THE success of both the city and its Super League team were applauded by more than 500 people at the first ‘Celebrate Wakefield’ event.
Hosted by Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, players and staff were joined by club partners, sponsors and representatives of local businesses to mark the end of the Super League XVI season and celebrate the city’s successes both on and off the rugby pitch.
Take That tribute band Back for Good and Wakefield’s Got Talent winner Leanne Crowther provided the musical entertainment within a luxury marquee erected at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium and Sky Sports presenter Eddie Hemmings compered the event that included the Wildcats’ first team award presentations.
Skipper Glenn Morrison, Paul Johnson, Kyle Amor, Julien Rinaldi and Matty Wildie received player awards and John Kear was greeted with a standing ovation as he marked the end of his five-year spell as Wildcats head coach.
An emotional Kear said: “I’m sad to be leaving such a great club and I would like to thank everyone involved here who works extremely hard to make the club a success but I am looking forward to the challenges ahead.
“I would like to wish Wakefield all the best and I am very confident that great times lie ahead. I’d like to thank the fans for the unbelievable support I have received.
“I will always hold this club very close to my heart.”
The achievements of Wildcats staff were also acknowledged with the presentation of two special awards.
The Clubman of the Year trophy went to Alan Edwards in recognition of his invaluable voluntary work while marketing coordinator Nicola Richards scooped the Employee of the Year award.
Munir Mamujee, managing director of M2R, who sponsored the employee of the year award said: “It was a fantastic event from our point of view and just great to be there and give something back. It was an end of year event, so part of it was about the players, but without the back office people the club just wouldn’t function. We hope to be doing this every year.”