WHILE some fans will be watching the Grand Final from afar, others are going to great lengths to be at Old Trafford for what they hope will be the crowning of the first champion Wire team of the Super League era.

Ainsley White will be flying in from Brisbane, as he did for the Challenge Cup Final just over six weeks ago.

The 59-year-old, who emigrated to Australia in 1999, says it is something he has to do because The Wire are in his blood.

"I've been a Warrington fan since I was five when I started watching with my dad, until I was about 13 then started watching from the Fletcher End, he said.

"Then I travelled to every ground in the UK to watch them. I hardly missed a game home or away for the next 27 years."

Ainsley, who lives in Gold Coast and owns a pest control company, has been making the 20,000-mile round trip for big games since The Wire started winning trophies again in 2009.

His journey record includes the last game at Wilderspool, the World Club Challenge versus Brisbane in 2017, two semi-finals, Wembley 2009, 2010, 2012, 2016 and 2018 along with the Grand Final in 2012, 2013 and 2016.

"I hope this year I’m happier on the journey home," said the former St Johns High School pupil, whose dad lives in Latchford.

"Since I emigrated the closest I’ve travelled to watch them was Sydney when they played Souths (pre-season friendly), but even then we had to fly."

Ainsley said it costs between $1,500 (£800) to $2,200 (£1,200) each time he heads home, with the price depending on the time of year.

"I wouldn’t have it any other way," he said.


Ainsley White, centre, with the Kelly brothers Ged, left, and Mike, right

A friend of his, Mike Kelly, will be breaking off from a European road trip adventure for the second time in order to watch Wolves.

The former Woolston Rovers coach and driving instructor, whose son Neil is director of the Warrington Wolves Foundation, said: "I'm hoping Wigan do similar to Saints and think they've got it in the bag, with it being a farewell game for their coach Shaun Wane and a few players.

"We want it as much as they do and if all our boys play for their shirts, we've got as much chance as Wigan have."

After watching the Wire beat Saints in last week's semi-final on a phone app, he has decided he cannot stay away from the big dance against Wigan and will fly in from Barcelona, Spain, on Saturday and return to his motorhome tour on Tuesday.

He jetted in from Bordeaux, France, to see The Wire play in the Challenge Cup Final against Catalans Dragons at Wembley in August.


Since then, Mike's brother Ged - another ardent Wire fan and friend of Ainsley - has died, aged 54.

It brings home how the vast majority of Warrington supporters have never seen their team become champions, with the last time being 1955.

"We'll probably go and win this one while Ged's not there. He did see them win in the cup final at Wembley though," said Mike, who added he is making the journey in Ged's memory.

Two soldiers have declared their backing for Wire's title bid and will be supporting Steve Price's men from Kabul in Afghanistan on Saturday.

James Martin and Max Hicks are on deployment with The Mercian Regiment.


James Martin, left, and Max Hicks, right, in Kabul

"It would be a good morale boost if you could put something in this week's edition," said James' father Steve, a former Woolston Rovers scrum half who lives in Dubai

"Let’s hope this is our year? I’m not coming this year as I think I have jinxed the last three!"

James, 24, and recently married, will return home in Cyprus with The Army once his deployment is finished at the end of this month.

He is originally from Warrington and did have a stint playing at Crosfields. Now he is coach of The Mercian rugby league team.

Max, 22, went to Lymm High and also plays for The Mercian Battalion.

Meanwhile, Lee Morris will be missing the first Wire final of his life.

He has a forgivable excuse though, as he is on his honeymoon.

The 25-year-old from Orford and his wife Amy, who is also a Wire supporter, plan to watch the match on television in Mombasa, Kenya.


Lee and Amy in Nairobi this week

"After we booked the honeymoon back in February and I realised when it was, I said I bet we will get to the Grand Final," said Lee, whose company Lemor Electrical Ltd recently sponsored the Warrington Wolves Foundation physical disability rugby league team kit for their recent efforts in Australia.

Lee and Amy, who wed on September 27, flew into Nairobi last Friday and spent two days on safari in the Ambesoli National Park before moving on to Mombasa.

Warrington Guardian:

Warrington Guardian:

Warrington Guardian:


And Derek Bromley has confirmed his friend Wendy Foy will be heading over from Fuerteventura to attend the final.

"She was born and bred in Orford, avid supporter of The Wire, she also lived in Penketh before moving out to Fuerteventura approximately 20 years ago," said Derek.

"Wendy has always flown the Wire Wolves flag from her terrace which has become quite synonymous with Wire supporters visiting the island.

"She’s also followed The Wire to Catalan, and Wembley for the Challenge Cup, a true WTID (Wire 'til I die)."

Warrington Guardian:

Above, Wendy Foy, left, with friend Hils Bromley, and, below, the flag flying with pride on the terrace of her Fuerteventura home

Warrington Guardian:

Notification has also been received of a supporter cutting short his holiday in Majorca to be in attendance, while there will be others watching on TV in Switzerland, America, New Zealand and The Philippines.