Puneet Varma

Central Park (Wigan)

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Full name  Central Park
Surface  Grass
Closed  1999
Opened  1902
Location  Wigan, England
Built  1902
Capacity  18,000
Demolished  1999
Central Park (Wigan) WiganWarriorsFanscom
Record attendance  47,747 vs St Helens 27 March 1959
Similar  Station Road - Swinton, The Willows - Salford, Knowsley Road, Wilderspool Stadium, Hilton Park

Central Park was a rugby league stadium in Wigan, England, which was the home of Wigan RLFC before the club moved to the JJB Stadium in 1999. Its final capacity was 18,000. The site is now a Tesco supermarket car park.

Contents

Central Park (Wigan) Wigan Warriors Rugby League Fan Site wwwcherryandwhitecouk

History

Central Park (Wigan) Wigan Warriors Rugby League Fan Site wwwcherryandwhitecouk

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

Central Park (Wigan) Wigan Warriors Rugby League Fan Site wwwcherryandwhitecouk

The first rugby league international was played between England and Other Nationalities at Central Park on 5 April 1904, Other Nationalities won 9-3 in the experimental Loose forward-less 12-a-side game, with Wigan players David "Dai" Harris, and Eli Davies in the Other Nationalities team.

Central Park (Wigan) Central Park Wigan Mapionet

The visit of St. Helens on 27 March 1959 produced Central Park's record attendance of 47,747, and set a record for a rugby league regular season league game in Britain. Wigan won the game 19–14, holding off a Saints' comeback after having led 14–0.

Central Park (Wigan) httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu

Floodlights were installed on 120 ft high pylons in summer 1967 so that the club could play in the BBC2 Floodlit Trophy.

Central Park (Wigan) WN central park wigan

On 7 October 1987, Central Park was the first English venue used for the World Club Challenge (WCC) between the English champions and the Winfield Cup premiers from Australia. The 1987 World Club Challenge between Wigan and Manly-Warringah saw the home side run out 8-2 winners in a try-less game in front of 36,895, though many who were there believe the attendance was closer to 50,000 on the night, far exceeding the 36,000 capacity of the ground at the time. The game was marred by several all-in brawls, while Manly captain Paul Vautin was almost pushed over the fence and into the crowd by a group of Wigan players who had tackled him into touch, the incident sparking another all-in. Manly fullback Dale Shearer and second-rower Ron Gibbs were the main villains of the parochial Wigan crowd. Gibbs became the first player to be sent off in a WCC after hitting Wigan centre Joe Lydon with an elbow to the head after Lydon attempted a field goal, while later in the game Shearer appeared to step on the head of Lydon while getting up from a tackle.

Despite the ugly on-field play, the success of the match and its high attendance saw the World Club Challenge made into an annual event between the English and Australian champions starting in 1989.

A week after the 1992 Rugby League World Cup Final (WCF) at Wembley Stadium which saw Australia defeat Great Britain 10-6, Central Park hosted the 1992 World Club Challenge between Wigan and the Brisbane Broncos. With twelve players who played in the WCF playing the challenge (5 from Wigan, 7 from Brisbane), the Broncos became the first Australian side to win the challenge in England with a 22-8 victory in front of 17,764 fans. Wigan would get their revenge just two years later when they defeated the Broncos 20-14 in the 1994 World Club Challenge played in front of a WCC record attendance of 54,220 at the ANZ Stadium in Brisbane. Showing the loyalty of the clubs fans, several thousand travelled to Brisbane to support the team, the win seeing Wigan become the first English team to win the Challenge on Australian soil.

In January 1997 the club's shareholders approved a deal in which the stadium would be sold to Wigan Athletic's owner Dave Whelan and be redeveloped to provide a new home for both the football and rugby teams. Two months later however, the Warriors' chairman Jack Robinson accepted a rival bid from Tesco, pointing out that the supermarket's offer was three times bigger than Whelan's.

The final game at Central Park was on Sunday 5 September 1999. Wigan beat St Helens by 28 points to 20, 96 years and 364 days after the first game against Batley was played. The Central Park site later became a car park for a Tesco supermarket.

Rugby League Test Matches

List of rugby league test matches played at Central Park.

Rugby League World Cup

List of Rugby League World Cup matches played at Central Park.
Results are from the 1960, 1970, 1975, 1985–1988, 1989–1992 and 1995 World Cups.

References

Central Park (Wigan) Wikipedia


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