THE day Warrington Wolves fans have been waiting for is just around the corner.

It will have been 437 days since the Halliwell Jones Stadium terraces were occupied by the time the clash with Huddersfield Giants on Monday, kick off 7.45pm, rolls around.

In that time, there have been three national lockdowns and 14 months of pain, heartbreak and sacrifice.

On Monday, however, the clearest sign yet that the dawn of this nightmare is coming will show itself as the turnstiles will start to click again.

The Wire will be cheered on by 4,000 supporters in taking on Ian Watson’s side – the first of three home matches to be played in front of a limited number of fans.

Being Warrington born-and-bred, Joe Philbin understands better than most what it means for supporters to be back following the team they love live and he says the players are just as excited.

Joe Philbin. Picture by

Joe Philbin. Picture by

“That 4,000 will feel like 40,000,” he told the Guardian.

“We’ve been in a hard time and people have missed out on so much.

“I feel like Monday night will be a celebration of this awful patch of life hopefully coming to an end.

“It will mean so much to the fans but I can’t tell you how much it will mean to the players as well.

“I remember the first match without fans against Hull KR at Leeds – it was haunting and an awful feeling.

“Now that’s become the norm for us, but I can’t wait to get that adrenaline pumping again and have the Warrington fans as an 18th man.”

Warrington Guardian:

A trial of socially-distanced fans at The Halliwell Jones Stadium took place last month. Picture by Warrington Wolves