LES Boyd's in town for a fortnight's holiday and he's returned to a hero's welcome as always.

He was reintroduced to Wire fans at the game against Wakefield Trinity on Friday night and was inducted into the Warrington Players' Association Hall of Fame.

Warrington Guardian:

Pictures by Mike Boden

And then on Sunday he was the guest of honour at a crammed sportsman's dinner at The Halliwell Jones Stadium, which very quickly turned into a tribute event for Boyd's finest hour - steering The Wire to the Premiership Trophy Final success over league champions Halifax at Elland Road in Leeds in 1986.

Warrington Guardian:

In another era, had it not been for competition restructures, Warrington would have been crowned champions that day - but that's another story.

Between 1985 and 1989 the Australian Test forward with a tough reputation won over the Warrington crowd with his ability to lead the troops into battle - literally!

Warrington Guardian:

And it all led to his man-of-the-match performance at Elland Road and lifting the Harry Sunderland Trophy.

Among the company of many past players, current head coach Steve Price and his Wembley stars Stef Ratchford, Joe Philbin, Bryson Goodwin and Jason Clark at Sunday's dinner, then coach Tony Barrow and teammates spoke with compère Bob Eccles in paying tribute to Boyd as well as the team's performance in Leeds in 86.

Tony Barrow:

"Les was my assistant. As soon as I took over, the first thing I said was I want Les as my assistant because he was my voice on the field.

"The main thing with any team is will to win. Number two is comradeship and working for each other, and that's exactly what we did. There was no single player who was the king of the team.

"When you looked at the backline of that day, in 86, you had Paul Ford, Brian Carbert, Mark Forster, Paul Cullen, Ronnie Duane, Paul Bishop and Andy Gregory - that was the best backline I'd seen as a coach in 25 years.

"I believed in toughness. One in, all in, because that was the way that you had to win games.

Warrington Guardian:

"The only thing I'd ever been brought up on was winning.

"I had winners and I had all them 'bad lads' - Boyd, Tamati and Jackson - who'd fight them? I wouldn't.

"In the second row we had the Hoover, Gary Sanderson, and then we had Mark Roberts who could win 100-yard sprints.

"And then we had the greatest, Mike Gregory.

"He was something special.

"I remember going with Kevin Ashcroft to the Greyhound Hotel in Leigh to sign him.

"We tried to sign him and Andy Platt at the time. We didn't get Platt, but we got Gregory, and we got the best player.

"He was the most respected player. What a man, I have to give him so much credit. He ended up as Great Britain captain and I thought the world of him.

"But the whole team was brilliant.

"It was a great team, a great performance, and big Les was brilliant.

"People said to me Les was a hard hitter. Well, I signed for St Helens in 1962 and I played with possibly the hardest man ever in Vince Karalius. Number two on that list is Les Boyd, he rates with the great 'Wild Bull of the Pampas', there's no doubt about it and it's such a pleasure to see Les again."

Mark Forster:

"With a front row of Les Boyd, Kevin Tamati and Bob Jackson, us wingers could do what we wanted.

"We could just have a laugh at the opposition - "Have you seen the pack behind us?"

Warrington Guardian:

"We'd scoot from dummy-half. We were watching the game against Wakefield on Friday with Boydy, and when Josh Charnley was scooting Boydy said "I used to like wingers scooting Foz". I went: "I didn't".

Ronnie Duane:

"I don't have a lot of memories from that game. I remember being in the Taj Mahal Indian restaurant at 1am on my own still celebrating.

Warrington Guardian:

"To be honest, I don't even think I got the ball that game. Les and the forwards just took it to Halifax and never stopped.

"So there wasn't a lot for the likes of me, Paul Cullen and Mark Forster to do."

Gary Sanderson:

"It was only my eighth game, I was still a young lad.

Warrington Guardian:

"I think my mam could have played behind Boyd, Tamati and Jackson because they made it that easy for me."

Andy Gregory:

"The Premiership final was absolutely tremendous.

"I was number seven, and I had Les at 8, Tamati at 10 and Jackson in the middle, and we had great backs.

Warrington Guardian:

"When we beat Halifax at Elland Road, Les turned them. He won the Harry Sunderland Trophy and was outstanding.

"We had a team spirit. I have some absolute great memories from the two years I was at Warrington."

Des Drummond:

"To walk into a dressing room with players of the calibre of Les, Mike Gregory, Paul Cullen, Alan Rathbone, Warrington was a team that you wanted to play for.

Warrington Guardian:

"You didn't like playing against them, but you wanted to play with them. And it was through lads like Les that it's a good memory because they were good times."

Bob Eccles:

"I was actually in Australia the day the news broke that Les had been signed.

Warrington Guardian:

"Three days later I bumped into Wally Lewis and he said to me: "By God, you're going to have some fun next year."

Paul Cullen:

"I think we have to acknowledge certain people who we really should thank.

"Peter Higham, the chairman at the club in some very difficult times, and his board of directors brought Les Boyd to Warrington. As well as the likes of Phil Blake, Des Drummond and Andy Gregory.

"Players like me simply wanted to play for this club and thoroughly enjoyed every second - the good, bad and the ugly - and bringing in these kind of players changed the levels.

"When you were grafting away all of a sudden you'd read in the Warrington Guardian that we'd signed Andy Gregory you'd go "Thank the Lord", we've now got somebody who's going to make that break and put us through that gap and he did, and he made a lot of people's careers.

"And then you'd read, goodness me, we've actually signed with Les Boyd. You nearly cried with joy that you're now going to go against all these blokes you've gone against for four or five years but you're now going to go into them with Les Boyd in front of you.

"And it made a huge difference. It took our club to a level where we could compete with Wigan, St Helens, Leeds and Bradford.

Warrington Guardian:

"Playing behind one of the best scrum halves there's ever been in Andy Gregory, and you've got Des Drummond on the outside, you know you're moving into different levels.

"Not only did we have Les Boyd, Kevin Tamati and Bob Jackson, we also had Carl Webb and Alan Rathbone in there just for the mix.

"We didn't win many games, but we started and won a few fights.

"It was a culture Peter Higham and his board of directors brought in.

"They didn't buy Les Boyd or Alan Rathbone by mistake, nor Les Davidson.

"And that's where 'The Zoo' mentality came from.

> Read more about Les Boyd's Wire career

"86 was really special. It changed people like my mind process that we can win something - we were a reasonable side and a reasonable club and we were now going to go to a different level.

"The club's moved on in a fantastic way since 86, but you can't miss how it started - and how it started for me as a Warrington fan, a Warrington player and eventually as a Warrington coach."

* Still to come...don't miss our exclusive interview with Boyd, reflecting on his days in primrose and blue, his career as a whole as well as his life back home in Australia today