Chorley rugby ace helped Wigan win classic final ... with gruesome hand injury

FROM AGONY TO ECSTASY:  Josh Charnley injured his finger...and then scored the first try
FROM AGONY TO ECSTASY: Josh Charnley injured his finger...and then scored the first try
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Chorley rugby league star Josh Charnley helped Wigan Warriors win Saturday’s Challenge Cup final – despite suffering a sickening hand injury just minutes into the biggest game of his career.

The former Holy Cross High School pupil injured his left index finger after just three minutes when trying to catch the ball at Wembley.

He said: “I was panicking a bit because the bone was sticking out of my finger, and the blood was going everywhere.

“I did not want to get any dirt in it, and did not want it to affect my game.”

However, within six minutes, the pain was all forgotten when he scored the first try of the match.

He told the Guardian: “When I scored I had to bite my lip because I rolled on the finger, and the other players were knocking it as we celebrated.”

Charnley, 20, went under the surgeon’s knife on Bank Holiday Monday to try to repair the damage to his finger.

The talented winger is closing in on a league and cup double, and he is hoping to be fit for the game against Warrington Wolves on Sunday.

The ex-Chorley Panthers ace says he is delighted to be flying the flag for the area in rugby league.

He said: “It is great to represent Chorley. I am a proud Chorley lad, and hope that I will have more memories like this in future.”

Wigan Warriors went on to beat Leeds Rhinos 28-18.

Charnley was watched by his mum Carol, grandma Rita and girlfriend Rogan.

He was not the only Chorley link in the cup final, as Joel Tomkins played for the Chorley Borough Juniors (now Chorley Panthers RL club), and his brother Sam also lived in Chorley.

Centre George Carmont also lives in the Euxton area.

For more on this story, see this week’s Guardian.