Rugby Union: Chariots of Peet Does Not Have the Same Ring; GREAT 08 CHALLENGE Final Mission Falls Well Short of Widnes Legend Offiah
Byline: NICK PEET
BACK in 1987 Widnes' coaching staff handed a rugby league debut to a young winger who would transcend the sport, become a household name and one of the biggest try scorers in the club's illustrious history.
Martin Offiah is just one of a rich vein of world class stars to pull on the Widnes jersey - the same shirt and position that I will attempt to fill this coming weekend.
Whitehaven come to the town on Sunday afternoon in a tough pre-season friendly that both clubs will be taking very seriously.
Fresh from a week of warm weather training in Portugal, the Vikings squad are firing on all cylinders ready for the start of Co-Operative Championship in a couple of week's time.
Head coach Steve McCormack was at the West Cumbrians before making the switch to Merseyside and has already made it clear that nothing but a victory this weekend will suffice - especially in front of the home support.
No pressure there then. Thankfully, the current first team squad has accepted me with open arms and I head into the weekend confident in the fact that I know each and every man in a black and white jersey has got my back.
In fact, most seem to think playing against Whitehaven on Sunday will be a walk in the park after sharing the ring with a former world champion.
But, I do recall, when I was sparring for the boxing, all the fighters winced at the thought of playing rugby league.
The hardest part about my eighth and final challenge is the prospect of having to walk away from the Stobart Stadium on Sunday evening.
Getting a run-out in the final 10 minutes against Whitehaven isn't going to be enough.
Returning to the day job next week when I know the rest of the squad will be honing in on the start of the new season is going to feel like I'm abandoning the ship, even if the players themselves will probably be glad to see the back of me, especially, the under pressure wingers! …