We are delighted to have Pat Richards and Martin Offiah contribute to our first ever Former Player Quick Fire Interview. Both are firmly Wigan legends with Offiah a member of the Wigan Hall of Fame and Pat Richards, surely a future member.
Offiah played for Widnes, Eastern Suburbs, St George, Wigan, London Broncos and Salford representing Great Britain 33 times, scoring 26 tries and playing for England 5 times, scoring 8 tries. Offiah played for Wigan from 1992 – 1995 making 159 appearances and scoring an incredible 186 tries. He finished his Rugby League career with a total of 424 appearances and a total 444 tries.
His transfer to Wigan in 1992 broke the transfer record for a Rugby League player with Wigan paying Widnes £440,000, a figure that remained a record until 2006 (Stuart Fielden’s transfer from Bradford to Wigan). During his time at Wigan, he won four Challenge Cups, five Championships, three Regal Trophy’s and one Lancashire Cup. The Challenge Cup victories saw him win the Lance Todd Trophy twice, including the 90-metre solo try against Leeds in 1994 which has seen his celebration immortalised in a statue outside Wembley Stadium.
Ireland international, Pat Richards joined Wigan in 2006 after scoring a try in the 2005 NRL Grand Final for West Tigers, a try highly regarded as one of the best scored in a Grand Final due to Benji Marshall’s flick pass. Check it out by clicking here
Richards initially joined Wigan as a centre but found his best form for the club after switching to full back and ultimately on the wing. In total, Richards played 244 games for the Warriors, scoring 167 tries, kicking 898 goals and 4 drop goals – a total of 2468 points.
Richards, a true fan favourite, won the Steve Prescott Man of Steel Award in 2010 and finished his Wigan career with two Super League Winners Rings and two Challenge Cup wins.
What do you miss most about playing the game?
Pat Richards: I haven’t missed it at all yet. I was really fortunate enough to have played for such a long time and to have played in some successful teams.
Martin Offiah: The thing I miss the most about the game is scoring tries
What is your favourite memory from playing or a favourite game?
Pat Richards: A couple of good memories would be scoring a try in the 2005 NRL Grand Final (Wests vs North Queensland) and scoring my last try for Wigan at Old Trafford in the 2013 Grand Final against Warrington.
Martin Offiah:Favourite memory is scoring 10 tries v Leeds in the 1992 Premiership Final
What is the biggest difference do you think, between the NRL and Super League?
Pat Richards: Consistency. But I also think the Super League is a very entertaining comp.
What is the biggest difference do you think, between the game at the time you played and the game now, in 2017?
Martin Offiah: The biggest difference between the game in the ‘90’s and 2017 I would say is the salary cap.
Which Wigan player do you rate highly at the moment and why?
Pat Richards: George Williams, he’s fast, strong and has a great skill set.
Martin Offiah: Joe Burgess is a potential Wigan legend. Reminds me of the Guru Eric Groth
Is there a player currently in the Super League that you think would be a good fit for the NRL?
Pat Richards: Micky McIlorum
Is there one player in Super League at the moment that you think would be a good fit in Rugby Union?
Martin Offiah: Anthony Gelling would go ok I reckon
Who do you think will win Super League this year?
Pat Richards: I think Castleford have a pretty good team, they will go close. But I think Wigan are stronger this year and have what it takes to win it again
Martin Offiah: Wigan, obviously
Your tip for the winner of the Steve Prescott Man of Steel Award?
Pat Richards: Luke Gale or George Williams
Martin Offiah: Luke Gale is a strong candidate
How do you rate England’s chances in the World Cup at the end of the year?
Pat Richards: No idea.
Martin Offiah: We are definitely not the favourites but the wins for Warrington and Wigan, in the World Club Series have given us hope
Any plans to come back to Wigan at any point in the future and get the send-off from the Wigan fans you missed from the Catalan game at the end of last year?
Pat Richards: Definitely… I still have lots of friends there and hopefully it won’t be too far away!
What are you doing nowadays?
Martin Offiah: I am currently in the process of setting up a rugby consultancy business for schools
Again, thank you very much to Martin Offiah and Pat Richards for taking the time to speak to us and we are delighted at the thought of seeing Pat Richards back at the DW in the near future.
Keep an eye out for more interviews with former Wigan players soon at http://www.wiganrugby.blog