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Favorite Moments - 100 - 125 Your fun memories from EOTB

fm108 - Memories of the 1971 Cup Final - Leigh -v- Leeds.

Posted by... quigs eraofthebiff - on ... Thursday, May 17, 2012

Spudy Yates
Leigh.. is the club I follow



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Posted by Quigs - found this link 11/5/2012 on YouTube
Alex Murphy Capt Coach Leigh wins Lance Todd medal and the game 1971 Challenge Cup Final: Leigh 24 vs Leeds 7 at Wembley ... CLICK HERE
Spuds comments are.......

Way back in 1971 when Leeds were scheduled to win the R.L. Challenge Cup, and Leigh were allowed to make up the numbers.

I was working in Salford and having to take a lot of stick for supporting "a second rate club which had no business even going to Wembley, let alone play in the final".

We assembled at Blackmoor Paper Shop at 0530 and were on our way within 10 minutes, most of us tried to get a bit of kip so as to be fully awake for the match, but excitement won and we fell to discussing how we felt the game would go. We were all optimistic and hoped for a good close game with a victory for Leigh, a one point margin would suffice was our dream.

Once we moved onto the M6 we joined a cherry and white convoy, what thrilled me was the coaches proclaiming allegiance to Wigan, Warrington, Barrow Rochdale and even Salford, and all waving the Leigh colours.

We then knew that our lads were not just playing for us, but were carrying and defending the honour of Lancashire.

At a service station short stop I counted 60 coaches, (and that was just in one 15 minute stop), all for our side, later when we moved onto the M1 we encountered the blue and gold clad coaches from Leeds.

We were polite to them and gave a wave as we passed,but they made rude signs in return, that was when some people mooned them,(showed their arses thru the window).

We were given a quick tour of London so that anyone getting drunk and left behind would know where they were if they came round.

As most of us had brought liquid fortification, this was probably a wise precaution.

Upon reaching Wembley we made our way to our appointed sections and listened to the band, joined in the singing and when the teams came out we raised the roof.

The teams were introduced and we then sang Abide With Me,we were respectful for the National Anthem, and then cheersd as Billy Thompson blew his whistle to start.

Most of what followed is lost in times curling mists, but I remember cheering like mad when Stu Ferguson converted the 1st try, I remember Murphy flat on his back and Syd Hynes taking the long walk to the bath.

When Alex came back into the stadium with about 10 minutes left to play we yelled and cheered even harder, when Leigh paraded the cup at the finish, we wept tears of joy, andas the stadium emptied we six were the last ones on our end of the stadium, two policemen came to shoo us out but they knew we were up to something.

We explained that we wasnted a tuft of the Wembley grass to take home with us, so one PC went off and brought two edge trimmings about a foot long and 3 inches wide.

These were divided out andtaken backto Leigh where they were planted and loved until they either got lost or died.

On tjhe Sunday we wewre outside the town hall to welcome back our heroes, they were due at 6-00 but the crowds were so dense over the last 3 miles that they didn't arrive unti 7-50.

I still have my programme and rosette, they will hoefully be on my coffin, (whenever) cos I want that sod with a harp to find me a seat on the half way line at the celestial test match, I'll bet they're playing Hell when I get there.

If only I could remember the finer details, then Leigh beating Leeds in the Challenge Cup Final woul be my most memorable match.

Spud Y .

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