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Rugby league icon recognised by University

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New University of Central Lancashire Honorary Fellow Kris Radlinski.

Kris Radlinski MBE awarded Honorary Fellow for services to the game

An international rugby league icon has been recognised for his services to the game.

Kris Radlinski MBE, the Wigan Warriors and Great Britain legend, was conferred with an Honorary Fellowship from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), in Preston, on Wednesday.

He received the academic award to acknowledge the significant contribution he has made to rugby in Great Britain and the support he has provided to the University.

The 41-year-old said: “It is a tremendous honour.  I was just a young kid from Wigan who was lucky enough to get into sport.  You just don’t expect to receive awards like this on the back of it so I am truly humbled by it all.”

Born and bred in Wigan, Kris was a one-club player who made 322 appearances and scored 183 tries during 13 years with the club.

At the age of 19, he was the first player to score a hat-trick in a Premiership Final as part of Wigan’s victory against Leeds, with his performance also making him the youngest ever winner of the prestigious Harry Sunderland Trophy.

It is a tremendous honour. I was just a young kid from Wigan who was lucky enough to get into sport. You just don’t expect to receive awards like this on the back of it so I am truly humbled by it all.

Despite spending the week before the 2002 Challenge Cup Final in hospital with a foot infection, his man-of-the-match performance won him the Lance Todd Trophy.

During his career with his hometown club he won the Premiership, the Regal Trophy, Super League Grand Final and Challenge Cup.

He was also selected to play on the international stage, winning 10 caps for England and 20 for Great Britain, and playing in the 1995 World Cup Final against Australia.

In 2007, his achievements were given the royal seal of approval when he was awarded an MBE for services to rugby league.

After retiring from playing, his commitment to one of the world’s most decorated sports teams continued. He first took up a scholarship coaching role and is now Wigan’s Rugby General Manager. In this position, Kris has been very supportive of the official relationship that the University has with the club. This relationship sees UCLan work with the first team and academy squads for player performance monitoring, as well as helping develop the performance of support staff.

Kris added: “The award also means a great deal to the club.  We already have a fantastic relationship with UCLan and I want to learn more from the University to develop my own skills.”

He received his award at a ceremony in Preston’s Guild Hall.

Rachel Atkinson | 06 December 2017