Wigan Warriors are delighted to announce that former club captain and New Zealand international Dean Bell will be inducted into the club's 'Hall of Fame' at the match against Warrington Wolves on Friday 9th February 2007.
This follows the recent announcement that Dean will leave the club after 15 years loyal service both on and off the field. He will be presented with a scroll to mark the occasion by Joe Egan, the oldest living member of the Hall of Fame.
Dean Bell joined Wigan in 1986. He was a tough and talented centre and is regarded as one of the club's best overseas signings. During his Wigan career he won seven Challenge Cup medals, six Championships, two Premierships and four medals in both the Regal Trophy and Lancashire Cup. He made 253 appearances for Wigan scoring 96 tries.
He won the Man of Steel in 1992 and the Lance Todd Trophy in 1993; he was the inaugural Captain for Auckland Warriors and also played for New Zealand with the honour of captaining the Kiwi's.
Following his playing days Dean moved into Youth Development, firstly with Leeds and later with Wigan where he served another seven years grooming the future stars of the game.
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."
Dean Bell said:
"It is a fantastic honour to be recognised in this way. I feel privileged to have played for this great club and to join this illustrious list of Wigan legends. I am looking forward to attending the game and be given the opportunity to say my goodbyes to the wonderful Wigan fans who have supported me and my family since I joined the club back in 1986."
The Club are also delighted to reveal that the modern day Hall of Fame which includes Shaun Edwards and Andy Gregory will be merged with the previous Central Park Hall of Fame, a move that will see the illustrious names of Joe Egan, Billy Boston, Jim Sullivan, Ken Gee, Eric Ashton and Brian McTigue featured in the combined Wigan Rugby League Hall of Fame.
Wigan Warriors are keen to celebrate the past heritage of this great Club and have developed an induction policy, which could possibly see up to two legends per season joining this illustrious list.