WIRE'S magnificent successes of the early 1950s came to a sudden stop in 1956/57.

It turned into a transformation period for Warrington with many top names drawing to a close their Wire careers.

Full back or half back Eric Frodsham took no part in the campaign. Pack and goal-kicking ace Harry Bath and livewire scrum half Gerry Helme played half a season and then finished at Wilderspool. Danny Naughton played four games and then left.

Loose forward Bob Ryan played fewer games as he was coming towards the end of his Wire spell. Bill McFarlane missed a season and Brian Bevan struggled with injuries.

Bevan's absence was most notable because 1956/57 was the only season in his career in which he did not top the Wire try-scoring charts. That honour went to rising star Laurie Gilfedder with 22 from 39 games. He also kicked 57 goals.

Players having a bigger involvement in this campaign included Jim Challinor, Arthur Fryer and Alf Arnold while new arrivals included Dick Nicholls, Martin Regan, Tony Storey, Robin Thompson.

With so many changes it meant coach Ces Mountford used a total of 40 players during the campaign the highest since World War Two and a figure that was not beaten until 1976/77.

It is not surprising that Wire finished 10th in the league. They did reach the semi-finals of the Lancashire Cup but lost to St Helens 17-9.

Attendances were below previous seasons' average and on January 19, 1957, Warrington took action by launching the club's lottery, which was to play an important part in the club's future finances.

It was a time for change with the stadium too. In 1958 the popular side terracing of the ground became fully covered and soon after the Fletcher Street End was rooved.