IT was emotional.

Warrington Wolves’ old home Wilderspool Stadium had not seen anything like it for a long time – and would never do so again.

For it was on this day, September 21, 20 years ago, that the crumbling rugby ground staged its last Wire league game.

A full house assembled for the occasion, one of those days when for historical significance many felt they just had to be there - with long-time supporters literally rubbing shoulders with those making debuts on the terraces and in the Brian Bevan Stand.

Tears were shed, voices became hoarse, there was a lot of embracing, while arms ached and hands stung from all the cheering and clapping.

Desperation levels were high because nobody inside Wilderspool, except for opponents Wakefield Trinity that is, wanted the old dear to bow out on a defeat.

In tribute to all the blood, sweat and toil that had been exerted in the past, it was a ‘must win’ and the style of the victory mattered too.

It turned out that the performance of Paul Cullen’s team fitted the occasion, as the capacity 9,261 crowd said goodbye in style to the place that had been The Wire's home since 1898 ahead of the move to The Halliwell Jones Stadium.

The players who took to the field must have been sapped of energy because it was draining just watching in the glorious sunshine, after all the nervous anticipation for the occasion during the week.

Graham Appo, the Australian excelling in the stand-off role at the time in place of the injured Lee Briers, grabbed a hat-trick of tries in the 52-12 success. He also kicked 10 goals.

Left centre Sid Domic, another Aussie, and right winger Ben Westwood, who was brought in from Wakefield a year earlier, each crossed for a brace of tries.

It was Domic who had the honour of scoring the last Super League try on the ground.

> SEE MORE WILDERSPOOL: Fans walking away from Wire's old home for the last time

There was further importance on this fixture for the progression of the team being built by Cullen and going to the new place on a high.

It was a win which secured a very first Super League play-off appearance for the club, just a year after the team had flirted with relegation danger under the stewardship of Steve Anderson and David Plange.

Cullen, backed by the board of directors, was spearheading the platform being built for the successes that were to follow in turning The Wire into one of the game's leading clubs again.

For the record, research by Warrington Wolves historian and retired journalist Gary Slater confirms The Wire had seven homes across a period of 22 years before settling on the site off Wilderspool Causeway in 1898.

Warrington Wolves team for the last home league game against Wakefield Trinity:

Daryl Cardiss; Ben Westwood, Brent Grose, Sid Domic, Dean Gaskell; Graham Appo, Nathan Wood; Nick Fozzard, Jon Clarke, Paul Wood, Paul Noone, Mike Wainwright, Darren Burns. Subs: Mark Gleeson, Jerome Guisset, Warren Stevens, Gary Hulse.

Tries: Appo 3, Domic 2, Westwood 2, Noone.

Goals: Appo 10