WARRINGTON's 1986 Premiership Trophy triumph over Halifax was the perfect tonic for Tony Barrow's first full season in charge.

And it was the first campaign of the eighties that Warrington had gone into without the services of record-breaking goal kicker Steve Hesford.

The Blackpool-based full back ended his Wilderspool career with five club records to his name most goals in career (1,159), most goals in a season (170 in 1979/80), most points in a career (2,416), most consecutive appearances (94), most drop goals in career (47).

Barrow's man with the golden boot was Paul Bishop, who broke a club record himself in 1986/87. His haul of 17 drop goals was a season's record. The year before he kicked five in one match, also a record, as Wire knocked Wigan out of the Premiership Trophy.

But there was no doubting the star of 86/87 Brian Johnson. He crossed for 25 tries the highest total ever for a Warrington full back.

He helped Wire to third place in the league and runners-up spot to Wigan in the John Player Trophy and in the revamped Premiership Trophy.

The latter had a new look, being staged at Old Trafford for the first time with a double-header format. The new Second Division play-offs final acted as a curtain-raiser to the First Division final.

Old Trafford was also used to stage a Test match for the first time, which attracted a British record 50,583 for the first Whitbread Trophy encounter between Great Britain and Australia.

GB scrum half Andy Gregory's dispute with Warrington was settled when Wigan paid a cash record £130,000 for him. Some of that was spent on recruiting Leigh's international winger Des Drummond a month later.

The season after saw the introduction of the players' contract system and random drug testing. It was a term which brought Warrington a runners-up spot to Wigan in the Lancashire Cup and British Coal Nines victory at Wigan with a 24-0 final success over The Rest of the World.

In November 1988, there was a change at the top. Brian Johnson took over as the new chief.

He was an instant success with the fans by leading Wire to almost Challenge Cup semi-final glory over Wigan at Maine Road. Only a 60-yard Joe Lydon drop goal and a late try knocked the stuffing out of Wire.

Two months later the two sides clashed again on neutral soil this time as a promotional game at the County Stadium, Milwaukee, America.

Silverware success came the season after as Wire stormed to glory in the Lancashire Cup final over Oldham Wire's ninth win on the trot.

And better still Johnson secured Warrington their first trip to Wembley for 15 years to face Wigan in the final of the Challenge Cup. Bogy side Wigan secured a 36-14 victory preventing Wire's GB skipper Mike Gregory from the magic moment of lifting the trophy.

In 1990/91 Warrington gained their second trophy in successive seasons. This time it was the Regal trophy with a 12-2 win over Bradford Northern at Headingley, Leeds. Johnson's first professional Wire signing, Mark Thomas, scored the winning try.