Gary Wheeler makes playing return after overcoming heart issue

Gary Wheeler Barrow Raiders
Photo: Barrow Raiders

Barrow utility Gary Wheeler made a return to playing on the weekend after overcoming a heart issue that he picked up after contracting Covid-19.

The 32-year-old made his first appearance of the season on Sunday as Barrow were held to an 18-18 draw against London Broncos at Craven Park in the Championship.

Wheeler contracted Covid-19 over the Christmas period, in which he then developed a heart issue.

But the former St Helens and Warrington player has made a full recovery and is raring to go with the Raiders in 2022.

He said: “I’m glad to be back in the squad. It has been quite a long recovery.

“I had Covid at Christmas and I had a few issues with my heart.

“I’d had a few chest pains and discovered a little thing called myocarditis which is quite a slow recovery. I got the all-clear and I’m back now.

“I obviously only came to the club late on last season and I’d had quite a long time out.

“Unfortunately, I got injured soon into the camp. I had a decent pre-season and suffered a little setback but I’m flying now. I feel fit and ready to take on the season now.”

Wheeler linked up with Barrow towards the back end of last season, having not played professionally since Toronto Wolfpack’s demise in early 2020.

Gary Wheeler background

Wheeler was born in St Helens. He came through the ranks at his hometown club and made his professional debut for Saints in a Challenge Cup win over London Skolars at Knowsley Road in 2008.

Wheeler scored 22 tries and kicked 14 goals in 65 appearances for Saints between 2008-14. He played in their Super League Grand Final defeat to Leeds in 2011.

Whilst at Saints, he won one international cap for the England Knights.


Wheeler then joined Saints’ rivals Warrington on a two-year contract from the 2015 season. He played 12 games for the Wolves over two years, scoring four tries.

The centre or half-back joined Toronto Wolfpack in 2017. He spent four seasons with the Canadian club before departing just before they withdrew from Super League in 2020.

He joined ambitious Championship club Barrow in June last year, where he has been ever since.

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About Drew Darbyshire 8639 Articles
Love Rugby League Deputy Editor. Joined the site ahead of the 2017 World Cup and been a full-time reporter since 2018.

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