Wakefield Trinity’s hopes of a victory in the 1979 Challenge Cup final were riding high after their dramatic late victory over St Helen’s at Headingley in the semi-final to take their coveted place at Wembley in front of a 94,000 strong crowd.
But, it was not to be, the squad, decimated by injury, lost to Widnes 12-3 and Trinity have not played at Wembley since.
Forty years on, to commemorate what might have been, some members of the 1979 squad are coming together to take part in an event at Wakefield Labour Club on May 4.
Fullback Les Sheard, who has organised the special event along with long-time fans Peter Hirst and Wakefield’s former MP David Hinchliffe, is travelling from his home in Devon.
Peter Hirst said: “In many ways, the issues facing Wakefield Trinity now are the same as they were in 1979.
“Archive newspaper reports mention speculation about development of the ground, an injury crisis and the need to improve attendances.
“It is appropriate that Trinity has drawn Widnes in the Challenge Cup - and this season they seem to have a squad that can deal with the injury crisis better.”
Scrum-half Mike Lampkowski and hooker Alan McCurrie are making the trip from Spain and team coach Bill Kirkbride; winger and former Welsh rugby union player Brian Juliff, now chairman of Welsh rugby league; fullback Trevor Midgley and winger Andy Fletcher are all expected to attend.
Tickets are free of charge but there will be a collection for the Rugby League Benevolent Fund.
Only 50 places are available and tickets can be obtained by calling into Wakefield Labour Club on Vicarage St any evening from 7pm or on the day from noon.
Kicking-off at 1pm, the afternoon will be split into three sessions covering the road to Wembley, the influences of Welsh rugby union on rugby league and an opportunity for members of the audience to make share memories and ask questions of their heroes.