On Saturday, Wigan Warriors Community Foundation and Greenmount Projects held the first ever Mary Sharkey Trophy tournament at Robin Park Arena, with Leigh Miners Rangers U14s becoming the first team to win the trophy.
The Community Club Invite event saw 12 teams take part in the 9-a-side tournament format, with a round of group games before a Semi Final and Finals stage of the day.
The idea behind this event was to recognise the services of Mary Sharkey who did 41 years’ of fantastic service at the Club, where Mary held several key roles over four decades before retiring from her final role as Chief Administrator. Read more about Mary Sharkey and her time at Wigan HERE.
Speaking on the event, Girls Rugby Development Manager John Whalley said: “Mary has been very supportive of the Women and Girls teams over the years, so to have this trophy named after her is very fitting. For her name to be continuing at Wigan Warriors for many more years to come is something we are very proud of.
“The day was outstanding, to have all the U14s Wigan Community Clubs at one venue to compete for the first ever Mary Sharkey Trophy was very special and the atmosphere on the day was brilliant. There were over 170 girls participating and to see the skill and talent on show at one venue was very special all the games were very competitive and great to watch.”
He added: “The youth that we have in the Community game is getting better and better year on year which bodes well for the future, it is credit to the Community coaches for all their hard work and dedication.
“Full credit must go to the winners on the day with Orrell St James winning the Plate Final with a special mention to Lily Catterall, a moment of brilliance saw her go the full length of the field to win the game for Orrell and Leigh Miners Rangers winning the first ever Mary Sharkey Trophy.”
See our full gallery of the day here:
Player of the match in the Mary Sharkey Final was Jess Taylor of Leigh Miners Rangers.
Wigan Warriors and the Community Foundation would like to extend their thanks to Greenmount Projects for sponsoring the event, alongside their continued support throughout the Club.
Stacy Connor, Team Manager of the Plate Final winners, Orrell St James said: “The day was a huge success, every detail was carefully thought out and all of us at Orrell agreed how well it had been organised. We have been to many festivals and tournaments and this has certainly been one of the best.
“We entered two teams with one team winning the Wigan Warriors Community Plate, the girls have been working hard to prepare for this and it showed on the day. It was an amazing feeling to be crowned the first ever Plate winners and it has ended our first ever season off perfectly. We all look forward to the next event.”
Leigh Miners Rangers U14s girls Coach, Celia Farrimond, added: “Leigh Miners Girls were really excited to take part in the Wigan Warriors U14s Festival and thoroughly enjoyed the day. Our two Leigh Miners teams played against some familiar faces and some new faces and it was fantastic to see the number of girls playing and the high standard of rugby on show.
“Winning the final and being the first winners of the Mary Sharkey Trophy is an honour and something our girls will always remember. We’re grateful for the support that Wigan Warriors show to the Community game and look forward to working together to continue to promote and develop the girl’s game in the Borough for many years to come.”
Finally, Mary Sharkey said: “I would like to say a huge thank you, it was a fabulous day, I really loved it. It was an amazing turnout and a great event organised and ran by the staff at Wigan Warriors.
“Thank you to Wigan Warriors for creating the trophy, I am really humbled to think something could have my name on, I’ve only ever done my job and I am lucky to be surrounded by lots of amazing people who all work hard for each other. Once again, thank you.”