General Dean Bell To See Vodafone Warriors For First Time Since 1995

Jesbass_old

Guest
From www.warriors.co.nz:

Original captain Dean Bell will watch the Vodafone Warriors live tomorrow night for the first time since returning to England after the club's debut year in the Winfield Cup in 1995.

Now 44, Bell is home catching up with family and taking a holiday with his wife Jackie and their daughter Chloe.

And tomorrow night the Bells plus Dean's parents Cameron and Janice will be guests in the Vodafone Warriors' corporate suite for Awen Guttenbeil's testimonial match against Cronulla.

Bell, who started his playing days with Manukau, will also be interviewed in front of the crowd before the NRL game as well as being interviewed at halftime during Sky's television coverage.

Leading the Warriors in their first year in the competition will always rate as one the greatest highlights of a career that spanned 26 tests for New Zealand - some as captain - more than 250 matches for Wigan and a stint with Eastern Suburbs.

It turned out to be the last year of the then 33-year-old Bell's playing days.

Appearing in 19 matches that season and scoring three tries, he returned to England where he initially coached Leeds but these days he works in a role overseeing Wigan's development programme.

Until this holiday, Bell had been back home just once since 1995 and then only briefly.

Together with Jackie and Chloe, he visited Mt Smart Stadium - or Ericsson Stadium as he knew it - on Thursday to have a look at the club's new facilities and the changes there had been, most notably the construction of the East Stand.

There was time to wind the clock back, too, by standing in the tunnel where, on March 10, 1995, Bell waited to lead the Warriors into battle for the first.

He still remembers being as nervous at that moment as he was even in front of 100,000 fans for a Challenge Cup final appearance at Wembley (and he made a few of those with Wigan).

For his daughter it was all educational. She was only three when her father helped to create history for rugby league in New Zealand 11 years ago.

Bell also met chief executive Wayne Scurrah as well as coaches Ivan Cleary and John Ackland plus the rest of the football department, some of the players and other office staff.
 

Northern_Union

Guest
Man now there was a player!

If we had more Dean Bells we'd be unstoppable.
 

playdaball_old

Guest
In his year at the Warriors he was inspirational. It was a great pity he did not stay around for year 2.
 

Jesbass_old

Guest
RS_Dragon said:
Man now there was a player!

If we had more Dean Bells we'd be unstoppable.

because there'd be thrirteen men in their mid-forties lying on the ground and forming a horizontal barrier? :p

You're right, though. He was inspirational, even at 33. I remember all too well the night he led the Warriors out for the first time.
 

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