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Photos of Wigan
Photos of Wigan

Wigan Album

Wigan Rugby Players


Wigan players 1945 - 46 season
Wigan players 1945 - 46 season
Photo: Keith
Views: 382
Item #: 34858
I’ve tried to “enhance” and “colourise’ this photo which was in quite bad condition. The colour is not great but the improvement I think merits its posting. Hope you agree. Major question, who are the players who Jim Sullivan, the Wigan coach and occasionally player in this season (3 appearances when aged 42), is talking to? It could be, left to right, Albert Edward (Ted) Toohey, 1945-46, played 19 games scoring 10 tries, moved successfully to Barrow and played for GB. died 1978 aged 55, Stan Jolley, 1945-46, 23 games, scoring 25 tries, died 1988 aged 65. Billy Blan 1945-1953, 77 tries, and GB player, died 2008 age 85. Next player is unknown to me. Jim Sullivan is next, a legend in the game, In his 25 year career, Sullivan made 602 appearances for Wigan and 928 first team appearances in total, a figure unmatched anywhere in the world, died 1977, age 73. Standing next to Jim is Brian Nordgren, a Kiwi, a former junior national sprint champion over 100-220 yards, signed in December 1945. scored 312 tries and kicked 109 goals for Wigan between 1946-1954, becoming their 3rd best try scorer on a try per game ratio. Retired and returned to New Zealand. Worked as a lawyer, qualified at Liverpool University while playing for Wigan, he also married a Liverpool girl. He was still working, aged 81, when he died in 2007, the oldest lawyer in their country.

Comment by: Colin Traynor on 11th February 2024 at 10:03

Great picture of some memorable players and your colourization Keith is very realistic. That season was heading into the glory days of Rugby League with vast crowds at every major game, cars and buses parked all over Wigan.
I used to go with my dad and there were many games he would not take me to for fear of me being crushed.
I had to smile at the picture though, he looks like he is introducing the players to the basics of the game saying ' Look lads, I know its a funny shape but this is a Rugby Ball'.

Comment by: Irene Roberts on 11th February 2024 at 11:41

Keith, the colouring makes all the difference....it brings an old photo to life. Well done! Colin, a friend of mine grew up in London but was, and still is, a rugby fan. He lives in Wigan now but when he was a child in London and took the rugby ball outside his house, the neighbours used to call it a "long ball"!

Comment by: Veronica on 11th February 2024 at 12:28

We had a teacher called Mrs Blan at St Pat’s and I’m sure she was married to the rugby player. This would be 1960. I remember she was good at drawing.

Comment by: Bruce Almighty on 11th February 2024 at 13:31


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