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Re: Rugby League replayed : Mon Jan 23, 2023 3:13 pm  
Itchy Arsenal wrote:
From a personal point of view I think that the rot set in by not changing an ageing team in the mid 60's.
Ashton, Boston McTigue etc were all past their best after the 65 CC victory.
Just my luck to start watching them in the 67/68 season when we were poor and I think we finished 16th in a one table setup?
For what it's worth my old feller always thought that the rot set in when Joe Egan left.

The one bight spot in the 70's was are record of being unbeaten I think for 31 league matches from 70 to 71 seasons. At that point we had a team to build on but we just drifted away from potential contenders without delivering to some truly appalling seasons before our totally predictable relegation.


Yes, it was a very difficult time to be a Wigan fan. To see all those star players getting older and slower was awful. You're absolutely right that in the very early 70s, things could have gone the other way. We had the makings of a new, very good team, but the succession of bad decisions we've already discussed then followed.
Re: Rugby League replayed : Mon Jan 23, 2023 8:42 pm  
Back in the 70s my dad was engaged in getting adult education available for people who hadn’t necessarily done well at school, and was involved in getting some Wigan players in that scheme. There’s always been a “don’t tell” culture in pro sport but several things became apparent. The club was skint and sold off as many players as it could. The players were treated abysmally. The directors picked the team, not the coach. I met Vince Karalius and, though surprisingly quietly spoken, he was obviously a very hard man indeed. He gave me some advice on dealing with opponents which I shan’t repeat here. I agree entirely that there was enough talent at the club to win trophies, but the club was a shambles. Thank goodness for the Gang of Four, and Maurice Lindsay in particular. I’m pretty sure that without him the club would have gone under.
Re: Rugby League replayed : Mon Jan 23, 2023 9:29 pm  
As someone who was young and only vaguely remembers the back end of the 70s its really good to hear people's opinions

Also, Cruncher emphasises some great points imo
Particularly around the 86-96 Glory years being used as an unsustainable Bench mark as if Wigan had always been that great.
True we were successful in the main, but nowhere near those 10years or so

If I remember correctly Billy B only has 1 championship winners medal from a 15/16 year career at Wigan?
Is it 3 challenge cups?

No major trophies from late 60s to 83

So even though I do complain about posters when they complain about the club, I can understand anybody older than me remembering the whole of the late 60s and 70s, early 80s being even more in disbelief at the criticism today's owners/management get with the relative success we've had since then, and even our periods of downs in say 97, 99, 2005/6 to 2009 Were short lived fallow periods and never got anywhere near as bad as the 70s
That age old crowds subject as well
Averaging 4500 to 5500 throughout the 70s !!!

If anyone has more opinions on the late 60s, 70s and early 80s Wigan I would love to hear them, and learn more about the coaches, administrators and players of that era.

If "Jimmy" is reading (he doesn't post :lol: ) it's stuff like being at Hunslet away in div2 and arguing who was going win with a Hunslet fan, and he called you out and said I'll give you Wigan with 2 start and Bottling it coz we weren't sure Wigan would win!
Hunslet !!! :lol:
Re: Rugby League replayed : Mon Jan 23, 2023 10:24 pm  
If you’ve not seen Doug Laughton’s book it gives a pretty good idea of the situation at Wigan and Rugby League in general in the late 60’s and early 70’s
Re: Rugby League replayed : Mon Jan 23, 2023 10:26 pm  
Jukesays wrote:
As someone who was young and only vaguely remembers the back end of the 70s its really good to hear people's opinions

Also, Cruncher emphasises some great points imo
Particularly around the 86-96 Glory years being used as an unsustainable Bench mark as if Wigan had always been that great.
True we were successful in the main, but nowhere near those 10years or so

If I remember correctly Billy B only has 1 championship winners medal from a 15/16 year career at Wigan?
Is it 3 challenge cups?

No major trophies from late 60s to 83

So even though I do complain about posters when they complain about the club, I can understand anybody older than me remembering the whole of the late 60s and 70s, early 80s being even more in disbelief at the criticism today's owners/management get with the relative success we've had since then, and even our periods of downs in say 97, 99, 2005/6 to 2009 Were short lived fallow periods and never got anywhere near as bad as the 70s
That age old crowds subject as well
Averaging 4500 to 5500 throughout the 70s !!!

If anyone has more opinions on the late 60s, 70s and early 80s Wigan I would love to hear them, and learn more about the coaches, administrators and players of that era.

If "Jimmy" is reading (he doesn't post :lol: ) it's stuff like being at Hunslet away in div2 and arguing who was going win with a Hunslet fan, and he called you out and said I'll give you Wigan with 2 start and Bottling it coz we weren't sure Wigan would win!
Hunslet !!! :lol:


I have two low points in my history of watching Wigan. Dates and exact scorelines are all sketchy here, as I'm doing this from memory, so folk will need to forgive me on that ...

I think the season we got relegated included a defeat at Central Park to Leigh, who brought twice as many fans as we had there, basically took over the town centre for the whole day, and then went on to beat us by what even then was an inconceivable score-line - something like 36-6. One try was scored by Des Drummond, who ran through the whole Wigan team straight from the kick-off. Leigh had a good team to be fair, which made it all the better to beat them in the return match at Hilton Park later that season, but a 30+ beating at home to that lot was unbearable.

The other worst memory was during our year in the 2nd Division. It was a Christmas game at Blackpool. Played in a half-derelict stadium with no roof, the terraces broken and covered with sheet-ice, the pitch frozen solid, next to no one watching ... and we lost (and Blackpool would go on to finish 2nd from bottom). That one surely speaks for itself.
Re: Rugby League replayed : Tue Jan 24, 2023 11:39 am  
Been a member of that site for a while and regularly watch old games. Definitely recommend it.
Re: Rugby League replayed : Tue Jan 24, 2023 3:51 pm  
Cruncher wrote:
I have two low points in my history of watching Wigan. Dates and exact scorelines are all sketchy here, as I'm doing this from memory, so folk will need to forgive me on that ...

I think the season we got relegated included a defeat at Central Park to Leigh, who brought twice as many fans as we had there, basically took over the town centre for the whole day, and then went on to beat us by what even then was an inconceivable score-line - something like 36-6. One try was scored by Des Drummond, who ran through the whole Wigan team straight from the kick-off. Leigh had a good team to be fair, which made it all the better to beat them in the return match at Hilton Park later that season, but a 30+ beating at home to that lot was unbearable.

The other worst memory was during our year in the 2nd Division. It was a Christmas game at Blackpool. Played in a half-derelict stadium with no roof, the terraces broken and covered with sheet-ice, the pitch frozen solid, next to no one watching ... and we lost (and Blackpool would go on to finish 2nd from bottom). That one surely speaks for itself.


I remember the Leyth game quite vividly.
I was working in Hindley Green at the time so quite a few Leyth fans worked at my place of work with a couple who worked for me.
If I remember correctly it was a clear dry day and pretty perfect for open rugby. As you say we were totally outnumbered in the fans department and totally outplayed on the pitch.
I took some stick before the game and it was a lot worse after the result.

I can't beat your Blackpool memory but I remember going to York in the John Player Special and loosing something like 22-11.On the way to York we were laughing at what it would be like to lose to York. We were not laughing on the return journey.
I used to go to the games with 2 or 3 old mates and we hardly missed a home or many away games from about 1974` to early 1980s. The game in general was poor and continued to regress throughout the 70s. Salford and Cas were pretty decent in the early 70's but after that I can't really say any other teams really impressed during the decade. It wasn't until the 80s after the Invincibles tour that the game started to improve with both Hull teams and Widnes.
We made concerted efforts to watch the majority matches whilst we were in Div 2 and our "claim to fame" for quite a few years was to be one of the four thousand.

I'd say we had a few false dawns from around 68 until thankfully, Uncle Maurice rode into town. I remember when Joe Coan was appointed coach and I thought that at last we had a decent coach. Alas, even Coan couldn't turn it around and I often wondered why he really left us

The 70s was a dire time to be a rugby fan and a Wigan fan in particular.
83 to 95 was a great time to be a Wigan fan. The smell of change was very apparent when Maurice took over and after more than a decade and a half of near misses and disasters when success came it was all the more sweeter.

As a slight aside one of my favourite seasons was 2006. The atmosphere for home games was fantastic and the away trips were always memorable. The thought of relegation again made me sick to my stomach but when we started to turn it around it was fabulous time and I couldn't wait for match days.

Its a funny old game.
Re: Rugby League replayed : Tue Jan 24, 2023 4:55 pm  
Itchy Arsenal wrote:
I remember the Leyth game quite vividly.
I was working in Hindley Green at the time so quite a few Leyth fans worked at my place of work with a couple who worked for me.
If I remember correctly it was a clear dry day and pretty perfect for open rugby. As you say we were totally outnumbered in the fans department and totally outplayed on the pitch.
I took some stick before the game and it was a lot worse after the result.

I can't beat your Blackpool memory but I remember going to York in the John Player Special and loosing something like 22-11.On the way to York we were laughing at what it would be like to lose to York. We were not laughing on the return journey.
I used to go to the games with 2 or 3 old mates and we hardly missed a home or many away games from about 1974` to early 1980s. The game in general was poor and continued to regress throughout the 70s. Salford and Cas were pretty decent in the early 70's but after that I can't really say any other teams really impressed during the decade. It wasn't until the 80s after the Invincibles tour that the game started to improve with both Hull teams and Widnes.
We made concerted efforts to watch the majority matches whilst we were in Div 2 and our "claim to fame" for quite a few years was to be one of the four thousand.

I'd say we had a few false dawns from around 68 until thankfully, Uncle Maurice rode into town. I remember when Joe Coan was appointed coach and I thought that at last we had a decent coach. Alas, even Coan couldn't turn it around and I often wondered why he really left us

The 70s was a dire time to be a rugby fan and a Wigan fan in particular.
83 to 95 was a great time to be a Wigan fan. The smell of change was very apparent when Maurice took over and after more than a decade and a half of near misses and disasters when success came it was all the more sweeter.

As a slight aside one of my favourite seasons was 2006. The atmosphere for home games was fantastic and the away trips were always memorable. The thought of relegation again made me sick to my stomach but when we started to turn it around it was fabulous time and I couldn't wait for match days.

Its a funny old game.


You've certainly got to have experienced the depths of 1970s despair to really have enjoyed the dizzy heights of the late 80s early 90s. Just going to matches reasonably confident of victory was a completely new experience. Some of the rugby we saw was staggering. To have players like Hanley, Gregory and Edwards in your team, all at peak power, was a glory unimaginable ten years earlier. To fear no one was unprecedented.

I remember coming out at Halfiax circa 1990 - the 'Costa del Halifax', as John McDermott called it due to the unending blizzard that blew all through the game - after we'd won a real tussle. This surly Faxer said to a bunch of us, 'Do you not get bored always winning?' One of our lot replied, 'Not as bored as when we always lost.' Nothing else needed to be said.
Re: Rugby League replayed : Mon Jan 30, 2023 5:08 pm  
Went to the British Lions RL Dinner on Saturday - We go every year about 16 of us
Always go with Colin Clarke & Bill Francis and this Year Phil Clarke came with us - Great day as always and before I go on to my main point, fair play to Chris Joynt & Dave Lyon for bringing 85+ people on 2 coaches - Loads of Ex Widnes & Saints players etc. also so a great turn out from Travelling Lancs People.

Anyway - Lo&Behold who was on the next table sat Back to back with me?
Stuart Wright !!!!

Ended up at the end of the meal having around 30minutes talking to him and I explained that we'd been discussing Wigan in the mid/late 70s and I hadn't realised how long he'd played at Wigan
He said he loved his time at Wigan and he went into the reasons behind his departure which were based on contractual issues (Money) as well as other things like feeling the club were happy to let him go and that Doug Laughton was a Big reason behind him leaving as he wanted him really bad and convinced him that Widnes were going places so to speak.
I guess Dougie was right

A bit later when we went into the Bar - a Few of the lads that are a bit older than me came across and had a good chat & one of them didn;t recognise him and it turned out that whilst at Wigan they played for same Football team, Hindley Town (Bet youngsters won;t believe that!).

He also said he left Wigan but didn;t go straight to Widnes as he was in dispute for a while - Ended up working in America in Seattle and played some Americal football as a wide receiver for the Seattle Seahaks reserves or whatever they call them
Lots of discussion around Drinking Hostilleries they used to frequent and he also talked about being a sprint coach when he finished playing
Spent a good Hour or so in his company and a really enjoyable chap to speak to
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