PICS: Wolves fans say final farewell to Wilderspool

Warrington Guardian: A familiar banner at the game A familiar banner at the game

IT was like they had never been away.

For many of the 800 strong crowd who packed into Wilderspool on Thursday to see the final, final game, walking back through the old gates took them back in time.

Be it a Brian Bevan try, Paul Cullen’s fight with Andy Goodway or a famous win over the Aussies, the last hurrah was a chance for one final day of recollection.

Mal Jones, of Willis Street, recalls the win for Warrington over Australia on an October night in 1978 as his favourite.

"The absolute number one was that win in 1978. It was the highlight."

Warrington Guardian:

And Ken Wooding, from Bewsey, agreed. "That game stands out. Games like that meant everything to us as fans."

John Garner, from Paddington, first came through the turnstiles to watch Brian Bevan.

Warrington Guardian:

And remembering the scene brought it all back.

He said: "I felt it when there was a scrum.

“The ball would go in and there would be a rush.

“As it went from scrum half, to stand off, to both centres, the anticipation would be rising. Then it went to Bevan. You never knew what he was going to follow but you knew he would score."

Jean Wolfarth came back with husband John and son David.

A fan in the 1970s, she brought flowers with her in memory of former player and family friend Mike Kelly.

Warrington Guardian:

"For me, the best memories were of watching John Bevan and Parry Gordon, they were my favourite players to watch."

Bob Gregory went to his first game aged around 10.

Mesmerized by watching Bevan, he speaks fondly of watching the all conquering 1954 team travel down Orford Lane on a victory bus parade.

Warrington Guardian:

“We used to live in flats where Wakefield Brothers is now and could see from high up, it was incredible.

“But I guess one of my favourite memories was us scoring in the last minute against Bradford and the place went mental.”

Rugby league writer Dave Hadfield has travelled the world watching the sport.

The Independent journalist says Wilderspool was one of his favourite grounds to visit - when it was nicknamed the zoo.

Warrington Guardian:

He said: "I think that one special moment for me would be Paul Cullen being sent down the tunnel and still fighting with Andy Goodway.

"The atmosphere then was like a zoo. It was known as that. But it was a terrific atmosphere to be involved with."

Comments (2)

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3:58pm Sat 17 May 14

Bakubrit says...

Wish I could have been there.The place holds so many memories not only of the great players but also the friends made and not forgetting, of course, the meat & tattie pies and Bovril at half time. The overriding memory has to be the great Bev, watching from the kids pen at the railway end with the flask of bovril shoved through the bars at half time to keep the cold away. The man was a freak of nature, looked 80 years old when he was in his early 20's but put the ovl pill in his hands and before you could spell t- r- y that's what it invariably was.
Sad the old place is no more, along with really my special pal Kevin Gorman, but I suppose things move on. Progress ? I'm not so sure. Some things are left well alone.
Wilderspool - you are in my heart and my soul. RIP
Wish I could have been there.The place holds so many memories not only of the great players but also the friends made and not forgetting, of course, the meat & tattie pies and Bovril at half time. The overriding memory has to be the great Bev, watching from the kids pen at the railway end with the flask of bovril shoved through the bars at half time to keep the cold away. The man was a freak of nature, looked 80 years old when he was in his early 20's but put the ovl pill in his hands and before you could spell t- r- y that's what it invariably was. Sad the old place is no more, along with really my special pal Kevin Gorman, but I suppose things move on. Progress ? I'm not so sure. Some things are left well alone. Wilderspool - you are in my heart and my soul. RIP Bakubrit
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6:30am Mon 19 May 14

i saw brian bevan play says...

Sad to see the old place go, what memories !! I was there for Bev's last match and several Aussie games. Yes, 1978 was the best but who remembers the 1963 game, the first of the tour? My other memories are the ring-side seats, the old Spion Kop, the Priory Street Stand, the first floodlight match, the first Sunday match- they go on and on. Who can remember the 63 freeze and getting the braziers on and off so we could play Doncaster in the Cup ? It really was the House of Pain and the memories of Joe Price, Mike Nicholas, Les Boyd and Paul Cullen will always live on. Now the Wire !!!
Sad to see the old place go, what memories !! I was there for Bev's last match and several Aussie games. Yes, 1978 was the best but who remembers the 1963 game, the first of the tour? My other memories are the ring-side seats, the old Spion Kop, the Priory Street Stand, the first floodlight match, the first Sunday match- they go on and on. Who can remember the 63 freeze and getting the braziers on and off so we could play Doncaster in the Cup ? It really was the House of Pain and the memories of Joe Price, Mike Nicholas, Les Boyd and Paul Cullen will always live on. Now the Wire !!! i saw brian bevan play
  • Score: 0

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