WHICH was Warrington Wolves’ greatest season so far?

The fans have decided.

The Wire have a long and illustrious history as one of the most successful clubs in rugby league.

But which season counts as the best ever is a tough question to answer, and there has recently been a raging debate on this point.

Was it 1953/54 or 1973/74?

Here we give two of those prominent in the argument the chance to make their case for what they believe to be The Wire’s best season, and the results of the fans' poll is at the end:

Neil Ormston is a lifelong Wire fan who runs the club’s heritage website (warringtonrugbyheritage.com), and organises the activities of the Rugby League Record Keepers’ Club (rugbyleaguerecords.com). Here he puts forward the case for the 1953/54 season.

BEVAN, Helme, Bath, Naughton, Challinor, Frodsham, Ryan… 67 years later, the names still roll off the tongue, as a who’s who of greats of the Warrington club.

Even for those of us too young to remember the class of 1954, their achievements echo through the years.

For the only time in their history, Wire achieved a league Championship and Challenge Cup double, with the added bonus of the Lancashire League.

In nearly 60 years that the three trophies were available only two other teams, Swinton in 1928 and St Helens in 1966 were able to secure them all. Like the 1954 Wire vintage, these are also revered as two of the best club sides in history.

The trophy haul itself is enough to mark this as the high point of the club’s historic successes.

But it’s even more impressive seen against the back-drop of the sport in this era, for this was a boom time like no other in rugby league.

Crowds soared after the end of the Second World War, and the game’s biggest clubs rose to the occasion – Wigan, St Helens and Huddersfield were all crowned champions, as were Workington Town who finally provided a professional focus for the game’s hotbed in Cumberland.

Bradford, Wigan, Huddersfield and Workington all won the Challenge Cup too, but such was the strength of the game at the time that no club was able to secure the elusive double.

Only an exceptional team could manage such a feat, and the Wire team of 1953/54 were just that.

Seeing off St Helens and Workington to first pick up the Lancashire League, the drawn Challenge Cup final against Halifax led to the club’s most famous match, when well over 100,000 people packed Odsal Stadium, Bradford, to see them secure the Challenge Cup.

Just three days later at Maine Road, Manchester, Halifax were again the opponents as The Wire closed out a never-to-be-forgotten season with an epic 8-7 victory.

All-time great players, world-record crowds, and an exceptional trophy haul achieved during the pinnacle of the game’s popularity – there’s no contest in my eyes, 1953/54 is undoubtedly Warrington’s best ever season.

Mike Parsons has been sports editor of Warrington Guardian since 1993, and has followed the fortunes of The Wire since he was five years old back in 1974. Here he presents the case for 1973/74 as the best campaign to date.

THERE is good reason why the 1973/74 season has generally been regarded as Warrington's greatest.

It is the only time the Wire trophy cabinet has been crammed with five pieces of silverware.

Winning four nationally-contested trophies was an incredible achievement.

They were strong at the start, defeating Wigan in the Locker Cup curtain-raiser, and even stronger at the finish when they edged St Helens to seal the top-eight play-offs and lift the inaugural Club Championship Trophy.

And they were pretty good in between, as the Challenge Cup and the Player's No6 Trophy followed hot on the heels of the one-off Captain Morgan Trophy.

With every knockout win, the season got longer and harder so it was testament to the players' fitness and the depth of Alex Murphy's squad that Wire's five-trophy haul was completed in their record 51st match of the season.

As it was, playing every three to four days throughout March and April put paid to any hopes they had of finishing any higher than fifth in the table.

Some consider Wire a little hard done by, because the team that won the end-of-season play-offs the year before, Dewsbury, were crowned champions but the system changed in 1973/74 meaning that the team at the top of the table, Salford, took the title instead.

Some perspective is needed here, too.

In the very late 1960s and early 1970s, The Wire were in danger of going bust so the 1973/74 season also encapsulated a monumental turnaround in fortunes spearheaded by Ossie Davies' takeover as chairman and his appointment of Murphy as player-coach.

The players brought in became Wire legends in their own right, with the likes of John Bevan, Parry Gordon, Mike Nicholas and Kevin Ashcroft rolling off the tongue along with club greats before them.

When the fascinating Now The Wire Exhibition was staged at Warrington Museum in 1991, the accompanying literature painstakingly produced by historians states the club's best season was 1973/74.

And in '140 Years of the Wire, The Official Illustrated History of Warrington Wolves' published by Neil Dowson in 2016, a paragraph begins: "The 1973/74 season was Warrington's most successful ever."

Nothing could have possibly changed about the seasons in question since, so I rest my case.

The only fair way to settle the argument is by opening the debate up to a vote. Have your say here: