Wigan Warriors today confirmed that Dean Bell is to leave his post with the club.
Dean Bell said,
"I have spent fifteen years at Wigan and it has been a fantastic period in my life. I spent eight years at the club as a player and the past seven years as Rugby Executive responsible for the youth development of the club. My time as a player was something special and I will treasure those memories forever. It has also been a great joy to continue my association with Wigan following my playing career and working with the clubs young talent has been a different but most satisfying experience."
"Fifteen years at one club is a long time and both me and my family are considering the next stage of our lives. We may well consider a move back to New Zealand if the opportunity arises but whatever we do Wigan will always be in our hearts. 1986, when I first signed, seems a long time ago but I would not have swapped it for anything. The fans have always been fantastic and I will never forget them or anyone at the club."
Chairman Maurice Lindsay said,
"Dean has been one of the most important signings the club has ever made. He was our Captain in the halcyon days and his influence has carried on after his retirement through our junior development scheme where he is so admired by the young players and their families. Dean is famous for his honesty and integrity which makes him so trusted by the Wigan community. As our Captain he provided strength of character which saw us through many tough games and there were many times during our recent difficulties when I wished that we'd had someone like Dean Bell to get us through. Now that his career with us is coming to an end I would like to thank him on behalf of everyone in Wigan for his tremendous contribution. If he does return to New Zealand we wish him and his family well and our loss will be the Kiwis gain."