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SJD director Simon Moran 'privileged' to lead Warrington Wolves out at Wembley for Challenge Cup Final
SIMON Moran will lead out Warrington Wolves at Wembley as the club aims to continue the stunning growth that has happened under his eight-year ownership.
His Wolves tackle Leeds Rhinos as favourites in their third Challenge Cup Final appearance in four years on Saturday, with an expected 30,000 primrose and blue army hoping to roar them to a coveted eighth win in the prestigious competition.
And with a top-two finish in Super League already secured, giving Warrington a home run in the play-offs, a first Grand Final shot at Old Trafford in October is a credible prospect too.
For supporters including music mogul Mr Moran, a lifelong fan from Paddington, these are days to savour after some lean periods.
“I feel very privileged and proud to be leading the team out at Wembley,” said the 46-year-old, who first became a Wolves director in 1998 as part of a consortium takeover that saved the club from going bust.
“It was an honour when I walked out with the team in 2010 too and very humbling. I’m a fan when it comes down to it and know what this all means to the fans and still does mean to me.
“And I’m aware of how much the rugby club is engrained into the town and generating community spirit.
“It’s good knowing people are getting so much enjoyment out of it and the town’s got a feel good factor.”
SJM managing director Mr Moran, an influential player in the music industry in the areas of concert promotion, artist management, festival and venue ownership, has called on his business acumen, the support of club directors and staff around him, and his own money in order to lay the platforms that will give the club its best chance of continuing the current boom times.
Since becoming majority shareholder in 2004, Mr Moran’s finance has helped with transfer fees, building the training complex at Padgate Campus, extending the stadium, recruiting expertise, as well as growth in sports science and youth development.
“We’ve looked at trying to do all the little things better and add up to a better conclusion,” said Mr Moran, a former Woolston High School pupil whose business achievements include promoting a record eight sold-out nights at Wembley for Take That’s 2011 Progress tour.
“If I’m involved in something I want it to be as good as it can be, giving it my best.
“If you do that, you feel if you don’t win that you will have done everything you can.”