There would have been many proud parents following England’s 18-16 victory over New Zealand on Saturday, but probably none more so that Ian Gildart, the former Wigan player, who watched his son Oliver score the winning try.
Gildart senior played for Wigan, Wakefield Trinity and Oldham in a top-flight career that spanned a decade from 1987 to 1997.
And he has watched Oliver’s professional career develop from 2015, when he made his Wigan debut against Warrington – a year which included short loan spells at Workington and Salford.
“I was the proudest person in the stadium on Saturday,” said Ian.
“Watching him walking out with the team was huge, because playing for England is the biggest challenge in your career.
“I messaged him in the morning to say how proud I was. I told him I remembered his first game as a kid when he bust his nose.
“I’ve seen him go through the England Youth and Academy teams. He’s played in three Grand Finals and in a Challenge Cup Final. There have been two World Club Challenges as well – a win and a loss.”
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