“Super Bennie” Westwood to retire after 21 seasons

Ben Westwood has announced his retirement from Rugby League at the end of the season, aged 38.

Westwood will bring the curtain down on an illustrious career that has seen him amass over 500 appearances in a 21-year career.

Starting his career at Wakefield, he joined Warrington in 2002 and is currently in his 18th year with the club, making 441 appearances in primrose and blue.

Internationally, Westwood made his England debut in 2004 and made 27 appearances for his country, playing in the 2008 and 2013 World Cup campaigns.

During his time with the Wolves, he has won three Challenge Cup finals and contributed to two League Leaders’ Shield trophies.

Westwood said: “It’s been a difficult decision but one that had to be made. I think the time is right.

“I’ve achieved what I wanted to in the game and 21 years is a long time to play a contact sport like we do. I’ve loved every single minute of it and have achieved some amazing things with some amazing people. There’s still time to achieve some more this year too but sadly at the end of this one that will be it for me. I am looking forward to relaxing and becoming a fan though and watching from the stands. It’s sad that this time has to come but it was always going to and at 38 years old I haven’t done badly.

“To convert a Yorkshire man to stay out of Yorkshire for 18 years shows the club is doing something right. It’s been fantastic. I’ve played against some great players, in some big teams, making so many friends and so many memories; the last game at Wilderspool stands out, the first game at the HJ with the start of a new era and the 2010 Challenge Cup Final walking out with Tyler. I can’t thank my family enough; the staff, players, coaches, fans and Simon Moran too, who has been fantastic with me over the years, I have so much respect for him.

“The Super Bennie tag still gives me goosebumps after all these years. I think the fans took to me and I took to them. I will miss it. You won’t get rid of me that easy. I am going to be working with the backroom staff and in the office, and coaching the women’s team too. I will still be around, still be involved in the club, which will hopefully make the transition a little bit easier.”