THE Locker Cup will be up for grabs for the first time in 24 years when Warrington Wolves face Wigan Warriors at Anfield on Saturday.

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 can now be 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.

> The last time Warrington played at Anfield

It will be 'lucky' 13 for one of the teams on Saturday, when more history between the fierce rivals will be celebrated.

The Wire and Wigan will be wearing kits that commemorate the pioneering exhibition match in America 30 years ago.

At the end of a week promoting rugby league to the US public, Warrington faced Wigan at County Stadium Milwaukee in Wisconsin with the cherry and whites coming out on top 12-5 in a battle billed as the Great American Challenge - the first match between British professional teams on USA soil.

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 also took place 30 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.