Rugby league icon recognised by University

Sent on behalf of the University of Central Lancashire 

Official Media Release – Wednesday 6th December 

Rugby league icon recognised by University

Kris Radlinski MBE awarded Honorary Fellow for services to the game.

An international rugby league icon has been recognised for his services to the game.

Kris Radlinski MBE, the Wigan Warriors and Great Britain legend, was conferred with an Honorary Fellowship from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), in Preston, on Wednesday.

He received the academic award to acknowledge the significant contribution he has made to rugby in Great Britain and the support he has provided to the University.

The 41-year-old said: “It is a tremendous honour.  I was just a young kid from Wigan who was lucky enough to get into sport.  You just don’t expect to receive awards like this on the back of it so I am truly humbled by it all.”

Born and bred in Wigan, Kris was a one-club player who made 322 appearances and scored 183 tries during 13 years with the club.

At the age of 19, he was the first player to score a hat-trick in a Premiership Final as part of Wigan’s victory against Leeds, with his performance also making him the youngest ever winner of the prestigious Harry Sunderland Trophy.

Despite spending the week before the 2002 Challenge Cup Final in hospital with a foot infection, his man-of-the-match performance won him the Lance Todd Trophy.

During his career with his hometown club he won the Premiership, the Regal Trophy, Super League Grand Final and Challenge Cup.

He was also selected to play on the international stage, winning 10 caps for England and 20 for Great Britain, and playing in the 1995 World Cup Final against Australia.

In 2007, his achievements were given the royal seal of approval when he was awarded an MBE for services to rugby league.

After retiring from playing, his commitment to one of the world’s most decorated sports teams continued. He first took up a scholarship coaching role and is now Wigan’s Rugby General Manager. In this position, Kris has been very supportive of the official relationship that the University has with the club. This relationship sees UCLan work with the first team and academy squads for player performance monitoring, as well as helping develop the performance of support staff.

Kris added: “The award also means a great deal to the club.  We already have a fantastic relationship with UCLan and I want to learn more from the University to develop my own skills.”


He received his award at a ceremony in Preston’s Guild Hall.

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Pic caption
New University of Central Lancashire Honorary Fellow Kris Radlinski.


Notes to Editor

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) in Preston was founded in 1828 as the Institution for the Diffusion of Knowledge. Since those early days it has grown into one of the UK’s largest universities with a staff and student community approaching 38,000 and an employment-focused course portfolio containing over 350 undergraduate programmes and nearly 250 postgraduate courses. The University has an established research reputation with world-leading or internationally excellent work taking place within the areas of Business, Health, Humanities and Science.

As a truly global institution with an established campus in Cyprus, UCLan’s student body includes 120 nationalities and its partnership network extends to 125 countries. In 2013 the Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings awarded UCLan the full five stars for its global outlook in all aspects of international educational provision. In 2016 the Centre for World University Rankings placed UCLan in the top 3.7 percent of all worldwide universities.

The University has a strong focus on continually improving the student experience and recently unveiled a 10-year, £200 million plan to redevelop its Preston Campus to create an attractive and inviting, world-class campus helping to create jobs, kick-start regeneration and attract inward investment into the City.


UCLAN Media Contact:

Rachel Atkinson

Media and Communications Officer    University of Central Lancashire

T:  01772 894423    E:  reatkinson@uclan.ac.uk