World Club Challenge: 10 fun facts about Wigan, England

Wigan is a four-and-a-half hour drive from London.
Share this story

The Panthers have been in the UK this week, preparing for their showdown against reigning Super League Champions, the Wigan Warriors, on Sunday morning.

The team have spent the past few days training in Manchester and Warrington in the country’s north, but it’s Wigan’s DW Stadium where the side will look to make history in the World Club Challenge.

Penrith haven never won the World Club Challenge in three previous attempts, but they go into this weekend’s game against the Warriors as firm favourites with both the bookmakers and punters.

While the Warriors are one of the most famous teams in the Super League – founded in 1872 – what do we know about the city they reside in?

So before the Panthers look to make the city their own, here’s a deep dive into all things Wigan…

Located in Greater Manchester, Wigan was a major mill town and coal mining district back in the day.

Wigan has a rich coal mining past.

The population of Wigan is around 330,000.

The population of Wigan is around 100,000 more than Penrith.

Famous Wigan food products include Heinz baked beans, Uncle Joe’s Mint Balls and De Roma ice cream.

The Heinz Baked Beans factory in Wigan.

English rockers The Verve, famous for mega hit ‘90s song ‘Bittersweet Symphony’, are Wigan’s most famous musical export. The band were all from the Wigan area and met while at Winstanley College.

According to TripAdviser, the top three attractions in Wigan include green space Haigh Woodland Park, the historic Wigan Little Theatre and of course, the Wigan Roller Rink.

The Wigan Roller Rink.

Dubbed the “best pub in Wigan”, John Bull Chophouse could be the post-game venue of choice for visiting Panthers fans who want to celebrate (or drown their sorrows) following the World Club Challenge. They do a great pint, and the atmosphere is outstanding, by all reports.

The John Bull Chophouse.

Unlike Penrith who has a plethora of them, Wigan is home to just three McDonald’s outlets.

A McDonald’s outlet in Wigan.

Wigan isn’t just famous for its popular rugby league team, but they also love their American football, rugby union, cycling, inline hockey, badminton, sailing and wrestling.

Wigan Wrestling Club.

In the famous television series ‘Wallace and Gromit’, the title characters live at the fictional 62 West Wallaby Street in Wigan.

Since 1992, Wigan has been home to the annual World Pie Eating Championship. Wiganers are sometimes referred to as “pie-eaters”. A local dish is the Pie Barm, also known as a Wigan Kebab, consisting of a buttered bread roll sandwiching a meat and potato pie inside.

The famous Wigan Kebab.

Share this story