Ben Westwood ‘gobsmacked’ at receiving Warrington accolade

James Gordon
Ben Westwood

Ben Westwood has been honoured for his 18-year service to Warrington by being inducted to the club’s Hall of Fame.

Westwood, 41, joined the Wolves from Wakefield midway through the 2002 season and went on to make a total of 446 appearances for the club.

In that time, he won three Challenge Cups, two League Leaders’ Shields and played in three Super League Grand Finals.

He was one of three players added to the roll of honour at the club’s annual Players’ Association dinner at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, alongside Barry Philbin and Dave Cotton.

Westwood told the club’s official website: “It’s a big achievement and one I’m very grateful for.

“I got an award from the Council on behalf of the town a few years ago but this tops it all.

“It’s a pleasure to be associated with this club. When I first came to Warrington I never thought in a million years I’d have been here as long as I ended up. I’m quite gobsmacked and lost for words which is unlike me.

“It’s an emotional day too with the birth of my third child this morning.”

An unlikely icon on the other side of the Pennines

A Normanton Knights junior, Westwood came through the ranks at Wakefield and then made the move across the Pennines, where he would go on to set up home.

His no-nonsense and full-blooded performances soon made him a crowd favourite, and Westwood is revered throughout the town.

Westwood made his debut in June 2002 in a defeat to London Broncos, just days after he represented Yorkshire in Origin against Lancashire.

After helping the Wolves survive relegation that year, he remained part of the squad as the club transitioned from Wilderspool to the Halliwell Jones Stadium, and Westwood played in the first ever game at the stadium against his former club Wakefield.

Utilised mainly as an outside back in his first couple of years, he made the switch to the back row in 2005 and was a revelation under Paul Cullen.

Speaking to Love Rugby League in his testimonial year in 2013, Westwood said: “I never thought in a million years I’d have it at Warrington. With being a Yorkshire lad, I never thought I would stay here for this long.

“But when it got to five or six years, we ended up moving over and I like it here.”

Westwood still lives in the town and is a recognisable figure, also running some business ventures in the town.

His induction takes the number of players in the Warrington Hall of Fame to 54, and Westwood is in esteemed company.

Record try scorer Brian Bevan, Welsh hardman Mike Nicholas and Westwood’s former coach Cullen are among those in the list.

READ NEXT: How super Bennie Westwood saved Warrington