UPDATED: WARRINGTON Wolves’ legend and fans’ favourite Ben Westwood is all set to be made an Honorary Citizen of his adopted home town on Monday.
The award was due to be presented at an extraordinary meeting of the borough council last November but the presentation was put back following the death of former council leader, Cllr Terry O’Neill.
It was then due to take place in December but Ben was unable to attend due to another commitment.
Now the popular forward, who retired at the end of of last season is set to get his Honorary Citizenship of his adopted home town at an extraordinary meeting of Warrington Borough Council next Monday.
Councillor Mike Hannon, will be nominating Ben to receive the award of Honorary Citizen, and this will be seconded by Councillor Pauline Nelson.
The award of honorary citizenship is an accolade which is bestowed on those who are not born and raised in the Borough of Warrington but whose actions mark them out as having made a particular contribution to the town.
Ben Westwood was born in Normanton, West Yorkshire in July 1981. He began his career at local team Normanton Knights, before being scouted for Wakefield Trinity Wildcats in 1999.
Ben joined Warrington Wolves in 2002, making his debut in an away game to London Broncos in Carcassonne, France. He wore the primrose and blue for 18 seasons, becoming the club’s longest serving player, before announcing his retirement at the end of the 2019 season.
He has played for Warrington Wolves a total of 441 times, including five Challenge Cup finals and three Grand finals. During his career at Warrington Wolves, he has scored 128 tries and landed 83 goals. He has played over 500 career games, and is one of just three players to have played in the Super League during the last millennium, and is the final Warrington Wolves player to retire who had played at the old Wilderspool Stadium.
Ben ended his career as a Challenge Cup Winner in 2019, having previously also won the title in 2009, 2010 and 2012. He marked this win at the Warrington Wolves homecoming parade, when he gave his Challenge Cup Winners’ medal to a 6 year old Warrington Wolves ‘super fan’.
Ben’s retirement from playing will take him into new roles with Warrington Wolves as he will be working with the backroom staff and in the office, as well as coaching the Warrington Wolves women’s team.
In addition to his 18 seasons at Warrington Wolves, Ben has also represented England on 27 occasions, including the 2008 and 2013 Rugby League World Cup, and featured in all of England’s 2011 Four Nations matches.
Alongside his rugby career, Ben has also made significant contribution to the local community. He has helped to promote health, sport and educational projects to those in the local community at a wide variety of events and venues.
In 2009 Ben assisted with an ‘Eat Well, Be Well’ project which has helped to highlight the health implications of fast food.
Continuing his work in promoting healthy eating, Ben took part in the Warrington Wolves ‘Wolf it Up’ project, taking time to visit local families and cook nominated healthy meals with them.
Ben has also committed a considerable amount of time with ‘Eat Well, Be Well’ working with, and supporting the homeless in our town.
As a Warrington Wolves player, Ben has supported the development of sport in Warrington, attending numerous local sporting events and festivals to hand out trophies and sign autographs.
Ben also takes time to visit seriously ill supporters and their families who were often going through some of the most difficult times in their lives. Ben is also a patron of the Shannon Bradshaw Trust, which raises money to help sick children and families throughout the North West.
Ben has been married to Debbie Westwood since 2014, and together they share daughters Tyler, age 19 and Gracie, age 9.