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Leigh's Greatest Day!

Many people regard the 15th May 1971 as the greatest ever day in our town’s history. What a day - Leigh RLFC versus Leeds RLFC at Wembley Stadium.
Almost everyone in Leigh either made the trip to the famous Wembley Stadium or watched it on television.
Leigh took the match against their mighty opponents from Leeds in their stride. By half time they were winning 13 – 0. One Stuart Ferguson goal was from all of 60 yards.
In the second half there was an incident which lives on in rugby league history. The Leeds captain Syd Hynes was sent off for a tackle on Alex Murphy. It was the first sending off in the history of Rugby League Cup Finals at Wembley.
Was Alex Murphy actually struck or did he dive ?
Only two men will ever know the true answer.
With Murphy carried off injured Leigh scored more points including a wonderful drop goal by Leigh full back David Eckersley.

Leigh had won 24 – 7.

The whole of Leigh went crazy. A vast crowd gathered outside the Town Hall next day to welcome the victorious team back with their trophy.

Leigh’s victorious Challenge Cup Squad 1971

A. Barrow, M. Mooney, R. Tickle, L. Chisnall, M. Collins, H. Bracken, P. Smethurst, J. Fiddler, D. Watts,
G. Clarkson, P. Grimes, R. Lester, J. Byrne, S. Ferguson, K. Ashcroft, A. Murphy, D. Eckersley, J. Walsh,
Mascot – G. Ashcroft

John Woods

John Woods is regarded by many as the most naturally gifted player ever to play for Leigh. He was educated at Butts CE Primary School and Bedford High School - a real local boy. John played his first game for Leigh in the home match against Barrow on the 5th September 1976. He quickly became the key player in the side – with his incredible speed, great goal kicking and tackling skills.

 In the course of 302 games for Leigh he scored 135 tries and kicked 859 goals. John was part of the triumphant Leigh team that won the Rugby League Championship in 1981 after a hard fought 13 – 4 win in the last game at Whitehaven. In that season John kicked 146 goals and scored 18 tries.

Did you know...............

When Leigh Rugby League Football Club moves to the Leigh Sports Village it will be their sixth rugby ground.

 When the club was formed in 1878 they played on Buck’s Farm in Pennington.  (GROUND NUMBER 1

 Then they moved, in 1879, to a field behind the Three Crowns pub in Chapel Street.  (GROUND NUMBER 2)

 In 1889 they moved to another new ground at Mather Lane. A grandstand was erected to hold 500 people. The team changed at their headquarters in the Railway Hotel and travelled to the ground by wagonette. 

In August 1940 the ground at Mather Lane was bought by Callender’s Cables,
from the brewers George Shaw, who owned the five acre site.

 In 1941 the field at Leigh Harriers on Holden Road became a temporary ground until a
new rugby ground could be found. (GROUND NUMBER 4)

 In September 1946 the Kirkhall Lane site (now Hilton Park) was purchased.   (GROUND NUMBER 5)

 So, when Leigh RLFC proudly moves to the new stadium at the Sports Village it will be………

 ....their sixth rugby ground.  (GROUND NUMBER 6)

Leigh's Last League Match at Hilton Park

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