IT was this month 10 years ago that the announcement of Lee Briers’ enforced retirement as a player was made.

What a huge moment it was in the history of Warrington Wolves, with Briers having been so pivotal in Wire sides for 17 years.

From the moment he arrived from his hometown club St Helens in 1997, he was such an influence on the team, the club, its supporters and the game as a whole.

For 17 long seasons he was the man to turn to when a moment of genius was needed to seal a win or dig the primrose and blue out of a hole.

And for all the times he was not needed for such moments, it was likely because he had already man-managed the team into a position of strength.

When supporters looked at team news ahead of a match during his time, they feared the worst if the name Lee Briers was missing.

There is no such thing as a one-man team, but there is such a thing as a missing piece of the jigsaw -the one thing that makes everything tick, the one thing that brings everyone together, the one thing that gives everyone belief.

And that was what Briers provided The Wire so loyally.

When the announcement came that his playing days were over, fears of supporters quickly set in.

He would no longer be there to depend upon, to call the shots, to deliver those pin-point passes and punishing kicks.

And what pressure it would put on remaining players and the club for others to put up their hands and lead and influence in the way he had done.

A Grand Final win would have been a fitting ending to such a career but it was not to be, although it seems certain that is what would have kept the man motivated for the further 12 months of contract he had with Warrington knowing that he had the talent around him to share in such an achievement.

But it wasn’t to be in those two first Wire Super League Grand Finals of 2012 and 2013, that were so close but so far.

Wolves’ all-time leading points scorer thankfully gained and enjoyed his rewards on his favourite stage of Wembley in his later years, realising his boyhood dreams.

He has three shiny Challenge Cup winners’ medals in which he can reflect on all the wonderful memories he created in the game while he continues to make his mark on the coaching side.

It was felt at the time that with his incredible footballing brain, he would be celebrating more success with players he has helped to mould and guide towards achievement.

Little did we know then it would have been a Super League Grand Final triumph with Wigan, an NRL Grand Final runners-up place with Brisbane Broncos and a Test series win with England against Tonga – all as an assistant coach.

His adopted town of Warrington is proud of him, always will be. He is a legend.

Lee Briers' Warrington Wolves playing record:

First game: 20/04/1997

Last game: 5/10/2013

Appearances: 411+14 (sub)

Tries: 154

Goals: 948

Drop goals: 74

Points: 2,586