Wigan Warriors are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of former prop forward, Brian Hogan.
Brian Hogan was born on 10 December 1947 in St Helens, signing for his hometown team in 1965, and becoming a much-travelled forward playing for Wigan, Widnes, Bradford Northern, and Oldham.
Having played his last game for St Helens on 17 December 1968 against Wigan in the 1968 BBC 2 Floodlit Trophy Final Hogan signed for Wigan and made his debut for the cherry and whites just 4 days later on the 21 December 1968 v Workington Town at Central Park, earning him the unique Wigan Heritage Number of 665.
Initially, Hogan struggled to command a regular first-team place but that changed for the 1969-70 season when he became a regular in the second row appearing at Wembley in the controversial Challenge Cup Final defeat against Castleford in 1970.
Brian Hogan managed to secure two major honours with Wigan winning the 1969-70 Lancashire League Championship and the 1970-71 League Leaders Trophy although he did pick up two further Runners Up medals for the 1971 Play Off Final v St Helens and 1977 Lancashire Cup Final v Workington Town.
By the start of the 1971-72, season Hogan had been moved from prop forward into the second row and his shift work at Bold Colliery meant he found it difficult to hold down a regular first-team place and was challenged for the position by Dennis Ashcroft after losing his position Hogan ended his first spell at Central Park and moved on to Workington Town.
During his time away from Wigan Hogan had spells at Bradford Northern and Widnes respectively before returning to Central Park during the 1974-75 season making his second debut in a cherry and white shirt on 8 December 1974 against Keighley at Lawkholme Lane.
It was a period of change at Central Park and unfortunately, a time when trophies and success on the field were limited which remains a mystery when you consider the talent available to the club at the time such as Robinson, Francis, Clarke, Tyrer, Smethurst, and the O’Loughlin brothers.
On his return to Wigan Hogan had developed his skills and matured considerably as a player and this was noticed by the England selectors as he earned five England caps between 1975 and 1977 including four games in the 1975 World Cup.
Having made the last of his 207 appearances for Wigan against Castleford at Central Park on 22 January 1978 Hogan moved on to Widnes for a transfer fee reported to be around £8,000
Brian Hogan was a physically tough forward who had a surprising burst of speed and a brilliant pair of hands that made him a potent attacking threat along with his running and distribution skills and will be remembered as a hard, skilful, and uncompromising opponent.
Wigan Warriors send their condolences to Brian’s family and friends.