A new “Heart & Soul” footprint was unveiled at Warrington Wolves’ Halliwell Jones Stadium as part of Heritage Open Days in honour of former Foundation Chairman Cllr Terry O’Neill, who died last year.
Heritage Open Days are England’s largest festival of history and culture and Warrington is full of rich heritage and no more than the contribution the rugby club has played since 1876.
The Halliwell Jones Stadium is home to a unique timeline that brings together the town and clubs historical milestones.
Usually, the timeline would be viewed on special days but due to the Covid 19 pandemic and the social distance restrictions the Halliwell Jones Stadium has fallen silent, no matches, no community floor activities and the cancellation of the annual beer festival which has supported funding for heritage projects.
As part of a special heritage Open days event a new heart and soul footprint in the South Stand, supported by Club Chairman’s Stuart Middleton a Heart & Soul Footprint was dedicated to former Foundation Chairman Terry O’Neill.
Foundation Director Neil Kelly said: “The footprints represent the true spirit and passion involved in the development of rugby league in the town. At our annual Man of Steel event in 2019 the late Terry O Neill was given the honour for his commitment and leadership.”
Terry was instrumental in the set up of the Foundation and was a great believer in the power of sport.
He played Rugby League professionally and following his retirement he became a community servant with a political career spanning three decades,
including seven years as leader of the council.
He first became a parish Cllr in 1983 Aand was a borough Cllr from 1991.
He was a dedicated and loyal servant to Warrington, particularly those in the Burtonwood & Winwick Ward.
As well as developing his community club Burtonwood Bulldogs, he was influential in the appointment of the town’s first Rugby League DevelopmentOfficer Kevin Tamati.
Terry supported the council in buying Wilderspool from the Wolves during a financial crisis, as well as supporting the club’s application for a new stadium.
Following the formation of the Wolves Foundation, he helped steer t to become one of the best sporting charities in the country.
Pictures show Neil Kelly with Terry’s family, Cath, Michael and Gemma O’Neill with new Foundation Chair Peter Astley.