Stanski takes a look back at 50 years ago this day when Warrington suffered one of their most humiliating defeats in their history, as Salford came down to Wilderspool and humbled The Wire 50-0

SEASON 1970/71 had started disastrously.

Warrington were dumped out of the Lancashire Cup and BBC Two Floodlight Trophy in the first round, and three defeats out of four had happened in the league with only a narrow win over Huyton at Wilderspool before the smallest crowd in memory.

Things were no better off the field!

Firstly a bout of “soccer hooliganism” caused by a number of skinheads surfaced at some early season games.

Then came a rumour in a Sunday newspaper that ace scrum-half Parry Gordon was in dispute with the club.

High winds snapped off the rugby posts at the scoreboard end!

Then because of the poor set of results, depleted staff, injuries and economics, coach Joe Egan resigned.

Former player, a Scotsman, and the youngest coach in Warrington’s history at 29, Peter Harvey took over, but within a month fans were rocked by the news that because of critical finances at Warrington, £10,000 was needed or the possibility that the club could face closure!

The gloom had set in, could things get any worse?

Warrington faced Salford in a league game on 29 November 1970, and the teams lined up:

WARRINGTON: Conroy; Barton, Gaskell, Scahill, Heritage; Aspinall, Gordon; Jones, McIntyre, Webster, Gregory, Parr, Cannon. Subs: Brady for Cannon 32 minutes, Cannon for Parr 46 minutes.

SALFORD: Charlton; Jackson, Hesketh, Colloby, Richards; Watkins, Prosser; Bott, Clarke, Ward, Smethurst, Whitehead, Dixon. (Sub) Orr for Ward at half-time.

By the end of it supporters had witnessed the then heaviest defeat in Wilderspool’s history!

From the second minute it was one way traffic, as left winger Richards ran in the first of his four tries, with Salford’s speed leaving Warrington bewildered and battered.

For some reason there was hardly any attempt at defence, and Salford were able to play as they pleased, running in tries at regular intervals to build up a 29-0 half-time lead.

Angry fans started to demonstrate in front of the directors box as the suffering continued in the second half.

The tragic destruction of a once great club reached the ultimate in demoralisation when Salford scored their 50th point seven minutes from the end. They had scored in total 12 tries, and Watkins had kicked seven goals.

Ironically the week before, against St Helens, Salford had failed to score themselves!

For Warrington, the season would see them end in their lowest position ever – 22nd in the league table.

Reacting to the criticism after the game chairman Walter Challinor stated ‘he was not leaving a sinking ship’, but within a couple of months he was superseded by the new saviour of Warrington – Ossie Davies. Good times were just around the corner.