THE Locker Cup will be up for grabs again for the first time in three years when Warrington Wolves face Wigan Warriors at the DW Stadium next Friday.

Prior to Super League's arrival in 1996, The Wire met Wigan in the Locker Cup charity match on 24 occasions.

The 'friendly' was regularly staged in August, rotated between the two clubs' former homes Wilderspool Stadium and Central Park, as a warm-up to the start of a new campaign. Seasons ran between September and May before the switch to summer 23 years ago.

Warrington Guardian:

Warrington captain Kevin Tamati receives the Locker Cup at Wilderspool Stadium in 1987 after The Wire's 28-20 win against Wigan. Fans gather around other Warrington players who featured that day and appear in this picture, including Des Drummond, Carl Webb, David Lyon, Mark Knight, Mark Roskell, Barry Peters, Brian Carbert, Gary Sanderson, Billy McGinty and Tony Humphries.

Both clubs were eager to bring the Locker Cup out of retirement and a score was settled at the home of Liverpool Football Club in the final game of 2019 Magic Weekend's opening day.

For on the 24 occasions between 1972 and 1995 that the trophy was up for grabs, The Wire and Wigan each won it 12 times.

It was 'lucky' 13 for The Wire though, as they came out on top at Anfield with a memorable Blake Austin try being an inspirational score in the win.


And Wire head coach at the time, Steve Price, celebrated by upending Wolfie with an accidental spear tackle!

Matches between The Wire and Wigan tend to be anything but 'friendly', even in season warm-up clashes.

One of the more memorable Locker Cup encounters took place 33 years ago.

The Wire's new signing Tony Burke and his former St Helens teammate in the Wigan ranks, fellow forward Andy Platt, were sent off for fighting.

But only after Warrington substitute Paul Darbyshire was dismissed against his hometown club for tripping scrum-half Bobbie Goulding.

That all happened in the opening five minutes of the second half at Wilderspool on August 20, when The Wire were leading 12-8.

Warrington Guardian:

Mark Roberts touches down in the 1989 win for Warrington, with referee Gerry Kershaw having no doubts.

Yet with 11 men Brian Johnson's side emerged from the mayhem as the stronger side, running out 42-16 victors.

The game was made all the more memorable for a stunning hat-trick of tries by Warrington winger Mark Forster.

In the Guardian's match report at the time, Gary Slater wrote that Foz was back to his Great Britain best as he scorched in for his three tries in a 19-minute spell.

Warrington Guardian:

Martin Crompton, Mark Roskell, Mark Roberts and Bob Jackson also touched down for The Wire, while Rocky Turner kicked seven goals.

Highlights of the match, including Forster's brilliant tries and the red cards, can be seen in the video below.

For the record, the Locker Cup was previously known as the Wardonia Cup and was contested between The Wire and Wigan on 29 occasions after first being introduced in 1938.

Overall, the trophy has been played for on 54 occasions – Wigan winning 32 times, Warrington winning 21, and there's been one draw.