We shall now be transported way back to 1909 for this earlyWIGANrugby Classic Game. The two teams in play were Wigan and Oldham. "The Men of Spindledom" were a true heavyweight outfit back in those days having won the Championship in 1904-05 and being League Leaders in the 1907-08 season, losing out to Hunslet, and also the previous holders of the Lancashire Cup. The two Lancashire clubs had been neck and neck throughout the season and both teams contested the Lancashire Cup Final in which Wigan narrowly won 10-09. It was not until the end of January that the two teams met for the first time in the League, Wigan winning 23-10 in front of an enormous crowd at Central Park. Since then, Oldham had slipped slightly at the head of the Northern League table, whilst Wigan kept up their fine form having only lost twice to this point all season.
Oldham had just newly acquired Deane and Anlezarke, two Australian tourists and were clearly building for the future and an immediate assault on the League Championship at the end of the season. As for Wigan, the Cherry and Whites were on an eleven-game winning streak and had just discarded the great Hunslet side midweek in a game which earned the plaudits from Hunslet's captain Albert Goldthorpe for Wigan's dominance, especially amongst the backs. The Hunslet spectators as they left the ground thought that the Wigan team was an exceptional one.
Enthusiasm: a word which became more and more popular during this stage in the history of the Wigan Rugby Club. Before the 1908-09 season, you could arguably count the number of matches on both hands when it came to matches that were eagerly anticipated: Aspull in 1886, Swinton in 1890, New Zealand in 1907. Now, Wigan were about to awaken the sleeping giant. Records had already fallen during the season in terms of crowd attendances, such as Leigh earlier in the year. If it had not been for the Northern Union Cup tie and a re-arranged midweek fixture, Hunslet would have recorded a record attendance against Wigan. Alas, it was not meant to be.
All thoughts, however, was on the Oldham match. A win in that cold part of Lancashire would put the Lancashire League Cup beyond question. The Wigan team and supporters clearly know what lied ahead of them in terms of success. With two trophies already at Central Park (Lancashire Cup and West Lancashire League), many believed that the truly big honours are weeks away.
The same sentiments were felt in the Oldham camp. A win for them meant securing second spot in the League table, behind Wigan, with Halifax breathing down their necks and had a good chance of the Lancashire League Cup too.
The last time that Oldham had been defeated on their own patch at Watersheddings was way back on September 1st, 1906 against the dark greens of Runcorn - 931 days unbeaten. Preparations had been made for a large attendance, but these were deemed inadequate in the end. The Athletic News estimated that 40,000 people had desired to witness the match but thousands of people had been locked out. The gates were closed forty minutes before the game was due to start.
The game was regarded as one of the highlights of the season throughout the Northern Union and beyond. People came form all parts of Yorkshire, Lancashire and beyond to see the match, or hoped to see the match. At one o'clock, crowds were trooping towards the Watersheddings ground to obtain good positions. Cruel disappointment welcomed thousands of Wiganers: special trains were ran by the railway companies early in the day, and a rough estimate of 5,000 Pies left Wigan to see the game. But only those fortunate enough to catch the earlier trains had any chance of obtaining entrance. Thousands had sacrificed their time and money to journey to Oldham only to find out they had been barred from entering. The Wigan club had during the week sold half-crown reserved seating to assure people of a guaranteed seat. Those who got in saw their seats taken before their eyes by people who had broken into the enclosure. They had to watch the match stood up and cramped. It turned out that the Oldham officials had expected a large crowd, but not the hoards of people that turned up that day. They were overwhelmed.
Many of the Wiganers who were left stranded out of the ground found a nearby bank of earth near the pavilion entrance (think about standing on the bridge at central park overlooking the Dougie). Several courageous ones payed a shilling to enable them the use of a ladder to climb on to rooftops! They felt themselves badly treated, however, when the owner of the ladder refused to raise it unless they paid sixpence to come down at the end of the match. One angry householder, it was reported, marked her displeasure towards the people on her roof that she fired up her chimney. She had not counted upon the promptness with which one of the trespassers met such a contingency. He doffed his coat, choked the chimney with it, and smoked the family out on to the street!
Speaking many years later, the local sports reporter for the Wigan Examiner, Joe Leech, mentioned this in one of his reminisces: "The train on which I was travelling stopped for some time at the hill a few miles outside Oldham. It was packed with followers of the Wigan club, and many of us who had doubts about reaching the ground in time, left the train and began the long trek to the ground. When I arrived I was informed by one of the thousands outside that the gates had been closed. "I shall get on," I said. The spectator, who looked very disappointed, told me that he had travelled nearly eighty miles to see Jimmy Leytham play and he could not get on the ground. "I'll give you five shillings," he said, "if you can get me on."
The referee, Mr. Robinson, of Bradford, came on to the field and was greeted with loud cheers. He had a walk around the field, and noted the disposition of the spectators round the touch line, before speaking deeply with George Taylor, the Wigan secretary. The crowd started to get anxious as the time ticked past 3 o'clock. Oldham entertained the crowd with their warm up drills but still no Wigan players appeared. Finally, cheers rang aloud when the sight of Lance Todd appeared on the field, along with Thomas, de Francis, Gleave, Cheetham, Sharrock and Jimmy Blears. Everyone asked where the rest were!
In reality, the Wigan captain James Leytham was nowhere near Watersheddings at this moment. Jim did not travel with the Wigan party owing to employment issues at his home in Lancaster. He was making his own way across to Oldham. The players did not decide to toss the coin until he got there. Once Leytham's train reached Werneth it was time for kick-off. The Wigan committeeman who was with Leytham thought the best outcome was to take a conveyance to Oldham. This was done, and the Wigan captain arrived on the ground bathed in sweat, but was ready for battle. According to the Wigan Observer, the Wigan Committeeman escorting Leytham was a 'total wreck'. Oh how they would have laughed at him for months in the town! At five minutes to four, Leytham gathered his men and entered the arena...
Wigan - Sharrock; Leytham, Jenkins, Todd and Miller; Thomas, Gleave; Johnston, de Francis, Cheetham, Ramsdale, Whittaker, and Blears.
Oldham - Wood; Llewellyn, Deane, Smith and Tyson; Anlezark and Avery; Ferguson, Longworth, Jardine, Smith (A.), Wright, and Wilkinson.
The following is the report from the Wigan Observer, March 22, 1909.
It will thus be seen that Oldham were playing their latest captures from the Australian team, and Llewellyn, who usually plays at centre, was a wing three quarter for the occasion. Wigan lost the toss, and Cheetham kicked off and commenced this most interesting and exciting game. An Oldham player mulled the return, and was promptly tackled by the keen Wigan forwards, and barely a minute had elapsed when Mr. Robinson gave Wigan a free-kick for obstruction, and Leytham tried a difficult shot at goal. The distance was great - almost near the half-way flag, but Leytham must have thought he had a chance with a new ball on a dry ground. He kicked, and kicked well, for the direction was excellent. But the ball fell short under the goalposts. It was a good effort all the same, and a fillip to the Wigan players. Sharrock responded well to the Oldham kick-out, an equally good kick coming from George Smith, the ex-New Zealander. Miller was strongly tackled in trying to get away, it being very evident that he was a marked man, as indeed was current talk that it would be so, before the game started. Miller's fame had preceded him. Magnificent passing was seen by the Wigan backs, Jenkins going strongly when the spectators were expecting the centre to pass to Leytham, who had a grand chance, because Tyson had run to the centre, Jenkins, who had evidently not seen the situation threw inside to Thomas, who could not take the ball because it came awkwardly.
This was a fine commencement for Wigan, but rather unfortunate all the same. The Wigan forwards were now penalised twice for not giving Wood, the home full-back, sufficient room for clearance. They were rather fine points, but the referee appeared determined upon a strict application of the five yards' rule. The result was that Oldham were seen scrimmaging in the Wigan quarter line. But the Wigan forwards were admirable in getting the ball and it went out to Miller, who when hard pressed threw back to Todd, who kicked well, and was obstructed, which led to Wigan having a free kick, and Sharrock kicked well into the Oldham quarter. Francis came through well, and tackled Anlezark, but the ball was thrown to Llewellyn, who missed it. Sharrock kicked finely, and followed up and tackled his man. Johnny Thomas essayed a wide pass to Leytham, who failed to gather, but got his foot to it rather luckily. Jenkins was next seen saving magnificently from the feet of the Oldham forwards, and he got on his feet and ran beautifully, and passed to Todd, who put in a charming sprint before passing to Miller. Unfortunately, this pass was forward. But it was a sparkling movement all the same, and showed that the Wigan backs were playing the correct game. Wigan were doing good work, and keeping Oldham busy. The right wing were very busily employed, Johnston again setting Todd going. From what resulted from his pass to Miller it could be plainly seen how the little winger was being spotted. He could not move without a host of Oldham players being around him. Just a little more steadiness on the part of the Wigan players was required; otherwise they were splendid.
Todd got over, but he was brought back on the ground of the ball being knocked on. Leytham next had a wide pass, but met trouble half way by running to the centre of the field instead of making way on his own wing. He slipped, and tried ineffectually to give the ball to Thomas. The Wigan captain took another shot at goal, but the ball struck the Oldham forwards who were standing nearest and bounced back towards the Wigan goal. A more keenly contested game could scarcely be imagined, the forwards on both sides never sparing themselves. Anlezark saved finely from the feet of the Wigan front rank, and Smith tackled Jenkins beautifully holding him so strongly that try as he would he could not get away. Johnny Thomas also distinguished himself by the remarkable way in which he stopped a rush of the home forwards, with Longworth in the front. The Wigan half raised himself from the ground, and attempted to make headway. In his eagerness he could not get into his stride thoroughly, and plunged forward on his face. His idea was to get the ball to Leytham, but circumstances were against him. It was left to Leytham to improve Wigan's position, but not for long, because in spite of great endeavours on the part of Jenkins Oldham assumed a strong position near the Wigan line. Francis was brought out of the Wigan pack to assist in repelling any possible attack on the part of the Oldham backs, but in spite of Wigan's weakened scrimmage the ball came out on their side, and Thomas kicked well away. The ball went into the hands of Wood, who was playing a very careful game, and he, seeing his chance and taking good aim, dropped at the Wigan goal, and a great shout from the home supporters announced that the ball had travelled between the posts. It was really an admirable dropped goal, and the Oldham crowd could well be pardoned for their enthusiasm.
Wigan resumed the game with great vigour, but hardly with coolness, because the forwards got off-side from the kick off. Wigan soon repaired the damage by some good work on the part of Todd, who threw wide to Whittaker, the ball unluckily going rather forward. Jenkins made another strong effort, but was soundly tackled, and the same fate befel Leytham when he appeared likely for going in. The Wigan attack was certainly keen when the backs were within striking distance, and the forwards were sparing no efforts in giving them the ball. Johnny Thomas kicked with splendid judgement, and the ball rolled into touch, Wigan thereby being placed in a strong position. The forwards tried desperately hard to get over, but the sum total of their efforts was a dead ball. Todd next ran well towards Miller. Llewellyn intercepted the pass meant for the wing man, and kicked up the field, racing after the ball. Sharrock had to wait for it bouncing, by which time several of the Oldham players were upon him. He could not get it away, but he managed to field the ball and effectually stopped the dangerous movement that was threatened.
OLDHAM'S SENSATIONAL CHANCE
A sensational chance was now afforded to Oldham. Tyson got the ball in a good position, and having top speed on slipped past Leytham, and made right for the Wigan line. Todd, who had been doing wonders in the way of looking after the Oldham wing men, sprinted after him famously and brought him down grandly. The Oldham people think that but for this Tyson would have run over, but as a matter of fact Sharrock was lying in wait for the Oldham sprinter, and would probably have nailed him. The brilliant tackled of Todd was showing wonderful speed. Oldham were once again in the Wigan quarter. Excellent combination by the Wigan forwards pushed them back somewhat, but Blears was guilty of two rather serious errors of judgment. Once he could have passed out to Leytham with excellent results; on the other occasion he threw to Ferguson after he had kicked, and a penalty was given against Wigan which might easily have ended in a couple of points against the visitors. It was an easy position where the referee awarded the free-kick, but Wood missed it, much to the disappointment of the Oldham crowd. At the same time it was foolish on the part of Blears, seeing how particular the referee was on his particular point of charging. Llewellyn next got away, but had not reckoned on Miller. The Welshman was too slow for a wing player, and was bundled into touch. Jenkins was responsible for a magnificent effort which thoroughly roused the spectators, and the only regret was that he did not see the position of Leytham, and render it more profitable for Wigan. Jenkins with splendid energy forced his way past Smith, and seeing the danger Tyson ran in to meet him. A pass to Leytham would have meant the downfall of the Oldham line, but Jenkins when he was made to falter passed inside to Todd, who slipped at the critical moment. One could not help but admire the splendid dah of Jenkins, and at the same time feel sorry for Leytham, for this was the third pass of the afternoon which he expected and did not receive, and which could have been put to very great profit.
Johnny Thomas was now using his short ground kicks with telling effect. Wood put in a long return, but as the ball landed in touch Wigan were seen scrimmaging on the Oldham line. Once again did the Wigan backs get the ball, and Miller was fed, but all in vain. He made a great attempt to get through, but the Oldham backs appeared to concentrate themselves upon him, and he was over-powered. Johnston made a strong effort from a pass by Gleave, just falling short of the line. Wigan were not to be shaken off from the position they had gained near the Oldham line until the ball slipped through the Oldham backs and went dead. Wigan again worked themselves to the same spot, and were penalised for some infringement - the very thing that usually happens when Wigan are attacking on the line. There was no denying the fact that Oldham were now sorely pressed.
George Smith tried to bring relief with a strong run. He struggled desperately, but the Wigan tackling was too much for him. It was left to Anlezark to raise the siege, and this he did in brilliant fashion. He defied a lot of Wigan tacklers, and after running a considerable distance he transferred to Llewellyn. The chance was a good one to a fast man, but the Oldham wing player was unable to get properly into his stride, and a somewhat laboured effort on his part ended in his falling an easy victim to Miller and Sharrock. This movement gave Oldham some breathing room, and placed them within measurable distance of the Wigan line. Leytham very finely punted to the centre. Tyson got away from a forward pass by Smith, but before the referee's whistle had sounded Todd had him grassed. George Smith once again got away finely. Francis, in spite of his acknowledged speed, being unable to cut across and land him. Smith did not persevere with his run, but punted, and the ball went to Sharrock, who responded in the way we expect from him. Smith was lucky a minute later in getting his foot to a ground punt that Thomas put in whilst attempting to clear the backs, the ball landing into touch.
Whittaker and Smith were next seen on the ground, evidently engaged in more than an ordinary tussle. They were parted, and the referee spoke to them. To the satisfaction of everyone they shook hands like gentlemen, and both entered upon the game. Of course, to the Oldham crowd all the blame was centred on Whittaker. Wigan once again took up the attack with great spirit, the backs trying many moves to defeat the opposition. Thomas and Gleave were always in the thick of it, and Sharrock lying pretty well up assisted his fellow backs in every possible way. Leytham responded well to Llewellyn's kick, and after Thomas, Gleave, and Miller had tried a combined movement without success. Thomas got away from the scrum, when about ten yards form the line, put in a ground kick through the thick of the defence, and was about to follow up when he was obstructed. This was clearly seen by the referee, for he at once blew his whistle, and ordered a penalty. Thomas took the kick, and landed a pretty goal, and almost the very next minute Mr. Robinson blew for half-time. The scores were equal, much to the gratification of the Wigan spectators, and the Wigan players went to the touch line feeling very pleased with themselves.
THE SECOND HALF
Ferguson commenced the second half with a huge kick that went straight into the hands of Sharrock, who was standing pretty well near his own posts. He answered the kick well, and Deane made a mess on fielding the ball, Whittaker going ahead strongly. The Wigan forward in question was playing one of his best games, but was evidently in no humour to brook severe usage, because he was soon seen struggling on the ground with Longworth, and the game had to be delayed while the referee again admonished a reproof to Whittaker. The Wigan supporters breathed freely when they saw this to be the result. They were rather afraid the referee might have taken a much more serious view of the matter. However, the game proceeded, and Leytham kicked and ran with great spirit, and succeeded in preventing the Oldham full back from returning the ball. Hard scrimmaging in the Oldham quarter was now the order for some time. Todd struggled gamely to get out of the awkward position in which he found himself after taking a pass from Jenkins. Smith got the ball away, but kicked direct to Sharrock, who in his turn sent straight to Wood, who promptly made a mark. Oldham made a burst by reason of a good passing run between Anlezark, Deane, and Llewellyn. The ball was cross passed very prettily, and the Wiganers had to be very sure of their tackling. Eventually the ball went over the line from the feet of Llewellyn, and was touched down by a Wiganer. Llewellyn made a strong protest under the plea that he had been obstructed, and the home crowd were loud in their demands that a try should be given for obstruction. They could not get the referee to view the matter in the same light, and a drop out was ordered.
The game was being played at an extraordinary pace, because practically the next moment Wigan were going at it hammer and tongs ear the Oldham line. Jenkins was bowled into touch, and then miller made rather a blunder in trying to return one of Smith's kicks. In fact Miller seemed to be going through rather a bad time at present. The gruelling he had received in the first half had doubtless told a tale. Leytham dribbled well, and Wigan still kept up the pressure, their finished tactics being met by a defence of the highest order. Anlezark was playing brilliant football, even though many did object to his tactics of running to one side of the scrimmage, and then apparently changing his mind and going to the other. But he was very difficult to stop, as almost all the Wigan players found out.
JOHNSTON'S GREAT EFFORT
The spectators were just asking themselves if they were going to see any tries scored when one of the most brilliant efforts of the afternoon was seen. Gleave gathered the ball, and nipped between the opposing half-backs in the way Wiganers have seen him do before. He covered the ground beautifully, and the very quickness of the movement had left the greater part of the home defence behind. Turning round to see if he was supported, he discovered Johnston on his right, and sent the ball out to him with fine accuracy. Johnston gathered, tucked the ball under his arm, and went for the line as though no opposition on earth would stop him. His great strides told a tale, and he kept ahead of some of the speedier men, who were straining every nerve behind. When a couple of yards off the line he gave a tremendous jump, and landed over with the ball, at the very moment that a panting Oldhamer sprang at him. It was a famous try, and Wigan's hats were seen waving in all directions. Leytham had ought to have done better with the goal kick, because it was in an easy position. The position was, moreover, one rather more to suit the kicking abilities of Thomas. Oldham in no way dismayed, resumed play at a cracking pace, their short passing being again very effective, and demanding much caution on the part of the Wigan defenders. A really admirable round of passing on Oldham's part finished with Tyson going for the line, but either Sharrock or Todd bundled him into touch. Oldham were now having their chances. Smith would most assuredly have been over from a sharp pass, so well was he situated, but he fumbled the ball at the first attempt, and then the Wigan backs came up in the nick of time, and prevented the New Zealander and Tyson doing any damage. A scrimmage took place right on the line, and Tyson receiving a sharp pass dashed over at the corner. The cheers of the spectators died away, and gave place to general consternation when it was seen that the referee had disallowed the try. It appeared from what transpired afterwards that Anlezark had picked the ball out of the scrimmage before passing to Tyson, that the referee noticed this, and had actually blown his whistle before Tyson raced over. The infringement was such that the referee awarded Wigan a free kick, from which Leytham sent the ball to centre.
Wigan had now another spell of attacking and Gleave essayed another pass from the scrimmage and to Johnston, but this time little progress was made. Todd saved with great brilliance from Avery, and Wood also drew applause from the crowd by the manner in which he took the ball from the feet of the Wigan captain as he was dribbling at full speed. Sharrock now made his first mistake. Jardine took a long kick, and Sharrock set himself to field the ball. To his own and everyone else's surprise the ball passed clean over his head into touch, and once more Oldham were in a dangerous quarter. Not for long, however, as Todd ran down the centre with great speed, and gave to Johnston. He transferred to Francis, and in all probability a score would have followed if the latter forward could have got to the ball properly, and Llewellyn came up and kicked dead.
WIGAN'S SECOND TRY
The Wigan players seemed determined to make this visit to the Oldham line profitable to themselves. One or two nippy pieces of passing almost had the desired effect, but at length Todd passed out wide to Leytham. He ran inwards, and then realising that odds were against him he gave a judicious pass to Jenkins, who had placed himself very smartly on the wing position. Jenkins at once made for the line for all that he was worth, and succeeded in crossing. The whole movement was a very fine one, and a credit to the Wigan team. Sharrock failed with the goal kick. Anlezark was very prominent for Oldham after this, getting clean away from the Wiganers before being checked. Tyson also had a grand chance of making points for his side, Smith giving him a good wide pass, which offered a fine opportunity. Tyson fumbled, and the chance was lost. The pace was not slackening a bit. Leytham did most useful work, and was unfortunate in being obstructed when going after the ball, and on another occasion in the ball just rolling into touch. Undoubtedly Wigan were monopolising the game, and Oldham only got away by means of several free kicks given against Gleave, who for a long time could not put the ball in the scrimmage to the satisfaction of the referee. Gleave protested but all to no purpose.
Another splendid tackle of Tyson by Todd, and Oldham now made a desperate and final rally. Wood tried at goal from long range, but the ball went wide, and Leytham touched down. Llewellyn was given other chances, but was easily overhauled. One of the finest sprints of the afternoon was seen from Jenkins. He forced his way through the Oldham three-quarter line, and made helter-skelter for the crease, Smith behind him, endeavouring to make up the distance which lay between them. It was indeed a great race. Jenkins seemed holding his own when Smith, measuring the distance made one despairing dive, and luckily for him just taped Jenkins' ankle. It broke the Welshman's step, and he faltered, and the ball went forward. In a moment Miller was over the line with it, but the ball of course come forward to him. After this exciting event the game was fought out to the finish in the centre of the field, and then the whistle blew for time, with this result;-
Wigan ......................................... 1 2-- 8
Oldham ...................................... 1 0-- 2
If you change your mindset for a moment, that is a masterclass of reporting a rugby football match right there! Absolutely beautiful. How one wishes that today's match reports are one quarter as good as those from over a century ago!
As with the Hunslet the previous Wednesday, Wigan claimed all the plaudits in the media and from the captain of the losing side. "Forward", writing in the Athletic News claimed the match to be a perfect exhibition. He states that "when the Wigan backs handled the ball the movement needed attention, for, all round, the men appeared more speedy, and passed and repassed in a manner that was bound to bring success. The understanding was perfect, the methods were good, and for thirty minutes in the second half the Wigan exhibition was of a particularly high standard, even for them."
You, my dear reader of earlyWIGANrugby, will wish to understand that this moment in time was a high watermark for the Wigan club. Wigan had shown promise twenty years earlier under the leadership of James Slevin, in fact more or less twenty years to the day when Wigan carried off both Cups they could play for. The Giant under captain James Leytham had awaken.
In the Wigan Observers "Football Notes", the columnist simply stated that "such a game does not frequently occur. It is seldom in Northern union football that the public are stirred to the extent they were by this game." The columnist (in my fictional world "Offside") also goes on to say that he believed that fifty thousands spectators were present in one way or another.
The facts after the match were blunt. Oldham had lost for the first time at home since 1906 and had given up second position in the table to Halifax. Wigan had, for the third time, defeated Oldham, their closest rivals for the Championship. It was also noted that quite a number of Halifax supporters had journeyed the short distance across the Pennines to witness this match, cheering on Leythams men.
Albert Avery, the Oldham captain (above) and half-back had nothing but praise for Wigan after the match. Speaking in the "Thompson's Weekly News", Avery discussed the following week's tie between Huddersfield and Wigan in the Northern Union Cup: "But the ground advantage will not be of much avail to Huddersfield in their great game with Wigan. Wigan will beat any team playing, and I tip them to win both the Cup and the League. They blurred our first-rate hoe record for us at Oldham on Saturday and no mistake, and I confess that I did not expect it. Wigan are a really marvellous combination. They kick well. Their backs have reached the same acme of accuracy. They remind me of nothing ore than the original team of All-Blacks who visited England several years ago. The way in which they get the ball about has never been equalled by any more recent combination, and if there ever was a "double" in the matter of teams it is this one of the original All-Blacks and Wigan."
This game at Oldham, on March 20th, 1909, was monolithic. Yes, it happened over 100 years ago and has been forgotten in all time and space but... that is not to say it never happened. To me at earlyWIGANrugby everything is relative. Because nobody is alive to tell the story doesn't mean it never happened or should be championed. People like you and I had the same lives back then in terms of rugby: they just wanted to watch Wigan play. This game against Oldham was a bold and underlined performance of how Great this Wigan side were. Everyone in the Northern Union were in awe of Wigan in 1909. Just as people today remember Jim Valentine's Swinton of the 1880s and 1890s, Albert Goldthorpe's Hunslet teams or Harold Wagstaffe's Huddersfield, it's time to appreciate the Wigan team of 1907-1910.
As for Wigan, they would encounter Huddersfield the following week in the Northern Union Cup. The Wigan Observer stated that, in the lead up to the game, accommodation for 'fifty thousand' spectators was being made such was the enthusiasm and draw of Wigan. Wigan drew (in front of another record crowd), and beat Huddersfield in a replay at Central Park... but they would encounter Oldham once more in the Championship Final on May 1st and beat them for a fourth time in the season 7-3 to win their first Championship and their fourth trophy of the season. Wigan's finest season until 1994.
Oh how I wish I was there to see it all.