Wigan Warriors Owner Savors Challenge Cup Triumph

Wigan Warriors Owner Danson Savors First Challenge Cup Triumph Behind the Scenes

Since taking full ownership of the reigning Super League champions Wigan Warriors in December 2023, local businessman Mike Danson has not sought the limelight. However, CEO Kris Radlinski reveals that Danson has been “massively engaged” behind the scenes, and on Saturday, he tasted Challenge Cup success for the first time.

Danson, who also owns Wigan Athletic FC, has been a shareholder in the Warriors since 2020. By the time he officially took full control of the club, he had already witnessed Matt Peet’s side win the League Leaders’ Shield and Super League crown. In February, they were crowned champions of the world with a victory against Penroth Panthers in the World Club Challenge.

“The whole tradition, the whole experience of Wembley is very much part of Mike’s upbringing, so this was a big day for him,” Radlinski added.

Returning to Wembley for the first time since 2017, where they hadn’t won since 2013, Wigan had the chance to become the third team in the summer era to hold all four major honors at once. They did just that, beating Warrington Wolves 18-8 to lift the Challenge Cup for the second time in Peet’s tenure, only halfway through his third season.

Radlinski, the Warriors CEO, detailed Danson’s nerves leading up to the final. “Mike’s never won at Wembley either, so I’ve sensed him being a bit nervous this week,” he said. “He must have phoned me six or seven times every day asking about how we’re going to cope with the bans, how Matt was and everything, so he’s been very engaged! It’s been an exciting week for him.”

On the eve of the match, Danson, a boyhood Warriors fan, made a poignant call, asking if it would be possible for club legend Billy Boston to lead the team out at Wembley.

During the game, Radlinski said Danson was “a bit twitchy and everything,” but the joy of being a world champion and winning at Wembley was evident. “He’s very much part of it now and he’s enjoyed it – he was buzzing. We got him onto the field and he held the trophy,” Radlinski revealed.

Danson’s son, mother, and wife were in the crowd, and the moment clearly meant a lot to the owner. “He was glowing at the end, it was great. We’ll spend some time with him tonight (Saturday) and the players will see him in a different light as well, so that’s going to be great,” Radlinski concluded.

Danson’s “massively engaged” approach behind the scenes and his emotional connection to the club’s success have made this a memorable Challenge Cup triumph for the Wigan Warriors owner.

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