West was a hugely popular figure at Wigan RLFC during his 15 year career with the club, and is still revered by fans.
He was signed by Wigan RLFC for the 1982-83 season from New Zealand side Taranaki. He was actually 29 when he signed, though Wigan believed him to be 2 years younger. Within weeks of him making his debut, he played in the John Player Trophy victory against Leeds. He became captain in 1984, leading Wigan twice to Wembley for the Challenge Cup Final, as a winner in 1985. West was a non playing substitute for defending champions Wigan in their 1987 World Club Challenge victory against the visiting Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles. He retired from the first team in 1989 to lead the reserve 'A' Team as Player/Coach, but made a late appearance against Castleford in 1991 due to injuries and a fixture pile up, scoring a try late in the game that gained a standing ovation.
In 1994, following the sacking of John Dorahy, West was appointed as coach of Wigan, after fans petitioned for him to get the job. In his first month as coach, at the end of the 1993–94 Rugby Football League season West secured the First Division Premiership Trophy against Castleford, and then travelled with the team to Brisbane, guiding them in their 1994 World Club Challenge victory over Australian premiers, the Brisbane Broncos. At the end of his first full season, he and the team won the League Championship, Challenge Cup, Regal Trophy, and Premiership - the 'Grand Slam' of all 4 trophies. Even though Wigan dominated Rugby League from 1985 to 1995, it was the only season the club achieved this feat. He stayed on in that position until February 1997 when, following an early exit from the Challenge Cup in 2 consecutive years, he was replaced by the unsuccessful Eric Hughes.