IT'S a Warrington Wolves Christmas - every year!

Take a walk with us down memory lane, as far back to a time when The Wire played league matches on Christmas Day.

1 Scrooge

The first Christmas Day game after the Second World War, played at Wilderspool, saw both sides, Warrington and Widnes very tight fisted on scoring, as the game ended 0-0.

2 White Christmas

Ted WHITE made 134 appearances for the club in the Fifties, scoring 18 tries, so we had a number of White Christmas games during that period.

3 …on Christmas Day in the morning

’Twas early on Christmas morn in 1953 (and a game that had a kick-off time at 11.00am) that winger Brian Bevan in prime form, ran in four scintillating tries.

Warrington Guardian:

Brian Bevan, a try-scoring genius

4 A star is born

John Bevan was a British Lion RU winger signed in 1973. On Boxing Day at Leigh after a long period without scoring he finally crossed the try line. He punched the air in relief, and this clenched fist became his try scoring salute. He scored four that day.

Warrington Guardian:

The famous John Bevan salute

5 Christmas crackers

Boxing Day 1958, a home 35-13 victory over Leigh, was wonder winger Brian Bevan’s 500th appearance for Warrington, and he celebrated by scoring two cracking tries.

6 Silent (K)night

Stand-off signed from Huddersfield, Glenn Knight made his debut on Boxing Day 1975, scored a try, but there was no after match celebrations as Warrington got beat, so he would have had a relatively silent night!

7 Let it snow

Leigh or Widnes have normally been our Christmas opponents. Snow fell on the day before the Boxing Day game in 1962. The game scheduled was postponed. Our opponents that day would have been Bramley!!! The only time Wire have played Yorkshire opposition during the festive days was Bradford Northern in 1975.

8 We three Kings…

Rex KING scored a try in a 13-6 victory at Rochdale on Boxing Day 1934. Whilst more up to date Toby KING scored a try in a 40-0 victory in the festive friendly at Widnes on December 27, 2015, and George KING came on as a substitute in the same match.

Warrington Guardian:

Toby King touches down against Widnes on December 27, 2015

Warrington Guardian:

9 Oh come all ye faithful

The biggest crowd for a Christmas Day game, against Widnes, was at Wilderspool in 1947, when 20,000 attended.

10 Have a 'Cool Yule'

New Zealand centre Gary Mercer made his debut for the club on Boxing Day 1989. During the game Widnes scrum half David Hulme and Warrington winger Des Drummond were sent to the ‘cooler’ for activities not in keeping with the festive spirits by Wakefield referee Crashley

Warrington Guardian:

Gary Mercer, right, in the week leading up to his debut, stood with fellow new Wire signing and Kiwi international Duane Mann

11 Another 'Boxing' day

Scrum half Kevin Ellis was dismissed on Boxing Day in 1991, and at the disciplinary hearing was subsequently given sending off sufficient, and found not guilty.

Warrington Guardian:

Warrington scrum-half Kevin Ellis

12 Winter Wonderland or In the Bleak Midwinter?

Christmas games have sometimes suffered from the weather. In 1962-63 this was very severe. After a home fixture on the 15 December, winter set in, and after further Arctic blasts we didn’t play another home game until 2 March!

13 Christmas Carol?

The only carol we had was Dean CARROLL, who was an on-loan scrum half in 1989.

14 Last Christmas (Wham!)

The last Christmas official game was on Boxing Day 1994 when Widnes were vanquished 11-2 at Wilderspool before a crowd of 8,304 with the “Flying Pig” Francis Maloney scoring our only try.

Our last Christmas Day game was at home to Widnes way back in 1959, and we go further back for our last Christmas Eve match, which was at Salford in 1955.

Warrington Guardian:

Warrington Guardian:

Warrington Guardian:

Action from the last Christmas official game of 1994. From top, Iestyn Harris, Emosi Koloto (Widnes) and Allan Bateman

15 Ding dong merry-Leigh on high

Mike Nicholas collected his first sending off against Leigh at Wilderspool on Boxing Day 1972 when he threw punches at Frank Barrow, former coach Tony's brother. This was yet another example of giving being better than receiving!

Warrington Guardian:

Mike Nicholas, on one of his walks to an early bath during his Wire career

16 All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth!

Left centre Roy Francis had scored three tries and Warrington had the 1948 Christmas Day game sown up at Widnes with a minute to go, but the drama hadn’t ended. Jolley, the Widnes left-winger, shot away down the flank and was laid low when Brian Bevan’s right arm shot out and caught him under the chin. Pandemonium! ‘Bev’ was called up by the referee, and sent off for the first and only time in his career. A spectator jumped the rails and remonstrated with Bevan, who had to be given a police escort off the pitch.

17 The First Noel

The first Noel to play for the club was Noel Lightfoot, a local second-row forward who played for the club in the early 70s.

Warrington Guardian:

Noel Lightfoot in later years helped put a new roof on the Railway End Stand at Wire's former Wilderspool Stadium home

18 Christmas Sale?

Tommy SALE was a centre during 1945-46 season, but didn’t get a game over Christmas sadly. He would later captain Widnes against Warrington in the 1950 Challenge Cup final.

19 Five golden rings

Well not exactly right, it’s six! That’s the number of Super League grand final winners rings that former Warrington player Ryan Bailey won, …whilst at Leeds Rhinos.

Warrington Guardian:

Ryan Bailey during his Leeds Rhinos days

20 The ghost of Christmas past

Loose forward George Taylor played for Warrington on Christmas Day and Boxing Day 1945. Except George Taylor did not exist! It was a pseudonym used by Jim Holcroft so that he would not be banned by the Rugby Football Union.

Have yourself a Merry Christmas,

Stan Lewandowski, Gary Slater and Phil Ball