Brian Nordgren

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Career Stats & Summary

Career Statistics

All statistics shown in this section are based only on data available in the RLP database, and are not necessarily a complete and/or 100% accurate representation of a player's career. This information should be used as a guide only. If you see a question mark (?), it denotes that the figure is not available.

To view a list of corresponding matches, click on the Match list icon.


International Matches - By Team

Team Years App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
Other 1950 1 - -   - - 0 1 0 0.00% Match list
Overall 1950 1 0 0   0 0 1 0 0.00% Match list

Your Say

Keith Bowen says: I was fortunate enough, immediately after my 65th birthday and subsequent retirement, to travel to New Zealand on holiday with my wife, where we met Brian in Hamilton in 2007.
My father, Jack Bowen, who had played alongside Brian in the 1940’s Wigan team asked me, if I did “come across” Brian, to send him his best wishes which I did.
I presented him with a few photos from those far off days that my father had taken that included Brian. He was delighted but we were more so, having met him and found what a gentleman he was - we had lunch at a local pub - spent just a few hours in his pleasant company before we had to move on to our next destination on the Coromandel.
Brian revealed he’d joined the New Zealand Army just before his 15th birthday! It was at a time when it was perceived that the Japanese were posing a threat to the country, they had bombed Darwen and New Zealand thought they might be next. His mother apparently stepped in when Brian tried to join for a second term - she confronted the Authorities with documentation showing he was not yet 18 years of age - by which time he’d already completed 3 years of service.
As a youngster he won the equivalent of a State swimming championship and later aged 17 he came a very close second in a 100 yards race against the National Champion in New Zealand. Obviously Brian told a lie to join up, and we can assume he looked considerably older than his chronological age.
Having been “rescued” from a second Army stint he played the following season for Ponsonby and had a great season scoring many tries and kicking lots of goals - Wigan snapped him up, along with another New Zealander, Cec Mountford.
From the photo you can probably tell that although still working (he had a case the very next day but still found time to welcome us) Brian shows the strain, of having suffered a very severe heart attack some two or three years earlier when he "died" on the operating table, his life extended only by the skills of the surgical team. Brian had been, despite his marvellous athletic abilities, a heavy smoker all his life, as he said no one considered it a risk in those days.
He had qualified as a lawyer at Liverpool University, combining his Wigan career with his studies as did Cec Mountford who gained qualifications at Wigan Technical College in Mining. As a lawyer he was involved in a landmark case in New Zealand in 1970 (the Rau case) when he was Assistant Defence Counsel, the case was about Racism.
Brian had married a Liverpool girl, who had passed away a number of years previously, they had two children, both of whom lived a distance away but visited on occasions. As a result Brian lived alone in a “gated community” and had a number of friends around.
He mentioned all the “old” familiar Wigan team mates but made us smile when he mentioned that usually on his way to Central Park he would stop to pick up the mighty Ken Gee - there was always a noticeable change in the cars handling as Ken’s framework bore down on the cars suspension - rather like I would imagine Ken’s opposite number would feel at any scrummage, and there were often 60 or more per match in those days.
On a try per game scored ratio, Brian is third in the all time Wigan list. He appeared 293 times for Wigan, scoring 316 tries and kicking 112 goals - with Wigan he won 2 Challenge Cup medals, 4 League titles, 5 Lancashire Cup meddles and 4 Lancashire League successes. There’s no doubt about his effectivenes in scoring tries and quite rightly is regarded as the finest ever player never to have represented his own country.
I still remember a member of my class at St Catharines, Walter Darbyshire, in the early 1950’s whose hero was Brian, chanting from time to time “Noggie, Noggie, Noggie” as a tribute to this fine player, I suppose rather like the mantra we would use a year or two later when our cry would be “Give it to Billy!” (Billy Boston)
We spent three weeks in New Zealand and loved the country but our abiding memory was of Brian, sadly within a matter of weeks of our return we learned of his passing at the age of 81 - a fine man, a talented and gifted athlete and a great contributor to Wigan’s proud rugby heritage. (17/03/2014)

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Last modified: Sat, 23 Mar 2019 21:41:44 +0000 (Sydney time)