Former Warrington Wolves fullback Richard Mathers will return to the club as player welfare manager from next week.
Mathers, 31, recently announced his retirement from the game but during his playing career he enjoyed two stints at Warrington – the first on loan in 2002, before re-signing in 2009 for two seasons.
He also represented the likes of Leeds Rhinos – winning the Super League Grand Final and World Club Challenge in 2004 – Wigan Warriors, Wakefield Wildcats, and spent time over in Australia in the NRL with the Gold Coast Titans in 2007.
Mathers enjoyed back-to-back Challenge Cup success with Warrington in 2009 and 2010. In total he made 54 appearances in the Primrose and Blue crossing for 13 tries.
Mathers will join the backroom team ahead of the 2016 season working with Karl Fitzpatrick who has stepped up into the role of head of rugby operations. In addition, he will also have a presence on match days as a host within the corporate lounges.
Roger Draper, Wolves’ chief executive, said: We are pleased to have Richard back on board. He’s a familiar face around the stadium and his infectious personality will bring a lot to the backroom team. He has a true passion for the club which is clear to see. His playing career within Rugby League makes him an ideal fit to the player welfare position and he will also be able to educate players on matters away from the field – such as the use of social media within sport – following his recent personal experience. Richard will work closely with Karl Fitzpatrick in developing the players as people away from the pitch.”
Mathers added: “It’s funny how the world works. I first signed at Warrington as a 13 year old, then made my Super League debut in 2002 and now I’m starting the next chapter in my professional life back where it all began.
“I had great meetings with Karl and Roger, and I’m incredibly excited by what’s in place at the club both on and off the field. I want to carry on the fantastic job that Karl has done over the past few years and add my skills to that. I think player welfare is crucial to success on the field and I’ll be doing all I can to ensure the players have career development plans and be a support network to compliment Tony and his football staff off the field.=
“I’m also excited to be working and hosting our corporate guests on match day and developing relationships to help create the best match-day experience in Super League.”