a stepping stone to the headmastership of Eton, which had become vacant. He remained at Winchester little more than a year, and was then appointed Headmaster of Eton, in succession to Dr. Balston. His appointment was made possible by the conclusions of the Northcote Commission which had removed restrictions among educational endowments, among which was the tradition that the Eton headmaster should come from King’s College, Cambridge.

Eton headmaster and provost

With the restrictions gone, Hornby was the first to exercise the increased independent authority of the headmaster. He “taught Eton the art of self-government" and his sixteen years as headmaster were very successful. As he had not been an Eton master, he had to overcome a certain amount of resentment by his good work, sympathetic temper and his pleasant manners. Guy Nickalls, at Eton in the early 1880s, recalled: “In spite of the swishings I got, I liked the headmaster, Hornby, the perfectly mannered and sonorously-voiced old English gentleman. Handsome, alert, witty, a great athlete in his day, a good judge of wine, and the finest after-dinner speaker I ever listened to, with a charm of manner I have never forgotten.” Hornby retired in 1884 to take the post of provost of Eton and was succeeded by another Etonian and Balliol oarsman, Edmond Warre. Hornby had also become a Doctor of Civil Law and a Queen’s Chaplain. As chairman of the Governing Body, he presided over the meetings at the time of Dr. Warre's resignation, when the Rev. the Hon. Edward Lyttelton was elected Warre's successor. He remained provost until his death in 1909, to be succeeded again by Warre.

Personal life

Hornby married the daughter of the Rev. J. C. Evans, of Eton in 1859 and she was associated with the whole of his headmastership at Eton until she died in 1891. He also lost a son but other sons and two daughters survived him. He was the brother of Admiral Sir Geoffrey Hornby and cricketer Phipps Hornby.     Read more in Wikipedia.

Richard Egington (Olympic Rower) 1979-

Richard Egington (born 26 February 1979 in Warrington) is an Olympic silver and bronze medallist in rowing (men’s eight). He attended Lymm High School and competed in the high jump and hurdles at county level when he was at school. He later studied zoology at the University of Reading. He learned to row at school before joining Leander Rowing Club's development scheme at Henley-on-Thames, where he now lives. He was appointed Leander Club captain from 1 January 2010.

Richard made his international debut at the World Championships in Milan in 2003 when he won silver in the coxed four race. During 2004 he endured illness and injury but came back in 2005 to represent GB in the men’s eight at the World Championships. During the next 3 years he was a member of the crew that finished 4th in 2005 in Japan, 5th at Eton in 2006 and won bronze in Munich in 2007.

He was part of the men’s eight at the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008 where he won a silver medal in an exciting race against USA and Canada. He almost quit the sport after the Beijing Games because of the demanding training schedule. Thankfully he didn’t quit and went on to win gold in the men's coxless four at the 2009 World Championships, beating off stiff competition from Australia and Slovenia. He established his place in the new GB four during the 2009 World Cup Series, winning two golds and a bronze to take the overall 2009 title.

The crew for the London 2012 Olympics was established just five months before the Games began, where the team earned a bronze medal in the men’s eight with a time of 5:51.18 on 1 August 2012. After the bronze medal win he said, “I’ve had my time. I’m 33 now. I don’t want to carry on for another four years towards the Rio games.”

Richard is funded by the National Lottery through UK Sport.

RUGBY LEAGUE

None of the rugby league players listed here played for Warrington. For rugby league players who featured in the Warrington (Wolves) squad, see the Warrington Wolves page.

Frederick Kelsall (Rugby League Player) 1906-1931

Frederick "Fred" Thomas Kelsall (birth registered April - June 1906 in Great Sankey district - died 14 May 1931 in Eccleston, aged 24–25) was a professional rugby league footballer in the 1920s and 1930s. He represented England, Cheshire and Widnes, playing at prop, i.e. number 8 or 10, during the era of contested scrums. Fred Kelsall won a cap for England whilst at Widnes in 1930 against Other Nations. Fred Kelsall played prop, in Widnes' 10-3 victory over St. Helens in the 1929–30 Challenge Cup Final at Wembley Stadium on Saturday 3 May 1930.

Described as the heaviest and most skilled of the Widnes pack that won an unlikely victory at Wembley in 1930, Fred Kelsall would probably have added to his county and international honours but for his tragic death in a motorcycle accident (in which his pillion passenger Miss Minnie Salt and two persons on another motorcycle were also killed) in May 1931.    Read more in Wikipedia.

Joe Warham (Rugby League Player/Coach) 1920-

Joe Warham (born 1920 in Warrington). He is a rugby league administrator and coach, having served Leeds Rugby League Football Club (now Leeds Rhinos) for over forty years. Following a playing career as a winger with Oldham and Swinton, and a spell coaching Rochdale, Joe went to Headingley as coach in 1958. Under his stewardship in 1960/61 Leeds won their first-ever championship, beating Warrington 25-10 in the final at Odsal. Joe later moved to head up Leeds' scouting and recruiting efforts, signing many of the players who formed the backbone of Leeds' very successful late 1960s and 1970s side.

In the seventies Joe served the club in a number of capacities, including scouting, organising players' testimonials and representing the club on various RL committees, before being made General Manager of the Company in 1980. His period of tenure saw a number of significant ground improvements at Headingley - including, on the Test cricket ground, the UK's first electronic cricket scoreboard. After leaving the board he served as president of Leeds' Taverners' Club and as President of Leeds' ex-players' association.    Read more in Wikipedia.

Robert "Bob" Fulton (Rugby League Player) 1947-

Robert "Bob" Fulton (born 1 December 1947 in Warrington). As a player Fulton won three premierships with the Manly Sea Eagles in the 1970s, the last as captain. He represented the Australian national side on forty-seven occasions, seven times as captain. He had a long coaching career at the first grade level, taking Manly to premiership victory in 1987 and 1996. He coached the Australian national team to forty Tests and World Cup games. He was a New South Wales State selector and a national selector. He is currently a radio commentator with 2GB. In 1985 he was selected as one of the initial four post-war "Immortals" of the Australian game and in 2008 he was named in Australia's team of the century.    Read more in Wikipedia.

Keith Elwell (Rugby League Player) 1950-

Keith Elwell (birth registered January - March 1950 in Warrington) was a professional rugby league footballer in the 1970s and 1980s, playing at representative level for Great Britain and England, and at club level for Widnes, as a Fullback, or Hooker, i.e. number 1, or 9.

Keith Elwell holds Widnes' "most career appearances" record with 591. He also holds the world record for consecutive games played with a total of 239 (some sources say 242) from the 1976–77 Challenge Cup Final against Leeds on Saturday 7 May 1977 to the match at Hull on Sunday 26 September 1982, a total of 5-years 4-months and 19-days.

Elwell won caps for Great Britain whilst at Widnes in the 1977 Rugby League World Cup against Australia, and in 1980 against New Zealand (2 matches). He also won caps for England whilst at Widnes in 1978 against France and Wales.

He has been inducted into the Widnes Hall Of Fame.    Read more in Wikipedia.

Clifford Eccles (Rugby League Player) 1967-

Clifford "Cliff" Eccles (born 4 September 1967) is a Warrington-born Irish professional rugby league footballer of the 1980s, '90s and 2000s. He has represented Ireland as an international, and at club level for Springfield Borough/Chorley Borough (1987-89), Rochdale Hornets (1989-94), Salford City Reds (1994-98), Swinton Lions (1999), and Widnes Vikings (2000) as a Prop, or Second-row ( i.e. number 8 or 10, or, 11 or 12).

Cliff was signed to Salford at the start of the 1994 season from Rochdale Hornets by the then Head Coach Gary Jack. Cliff went on to play a key role in the side that achieved Grand Final Success at Old Trafford and then went on to have success in the Super League under the guidance of former Wigan great Andy Gregory.

Gregory masterminded the downfall of the great Wigan side that had visited Wembley 8-times. Wigan were favourites in the quarter final at The Willows, Salford but Gregory had different ideas and his side ended the 8-year stronghold Wigan had on the Challenge Cup. Salford were then beaten by St. Helens in the Semi-Final

Gregory's team made three Challenge Cup Semi-final appearances but never quite stepped up to reach the Wembley Final; the most memorable being at Headingley Stadium against Sheffield Eagles. With minutes to go Salford were in charge of the game and Gregory decided to replace Cliff Eccles and Andy Platt in the front row. This proved to be his tactical downfall as Sheffield Eagles went on to score tries in the very gaps that the two strong front rowers had left in the defensive line. Sheffield Eagles went on to win the game and famously beat Wigan in the Wembley Final.

Cliff held the record at Salford for most consecutive appearances by a forward at 103 over four seasons, including Super League and Challenge Cup Games. Cliff Eccles won caps for Ireland while at Salford 1997…1998 1-cap + 2-caps (sub). Cliff left Salford before the start of the 2000 season to join former Salford player-turned-coach Mike Gregory in his first coaching role at Swinton Lions.

Eccles stayed with Gregory at Swinton for one season and then joined Widnes Vikings with Colin Whitfield as Head Coach. After one season Eccles retired from the game with damaged knee ligaments.    Read more in Wikipedia.

Ady Spencer (Rugby League Player) 1973-

Ady Spencer (born 3 March 1973 in Warrington). Retired. He made history at University as the first player to win full Cambridge blues in both Rugby Union and Rugby League. He was regarded as the instrumental Cambridge player in the period of dominance over the Rugby League Dark Blues in the mid 1990s. He also played for Great Britain U-19s in rugby league before going up to Cambridge.

Ady Spencer's position of choice was as a stand-off and he often appeared from the interchange bench.

Ady Spencer became the focus of national controversy when he was banned by the Rugby Football Union in 1994 for his appearance in the 1994 Rugby Union Varsity match having already played Rugby League at a professional level (albeit unpaid) with the London Crusaders. Rugby Union went professional several months later after a high profile campaign by MP's and media to highlight the case.

He made 58 appearances for London Broncos between 1996-1999. He also played for London Crusaders and London Skolars. He is now the London Business Development Manager for the RFL.    Read more in Wikipedia.

Andy Haigh (Rugby League Player) 1975-

Andy Haigh (born 3 September 1975 in Warrington) is a former rugby league player.

Andy played for St Helens on 84 occasions and scored 27 tries as a centre. He joined St Helens from Crosfields ARL on 10 August 1993 and played his first match against Sheffield Eagles on 24 October 1993.

He was part of the Super League winning squad of 1996 (the first year the competition was held) and he also received a winner's medal in the 1997 Challenge Cup Final against Bradford Bulls at Wembley. Sadly, his playing career was cut short in 1998 when he suffered a serious knee injury. He played for Saints against Warrington (Wolves) on ten occasions and his team won seven of the matches.

Thanks to the Saints Heritage Society for permission to use extracts from their records to create these notes. See their website www.saints.org.uk.

Danny Arnold (Rugby League Player) 1977-

Danny Arnold (born 15 April 1977 in Warrington) is a former rugby league player who played for St Helens, Huddersfield, Castleford and Salford. He was signed by St Helens from Wigan St Judes amateur rugby league club on the 15th April 1994 and played his debut on the 10th September 1995 v Workington Town. In total he played 75 times for Saints (inc 8 as a sub), scored 50 tries and 1 goal totalling 202 points.

Probably the most memorable moment of Danny Arnold's career for Saints fans would be the hat trick he scored against the old enemy (Wigan) at Knowsley Road in 1996, where saints ran out 42-26 winners.

During his time at St Helens, Danny won 2 Challenge Cup Final winner's medals at Wembley Stadium (1996 &1997), both finals against Bradford Bull's with Danny scoring two tries in the 1996 final. He was also part of Saints Championship winning side of 1996.

Arnold was a Scotland international and played at the 2000 Rugby League World Cup. Danny currently plays Rugby Union for Aspull RUFC Vets.    Read more in Wikipedia.

Andy Coley (Rugby League Player) 1978-

Andy Coley (born 7 July 1978 in Warrington). He plays for Wigan Warriors as a prop. Andy signed for Swinton Lions, and in 2001 signed for Salford City Reds as a second row forward prior to the 2001 season, but has since moved up into the front row.

Andy has represented Lancashire and scored a hat trick of tries on his England debut against Russia, during England’s victorious European Nations Cup campaign in 2004. In June 2007 Coley was called up to the Great Britain squad for the Test match against France.

Coley agreed a deal to join Wigan Warriors in September 2007 from Salford City Reds who were relegated in the 2007 Super League season.    Read more in Wikipedia.

Mike Bennett (Rugby League Player) 1980-

Mike Bennett (born 9 May 1980 in Warrington). He played for St Helens, mainly in the second row. He retired at the end of 2008 season due to Injury.    Read more in Wikipedia.

Simon Finnigan (Rugby League Player) 1981-

Simon Finnigan (born 8 December 1981 in Warrington). He plays in the second row for Huddersfield Giants. He grew up in Australia, playing for the Penrith Panthers before joining Widnes in 2003. Simon joined Salford in 2005. He played for Bradford Bulls in the 2008 season and played for Ireland at the 2008 Rugby League World Cup.    Read more in Wikipedia.

Tim Hartley (Rugby League Player) 1986-

Tim Hartley (born 2 January 1986 in Warrington). He plays for Widnes Vikings in National League One. He played for Salford City Reds between 2004 and 2006, Harlequins RL in 2007 and Halifax 2008.    Read more in Wikipedia.

Matthew "Matt" Cook (Rugby League Player) 1986-

Matthew "Matt" Cook (born 14 November 1986 in Warrington). Cook signed for Bradford Bulls from Saracens F.C. (RU) in late 2003. He won caps for England while at Bradford Bulls in 2006 against France (sub), and Tonga (sub). Cook was on loan at Castleford Tigers for a month in the 2008 season playing only 3 games. On 1 September 2009 He signed for Hull Kingston Rovers on a 2-year contract, starting with the 2010 season.    Read more in Wikipedia.

Joe Mellor (Rugby League Player) 1990-

Joseph Mellor (born 21 November 1990 in Warrington) is a professional rugby league player currently playing for Wigan Warriors in Super League. He signed as a professional for Wigan from Warrington-based amateur side Latchford Albion.

In 2009, Mellor was awarded Man of the Match in the Reserve Grand Final following a fantastic performance. An injury-plagued 2010 meant limited appearances, but he did play in the Under 20 Valvoline Cup Final win over St Helens RLFC. He is by preference a stand-off/five-eighth and made his first grade debut in rugby league whilst on loan at Harlequins in 2011's Super League XVI, coming off the bench in a 27-16 win over St Helens in round five of the competition.

On his return to Wigan, Joe Mellor was dual-registered with Widnes Vikings along with Dominic Crosby and Logan Tomkins. Mellor has featured at stand off for the Vikings, scoring tries in the home fixtures against Barrow Raiders and Toulouse Olympique and a couple away at Barrow Raiders.    Read more in Wikipedia.

RUGBY UNION        

William Mortimer (Rugby Union Player) 1874-1916

William Mortimer (born 2 April 1874 in Warrington, died 31 October 1916, age 42) was an English rugby union forward who played club rugby for Marlborough Nomads and was capped for England. He was part of the British Isles tour to South Africa in 1896.

Mortimer was the son of William Mortimer of Frodsham. He was educated at Marlborough College before moving to Trinity College, Cambridge in 1893. He worked on the London Stock Exchange.    Read more in Wikipedia.

Wade Dooley (Rugby Union Player) 1957-

Wade Dooley (born 2 October 1957 in Warrington) is a former England rugby union international who played lock forward. He played for his country 55 times and was known as the "Blackpool Tower". The nickname was due to his being 6 feet 8 inches tall and a police officer with Lancashire Constabulary in Blackpool.

Dooley played rugby league as a teenager, taking up rugby union at the age of 19. He played most of his career for Preston Grasshoppers, where he was nurtured by former England international and coach Dick Greenwood. He also had a brief spell with Fylde. Dooley made his international debut on 5 January 1985 against Romania. He later established a second row partnership with fellow police officer Paul Ackford.

Dooley went on the 1989 British Lions tour to Australia, playing in the final two test matches. He was also part of the England team that won back-to-back grand slams in 1991 and 1992. Dooley also went on the 1993 British Lions tour to New Zealand, but left the tour to return home for the funeral of his father. He was replaced on the tour by the young Leicester England lock Martin Johnson, and decided to retire.

Though capped on multiple occasions by his country, his career highlight was opening the Wetherby RUFC clubhouse in 1993.    Read more in Wikipedia.

Mike Worsley (Rugby Union Player) 1976-

Mike Worsley (born 12 December 1976 in Warrington) is a Rugby Union prop. He started out with West Park St Helens, whilst playing in older age-groups for high-flying rugby school St. Ambrose College in Altrincham. He then played for Orrell and Bristol before joining London Irish in September 1998.

Worsley represented England Schools 18-Group and England U-21s before his form with the exiles propelled him into the England A side. After initially being selected for the England squad to tour New Zealand and Australia in June 2003, Worsley teamed up with the England A squad that won the Churchill Cup in Canada.

He won his first cap as a replacement in the 40-5 victory over Italy in the Six Nations game at Twickenham on 9 March 2003. Mike Worsley joined Harlequin F.C. from London Irish in the summer of 2003 and was part of the Quins side that defeated London Wasps 33-27 on the opening day of the 2003/04 season (13 September 2003). He then won his second cap in England's 51-15 defeat to Australia on 26th June 2004.

Injury forced his retirement at the end of the 2005/06 season. In September 2009, he became a teacher at Cranleigh School, teaching Business Studies as well as being a tutor in one of the houses.    Read more in Wikipedia.

David Strettle (Rugby Union Player) 1983-

David Strettle (born 23 July 1983 in Warrington) is a rugby union player who plays on the wing for Saracens and England.

Strettle grew up in Thelwall, attended Lymm High School and playing for Lymm RFC. Strettle then went on to study at Sheffield Hallam University. In the summer of 2006, Strettle joined Harlequins from Rotherham, and made his club debut in the pre-season friendly against ASM Clermont on 6 August of that year. As a teenager, he was a talented footballer, appearing on the books of Liverpool, Manchester City and Crewe Alexandra. He was also a keen rugby league fan.

Strettle scored a hat trick on his Rotherham debut against Rugby Lions and made his Premiership debut for the Titans against Bath in October 2003. He was Rotherham's top try-scorer in National One in the 2004–05 season scoring 18 tries in 22 appearances. In total he made 70 appearances for Harlequins and scored 80 points.

Strettle was known as "Ducks" at Harlequins after David Duckham, a player to whom Strettle had been compared, and was touted as a future England winger. He scored a hat trick in the game against Newcastle Falcons and was included in the England Saxons squad for the team's games against Italy and Ireland, scoring in both games.

Strettle was also a regular in the England Sevens squad throughout the 2005/06 IRB World Seven Series. He won a surprise call up to the England starting XV for its 2007 Six Nations game against Ireland at Croke Park in the place of the injured Jason Robinson, and scored England's only try in the 43–13 defeat. He also started in the win over France and the defeat to Wales.

On 2 May 2007, Strettle was named as the Professional Rugby Players Association Young Player of the Season. He was also named in the Sky Sports Dream Team for the Guinness Premiership season 2006–07, along with fellow Harlequin and England hopeful Mike Brown. Also in May 2007, Strettle was named in the England Rugby squad to tour South Africa. Unfortunately, he came down with food poisoning along with other members of the squad, which prevented him from starting in England's 58–10 record defeat to South Africa.

On 16 August 2007, a confusing article appeared on Harlequins' official site. It seems to suggest that Strettle had crossed codes and signed for Harlequins Rugby League. The basis of the story was that he is also a registered Harlequins Rugby League club player, as many players in Harlequins Rugby Union side are.

He returned to play for Harlequins after recovering from the injury that put him out of the 2007 Rugby World Cup and was called up to the England squad for the 2008 Six Nations Championship. He started the game against Wales but was withdrawn early on following a metatarsal break, which ruled him out of the rest of the tournament.

In 2010 he played rugby for Saracens and in 30 appearances has scored 35 points.

Football connections

Strettle is an aficionado of Football Manager, and sees himself as having the knack for "picking up players on the cheap and turning them into the new Rooney or Henry". This was an idea he floated to the Saracens coaching staff after a serious injury to fly-half Derick Hougaard and resulted in Venter bringing in Owen Farrell at 10. He recently boasted of his ability to turn West Ham into a top European team within 2 to 3 seasons, while also stating that he was a "world class football manager".    Read more in Wikipedia.

SWIMMING

"Sunny" Lowry (Swimmer) 1911-2008

Ethel "Sunny" Lowry (Anderson) MBE (born 2 January 1911 in Longsight, Manchester, died 21 February 2008 in Warrington, age 97) was the first British woman to swim the English Channel.

Lowry, a student at Manchester High School for Girls and a keen swimmer from a young age, joined the Victoria Ladies Swimming Club of Victoria Baths in Longsight, Manchester. At that time (circa 1920) Victoria Baths only allowed single-sex swimming sessions and Sunny could only admire the achievements of the male swimmers, but couldn't compete against them.

She was developing an aptitude for long-distance swimming and used to train with her sister at Levenshulme Baths so that she could attempt distance swimming competitions on Lake Windermere. She also practised distance swimming in the sea at her parent's holiday home in Rhos-on-Sea in North Wales. On one occasion she swam from her home to Colwyn Bay and back again.

Her father, noticing her increasing talent at distance swimming in the sea, suggested that she train for her ambition to swim the Channel. This she did, choosing Westgate on Sea near Margate in Kent as an appropriate venue. Sunny's trainer in Kent was Jabez Woolffe who had put her on a high protein diet (including eating 40 eggs a week in omelettes). She trained for 3 or 4 hours a day in the build up to her first attempt.

Her first attempt was from England to France and took place on 19 August 1932. She got quite close to the French coast but eventually the strong east-west currents from France prevented her from finishing. Wolffe and Captain Courtez, the captain of the support tug "Isobelle", called off the attempt. It still took them 45 minutes before they could find her to help her out of the water. Eventually, searchlights allowed them to see her red swimming cap.

On 27 July 1933, Lowry attempted the swim again only this time choosing to let the current help her instead of hindering her. Accordingly she changed direction and made the swim from France to England. Unfortunately once again she was unsuccessful.

Making her third attempt on 28 August 1933, Sunny, aged 22, successfully swam from Cap Gris Nez, France to St Margarets Bay, Dover, England. The swim took her 15 hours 41 minutes. Once again she was supported by Wolffe and Courtez.

Lowry had a reputation for strong-mindedness which was demonstrated by her eschewing the traditional heavy wool one-piece swimsuit in favour of a lighter two-piece suit, at the time very daring. For this she was berated as being a "harlot" for baring her knees. This swimsuit is now on display at the Dover Museum "Swimming The Channel" exhibition.

For over 20 years she taught swimming and life-saving at the former Legh Street Baths in Warrington with her husband Bill Anderson.

Lowry is one of only five British women to have ever successfully swum the Channel. In 2002 she presented Australian swimming star Ian Thorpe with his gold medal at the Manchester Commonwealth Games. In July 2003, at the age of 92, Sunny was inducted into the International Marathon Swimming Association's Hall of Fame.

At the age of 94 she was awarded an MBE in the 2006 Honours List for services to swimming in the North-West. This was the same year she helped Little Britain star David Walliams prepare for his Channel swim in aid of Sport Relief. She died at the age of 97 on 21 February 2008 at Warrington Hospital, having lived in Fairfield in her later years. Her funeral took place at St Elphin’s Parish Church on 4 March 2008.    Some information from Wikipedia.

Helen Slatter (Olympic Swimmer) 1970-

Helen Mary Slatter (born 7 June 1970 in King’s Lynn, Norfolk) moved to Warrington from the southwest after competing for Great Britain at the Seoul Olympics in 1988. She became Warriors of Warrington Swimming Club’s first Olympian in Barcelona, Spain in 1992 and competed in the Atlanta Games in 1996. She also competed in three Commonwealth Games (Auckland, New Zealand 1990, Victoria, Canada 1994 and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 1998).

Helen has been swimming since she joined her local swimming club at the age of 11. She progressed from county to National Championships in two years and finally got her first 'GB cap' at 15.  She continued to compete for GB and England until she reached the age of 30. In 2001 she took up a post in Stratford-on-Avon District Council's sports development service. She is also Head Coach at Stratford Sharks, the local swimming club.  

Helen expressed her dismay at Warrington Borough Council's decision to close Legh Street Baths in 2003. The baths were demolished in 2011 to make way for a health centre.

Achieng Ajulu-Bushell (Swimmer) 1994-

Achieng Ajulu-Bushell (born 1994 in Warrington) is a British swimmer, who won the 50m and 100m breaststroke at the 2010 British Swimming Championships. Prior to 2010, she swam internationally for Kenya.

Born to a British mother and a Kenyan father, Ajulu-Bushell left Britain for South Africa at the age of 3, but then spent ten years living in Kenya with her mother and sisters. She learned to swim in the Indian Ocean at the age of 4, and swam her first competition at 6.

Swimming for Kenya, she won two gold medals at the 2008 African Swimming Championships (50m and 100m breaststroke), becoming the first female to win medals for Kenya at the African Championships. She also represented Kenya at the 2009 World Championships in Rome, Italy.

In early 2010, Ajulu-Bushell made the decision to start swimming for Great Britain, and after a customary period without representing Kenya (1 year) and with clearance from the Kenya federation, began swimming for Great Britain. She made her senior British debut at the 2010 European Championships in Budapest, Hungary, and went on to compete for England at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India.

Ajulu-Bushell attended Plymouth College and was a classmate of Olympic diving medallist Tom Daley, but moved to London as she stepped up her preparation for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. As of 2 February 2012, she is in the sixth form at Oxford High School Girls' Day School Trust in Oxford.    Read more in Wikipedia.

TENNIS

Nick Brown (Tennis Player) 1961-

Nick Brown (born 3 September 1961 in Warrington) is a former professional tennis player. After playing on the APT tour in the early 1980s, he left the tour in 1984 to devote his time to coaching young British players, including Tim Henman, before returning to competitive play five years later.

Brown caused a sensation at Wimbledon in 1991. Ranked No. 591 in the world at the time, he faced the 10th seed and previous year's semi-finalist, Goran Ivanisevic, in the second round and beat him in four sets 4-6, 6-3, 7-6, 6-3, much to the delight of the British crowd. He eventually lost in the third round to France's Thierry Champion 7-6, 1-6, 7-5, 6-3.

Brown's career-high rankings were World No. 145 in singles and No. 42 in doubles. Since permanently retiring from competitive tennis, Brown has served as coach of Britain's Fed Cup team.    Read more in Wikipedia.

WATER POLO

Hazel Musgrove (Water Polo) 1989-

Hazel Musgrove (born 6 Feb 1989 in Watford, now living in Warrington) is a water polo player who made history by becoming part of the first 13-strong women’s water polo team to represent GB at an Olympic games. Hazel, a former pupil at Bridgewater High School, graduated from the University of Manchester in 2011 with a degree in Psychology.

Hazel has been swimming since the age of 12 and first competed for Warrington Swimming and Water Polo Club. After junior European campaigns in 2007, 2008 and 2009, Hazel broke into the senior squad in time for the European Nations Trophy in Manchester, where the British women won gold. She has been involved with the British team ever since. Hazel was part of the City of Liverpool squad that secured a bronze medal at the 2010 British Championships. She took part in the 2011 World University Games in Shenzhen, China, finishing in seventh place, and won bronze at the Four Nations Invitational, again in Manchester.

Hazel told the Warrington Guardian, “It is unreal, it is such an honour. I am so proud to be in this historic team, it is hard to put into words. You might think it increases expectation, but it doesn’t really put any extra pressure on us. We see it as a great chance for us to showcase the sport to people and show them what an exciting game it is”.

Water polo was first played by men at the Olympics in Paris in 1900 and Great Britain won the gold medal. However, the last time a men’s team was entered for a Games was in 1956. The sport was only introduced for women at the Sydney Games in 2000, but Great Britain has never entered a women’s team until now.

At London 2012 Team GB are part of the group which includes Italy, Russia and Beijing bronze medallists Australia. The team took part in the Hungary National League to gain valuable experience because, previously, Great Britain hadn't qualified for the European Championships for 15 years. Hazel is coached by Szilveszter Fekete and Gordon Dacre.

Away from water polo, Hazel holds 100m sprinter Usain Bolt as one of her sporting idols. She enjoys most sports but doesn't have much time to play them and describes her ultimate relaxation as reading a good book in bed.

Warrington-Worldwide and Radio Warrington 87.8 FM reported on 11 July 2012 that Hazel presented children from the Water Polo Academy with special mini-polo awards. The presentation took place at Great Sankey Leisure Centre, where the youngsters train.

Hazel and Team GB started their Olympic campaign at the new Water Polo Arena at Olympic Park on 30 July.

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