WARRINGTON Wolves owner Simon Moran was the brains behind the Take That comeback tour in 2006 and current members Gary Barlow, Mark Owen and Howard Donald thanked him publicly in a BBC documentary on Saturday night.

The Wolves boss is a hugely successful concert promoter, heading SJM Concerts, and is in charge of major London venues like the O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire and O2 Brixton Academy.

He bought Warrington Wolves in 2003 and saw them win back-to-back Challenge Cup crowns in 2009 and 2010 as well as 2012 and 2019.

The music mogul was the mastermind behind the Take That reunion tour – The Ultimate Tour – in 2006 and he was convinced it would be a success.

Take That were the biggest boy band of the 1990s with number one singles like Pray, Back For Good and Never Forget.

However, the five piece became a four when Robbie Williams left in 1995 and the group went their separate ways just over a year later.

Ten years after the group disbanded, four of the original members Gary Barlow, Mark Owen, Howard Donald and Jason Orange filmed For The Record – a documentary recording the band’s first reunion, which came on the back of a Greatest Hits collection hitting the charts.

Speaking to Dermot O’Leary in BBC Two’s Take That: Reel Stories, which aired on Saturday night, current Take That members Gary, Mark and Howard remembered going to see several promoters to see about getting back on the road with a reunion tour with many saying it wouldn’t work without Robbie Williams.

Gary said: “Our Greatest Hits collection sold about 15 times more copies than the record label predicted and it made everything think that we could actually go back on tour as a band.

“Within days we had a promoter approach us and we went to another agency who said they couldn’t see Take That without Robbie Williams, which is what I was thinking too!

“But Simon Moran, who is still our promoter, was convinced.

“He said to us that it wasn’t just going to be big, it could be massive.”
Gary added: “We were on edge because we wondered whether anyone would come [to the tour].

“Tickets went on sale on the Friday morning and by 10.30am Simon had added another 15 dates and started added stadiums to the tour.

“We couldn’t believe it.

“This was the first sign that there were people waiting for this to happen.

“We didn’t know until that day.

“It was great for having a goal and confidence building and having something to aim for and a purpose.”

Following the reunion tour, Take That have released six albums with the latest one – This Life – being the focus of a UK and Europe tour next year.

Robbie Williams rejoined the band for the 2010 release of Progress, the album, and subsequent tour.