Saturday, 7 February 2009
Martin "Chariots" Offiah MBE is a former English rugby league player.
Offiah attended Woolverstone Hall School near Ipswich, Suffolk, where he represented the school at fencing and played rugby and cricket. He turned out for Essex 2nd XI but soon realised his main talent was for rugby. At club level, he first played rugby union for Rosslyn Park and after starring on the Sevens circuit and for the Barbarians, there was talk of an England future. He was spotted by Widnes coach Doug Laughton playing in the Middlesex Sevens and was "brought North" to play Rugby League for the 1987-88 season. It was at Widnes were he forged his reputation as a devastating winger scorching in for 181 tries in 145 games.
Offiah joined Wigan in January 1992 for a fee of £440,000. This figure remained a record for a total cash transfer until Wigan beat their own record, paying £450,000 for Stuart Fielden from the Bradford Bulls in 2006.
He played in Wigan's World Club Challenge win over the Brisbane Broncos in 1994, four Challenge Cup wins, five Championship teams, three Regal Trophy wins and one Lancashire Cup victory. He twice won the Lance Todd Trophy at Wembley. His 90 metre solo try in the 1994 Challenge Cup Final win over Leeds is remembered as one of the finest ever but he made a habit of such runs during his career.
Offiah made a total of 158 appearances for Wigan with another single appearance as a substitute. He notched up more than a try a game, crossing the line 186 times. He also managed a goal and 3 drop goals thus bagging a grand total of 749 points for the club.