Former Warrington legend back pulling pints ahead of beer festival

Willie Aspinall

Willie Aspinall

First published in News

A WARRINGTON legend was back pulling pints on Monday ahead of a new event set to light up The Halliwell Jones Stadium next month.

A two day beer festival will be held at the home of the Warrington Wolves during the first weekend in May.

And Willie Aspinall, a former Wolves stand off in the 1960s, enjoyed a tour of the stadium to see how preparations are going.

The event, to be held on Friday, May 2 and Saturday, May 3, will see fans treated to more than 50 cask ales.

And organisers have gone the extra mile with local brewers based near 12 of the Super League clubs supplying beer to tempt the taste buds.

The South Stand concourse will house the festival while Warrington band Conquer Rio will perform live music on the Saturday.

The event will raise money for The Warrington Wolves Charitable Foundation and Willie was happy to lend his support.

He ran pubs after his playing career, which included a tour of Australia and New Zealand, finished.

The 71-year-old said: “I am happy I still know what I am doing, pulling pints!”

Born and bred in St Helens where he still lives, he looks back happily on his playing career.

He made his Warrington debut on Good Friday in 1962 as a 19-year-old in a Good Friday clash with Widnes.

“I still don’t know how I get there. I had no car in those days and had to come over from St Helens for the games, it is totally different from today,” he said.

The former fitter at United Glass learned his rugby at Blackbrook as a 16-year-old - but totally by accident.

“I was more of a soccer player as a lad. Then I was cutting on my motorbike past Blackbrook playing St Helens B on a Saturday.

“They were one short and asked if I would play and I went from there.”

But it was while playing for Warrington at Whitehaven one Wednesday that would provide his career highlight.

“We were playing and I had no idea the touring squad was being chosen that day. So with about five minutes to go, I was told I was on the tour and I said ‘what tour!’.

“As a 23-year-old lad it was an incredible experience.”

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