FORMER Journal sports and entertainment editor David Hodgkinson, who deputised for editor Malcolm Ryding, recalls the day the lobby gobblers of Leigh decided to send Wigan’s pie eaters to Coventry!

IT was just one of those mad moments at the Leigh Journal during the early 90s.

‘Let’s get rid of Wigan,’ I said.

So we did. For just one week, just one edition. Apart from advertisements, the name W**** did not appear in the Leigh Journal, not in council reports, not in the numerous social and business events of the week, not even in the sports pages four days after the Rugby League teams Leigh and W**** met in a derby clash at Hilton Park.

Yes, even the address W**** Road was omitted from our stories.

It was great fun. Malcolm Ryding, the editor, and I were hauled over the coals.

‘Don’t do it again,’ warned group editor Chris Walder.

But he failed to hide the sneaky smile on his face.

The age-old rivalry between Leigh and Wigan was the motivating factor behind the prank. ‘They’re getting too big for their boots,’ I said.

‘It’s time we put Leigh back on the map.’ We just made a statement, quickly forgotten in last week’s fish ‘n chip paper. But the Leigh Journal had the old townships of Leigh, Atherton and Tyldesley running vibrantly through its veins and we were proud of our heritage.