Wigan announce Clubb retirement

Wigan Warriors have confirmed that Tony Clubb will retire from Rugby League at the end of the 2021 season.

After playing 323 career games, the 34-year-old has decided he will hang up his boots at the end of this campaign.

Having started out at centre, Kent-born Clubb made his Super League debut in 2006 for London Broncos (formally known as Harlequins RL) and was made club captain in 2013. He played over 150 games for the London club, scoring 47 tries before joining Wigan ahead of the 2014 season.

The prop forward earned the Heritage Number 1053 when he made his debut for Wigan in February 2014 against Huddersfield.

He has gone on to make 165 appearances for the Warriors, winning three major trophies, including the World Club Challenge, the Super League Grand Final and the League Leaders’ Shield.

Throughout his career, Clubb has carved out a reputation for being a tough and uncompromising forward, no more so emphasised than in 2017 when he returned to play for Wigan against Widnes in Super League, 58 days after having one of his kidneys removed. That same year he also featured in the World Club Challenge victory over Cronulla Sharks. A year later, he played in the 2018 Grand Final win over Warrington Wolves. In 2020, Clubb added a League Leaders’ Shield medal to his collection.

In his 165 games for Wigan, Clubb has scored 23 tries, not one more memorable than the 40-metre effort against Leeds in 2019 when he picked up a loose ball and ran towards the corner to seal a win for the Warriors.

Internationally, Clubb played three games for England and notably scored four tries in one game whilst playing in the centre position in a Four Nations win over Papua New Guinea in 2010.

On his decision to retire, Clubb said: “I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. I can honestly say with my hand on my heart I’ve had the best time. I’ve travelled the world, won many things and played with some outstanding people. It’s been an absolute pleasure and I’m sad it’s come to end.

“I’ve had a good stint. To be a part of Grand Final experiences, to walk out at Old Trafford and to win it 2018 was special. It’s memorable. The World Club Challenge in 2017 probably meant more – to do it at the DW in front of our fans and against the Aussies. It was great. The League Leaders last year was special too. I’m happy with what I’ve achieved.

“I’d like to thank Kris Radlinski and Shaun Wane for bringing me to the club. When I met them, I knew this was the club I wanted to come to. It was the place for me. They made it happen and I was lucky enough to come here in 2014. I’d like to thank the players that I’ve played with and the coaches that have coached me. I hope I’ve done them and the club proud. The fans too – they’ve been outstanding towards me – through the good and the bad times. I can’t thank them enough. They welcomed me with open arms when I first arrived in Wigan from London and I’m really happy to say that I now call Wigan my home.

“The whole experience has been an absolute pleasure and I’ve loved playing for this great club.”

Executive director, Kris Radlinski, said: “Tony Clubb has been one of the best signings for the club in the last decade.

“I vividly remember meeting Tony and Shaun Wane in a hotel in Manchester when he was considering leaving London and moving north. After selling the club to him, he said, ‘I’m in, I just want to win’. I said, ‘We have not talked about money’, he said, ‘It doesn’t matter’. Ever since that day, he has been a really great guy to work alongside.

“Players at the club will say that he is a brilliant teammate, and the performance staff will say that he is a dream to coach. He has embraced the culture and people of our town and will continue to live here.

“I am hopeful that we will still see him on game days working in the hospitality lounges and mingling with our corporate partners. He should be proud of his achievements in the game and will always be remembered as a proper bloke.”

Everyone at Wigan Warriors would like to wish Tony all the best and thank him for his services to the club.