Ellis Rugby Andy Gregory Podcast Episode 8 with Special Guest Andy Gregory former Widnes, Warrington, Wigan, Illawarra, Leeds, Salford and Great Britain Rugby League International player. Andy is one of the finest scrum half’s england has produced. He was the first player to win five Challenge Cup Finals, including two Lance Todd Trophy Man of the Match awards. And only two players to have played in six Ashes series. In 2019 Andy was inducted in to the Rugby League Hall of Fame.

The eighth episode of the Ellis Rugby Podcast. Ellis Rugby Founder Kevin Ellis interviews the outstanding Andy Gregory.

Ellis Rugby Andy Gregory Career in Rugby League

Born in Ince-in-Makerfield, close to Wigan. He played junior rugby league for the local Wigan St Patricks ARLFC side. At School he was heavily influenced by his School Teacher – Mr Birchall to persevere with his rugby career.

Early years in Wigan & success at Widnes.

Born in Ince-in-Makerfield, close to Wigan. He played junior rugby league for the local Wigan St Patricks ARLFC side. At School he was heavily influenced by his School Teacher – Mr Birchall to persevere with his rugby career.
He joined Widnes in 1979 aged 18 and remarkably within a season he was walking out at Wembley in front of 94,000 spectators. It resulted in a 18 points to 9 victory over Hull KR. Mick Burke scored a great try following great hands he chipped ahead and regathered to score. Mick George scored another try. But then Gregory took a short pass from Brian Lockwood and weaved through five or six defenders to score a fantastic try.

Success continued at Widnes and made it to the Final of the 1982-1983 Premiership, played at Headingley, the opponents were Hull FC. Gregory crossed for a try, along with John Basnett who scored 2 and Tony Myler. Joe Lydon kicked 5 goals – in the 22-10 victory.

The team made it through to Wembley again the following season. New players included in the squad were Kevin Tamati in the pack and Keiron O’Loughlin who partnered Gregory at half back. Widnes defeated Wigan 19 points to 6.

Brief spell with Warrington

At the start of the 1984–85 season, Gregory refused to play for Widnes, and held out for a chance to play for his home town team. But Widnes refused the deal, and sold him in a deal between Widnes and Warrington for £75,000 and John Fieldhouse moving the opposite way to Widnes.
He stared in the 1985-1986 Premiership Final at Elland Road, Leeds. Where Warrington defeated Halifax 38 points to 10.

Andy Gregory Signs for Wigan

He finally signed for his hometown club Wigan in 1986 for a reported then world record fee of £130,000. The following season he led Wigan to Challenge Cup success over Halfax by 32 points to 12. A great day for Gregory personally as he won the Lance Todd Trophy man of the match award.
Other highlight that season included the 1987 World Club Challenge where Wigan met Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles at Central Park. This enthralling game finished 8 points to 2.
The following season Wigan once again made it through to the Blue Ribbon Event final the Challenge Cup at Wembley where Wigan embarrassed their local rivals St Helens 27-0. Tries K. Iro 2, Hanley, Hampson. Joe Lydon kicked 3 goals and Gregory added a try and a drop goal.

Andy Gregory joins Australian club Illawarra

In 1989, he joined Illawarra Steelers in the NRL (NSWRL) along with his Wigan teammate, fullback Steve Hampson.

He played a big role in the thrilling 20–22 loss to Brisbane Broncos in the mid-week Panasonic Cup Final played at the Parramatta Stadium in Sydney, winning the man-of-the-match award. It was the first time Illawarra had qualified for a cup final.

More Wigan Success

Season 1989-1990 was another outstanding season for Wigan and Gregory personally. They topped the Championship and defeated Halifax in the Regal Trophy by 24 points to 12 at Headingley. Then finished the season in style at Wembley when Wigan beat Warrington 36 points to 14. Tries Dennis Betts, Mark Preston 2, K. Iro 2, Hanley & Joe Lydon 6 goals. Gregory for the second time in your career capped an outstanding performance with the Lance Todd trophy Man of the Match Award.
Season 1990 & 1991. Wigan retained the Championship and once again made it through to Wembley to play St Helens in the Challenge Cup Final. A tougher game than 1989, but with tries through David Myers and Frano Botica. Plus 2 goals from Botica and Gregory added a drop goal in the 13-8 victory.
Season 1991 & 1992. Another truly outstanding season. Wigan were crowned Champions, defeated St Helens in the Premiership 48-16. Then for the fifth year running you won the Challenge Cup against Castleford by 28 points to 12. Gene Miles was added to the already formidable squad and a youthful pack with Kelvin Skerrett, Martin Dermott, Andy platt, Dennis Betts, Billy McGinty and Phil Clarke.

That season he Captained Wigan in the World Club Challenge 21-4 victory over Penrith Panthers. The Panthers included the likes of Brad Izzard, Greg Alexander, Royce Simmons and John Cartright in their ranks. Tries through David Myers and Sam Panapa with Frano Botica 6 goals and Joe Lydon a drop goal secured the win.

Final Seasons

Towards the end of his career Gregory left Wigan and joined Leeds, then later Salford. In 1995 he retired, but continued to Coach Salford.

Andy Gregory International Career

Andy made his international début as a substitute in Great Britain’s 7–8 loss to France in the friendly at Stadio Pierluigi Penzo in Venice, Italy on Saturday 31 July 1982.
In 1984 he was selected for the Lions Tour to Australia & New Zealand. Taken as a Back-up Scrum half to Neil Holding although he played in the second and third test defeats in New Zealand 28-12 & 32-16.
Gregory was once again selected for the Great Britain Rugby League Lions Tour in 1988. Although he experienced defeat 17-6 in the 1st Test and 34-14 in the 2nd Test. In the third Test he produced his finest display in the famous white jersey.

He first set-up a try through Martin Offiah, following a neat run around move with Kevin Ward. Then Phil Ford went on his mazy runs to score a great individual try. The Kangaroos came back with tries through Sam Back and Wally Lewis. Henderson Gill then scored from Gregory’s pin point kick. This was followed by Paul Loughlin who broke from his own half and found Henderson Gill in support who then outpaced Garry Jack to score. To add icing on the cake, from deep inside the British half Gregory made a break from dummy half and then found his name sake, loose forward Mike Gregory in support who ran it in from half-way to complete a 26-12 victory.

1990 Home Ashes Series

The first of the three Test series was at your Gregory’s stomping ground Wembley. In front of 55,000 fans Great Britain defied the odds and defeated the mighty Kangaroos 19 points to 12.

Paul Eastwood 2 and Martin Offiah 1 try. Eastwood 3 goals and Garry Schofield a drop goal. For the Aussies Mal Meninga and Mark McGaw scored tries with Meaning adding 2 goals.

This was a great GB Team and had quality everywhere. Gregory and Schofield at half-back and a pack featuring Karl Harrison, Lee Jackson, Paul Dixon, Roy Powell, Dennis Betts Ellery Hanley and reinforcements in the shape of Kevin Ward and Karl Fairbank.

The Second Test was heart braking. Great Britain had scored tries through Dixon and Loughlin – Australia replied with Shearer and Lyons. The score was finely balanced at 10-10. Then Ricky Stuart dummied broke from deep inside his own half on to Meninga who crossed to score. The Final score 14-10 to the tourists.

3rd Test finished 14-0 to the Kangaroos – Andrew Ettingshausen, Mal Meninga and Ben Elias tries. Meninga a goal.

Rugby League Hall of Fame

In 2019 he was inducted in to the Rugby League Hall of Fame along with Johnny Whiteley and the late Rocky Turner. The presentation dinner was held at Elland Road, Leeds.
Ellis Rugby offer a range of clothing inspired by the great players inducted in to the Rugby League Hall of Fame.
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