Give it to Bev - 1945 to 1970
August saw the resumption of rugby league, Warrington lost their first match 9-13 at Castleford. Two days later the first match back at Wilderspool is won 13-3 over Salford, with tries from Lee, Helme (on the wing) and Higginbottom, with Belshaw and Higginbottom both kicking a goal.
On 8th September marked the final appearance of Jack Arkwright in a 6-30 defeat at Hunslet. Jack was the oldest player to play for Warrington at the age of 42 years and 9 months.
On 10th November Brian Bevan made his debut as A.N. Other, playing in the 'A' team against Widnes. He scored the first of many 'wonder' tries at Wilderspool. A week later he made his first team debut against Oldham also as A.N.Other, and was immediately signed after the match by the Club on a three-year contract.
In February Jack Miller makes his final Wire appearance, 20 years after his debut. The Wire lose 0-3 at Salford as Miller plays his 526th match.
Warrington finished the season in a respectable 10th, the seeds were being sown on a 'Golden Era' at Wilderspool.
Brian Bevan made his return to Wilderspool for the 1946-7 season and scored a try and a goal in his first match a 10-5 victory over Salford in the Lancashire Cup.
The ground resembles Blackpool beach when 180 tons of sand are put on the Wilderspool pitch to beat the frost. It works as Warrington do not lose one match to the weather and play nine matches in a row at Wilderspool.
On 8th March Liverpool Stanley play their home match at Wilderspool, because their own pitch is unfit. Warrington won 29-0 with Brian Bevan and Jackie Fleming both scoring 4 tries. However the RFL declare that the match is void and order it to be replayed. When the match is played Warrington win 16-11 with Bevan and Fleming only scoring one try each this time.
Warrington progressed into the semi-final of the Challenge Cup with home wins over Brookland Rovers, St Helens and Castleford. The semi-final was lost 7-11 to Bradford Northern at Swinton in front of a crowd of 33,474. Peter O'Toole scored a try and Mal De Lloyd kicked 2 goals.
Warrington went to Rochdale on 2nd June for their last league match, knowing that a draw would guarantee fourth place. However Rochdale, who were next to bottom of the league pulled off a shock 8-7 victory and so Warrington finished 5th. Brian Bevan broke the Warrington try scoring record with 48.
The ground resembles Blackpool beach when 180 tons of sand are put on the Wilderspool pitch to beat the frost.
The team was strengthened with the signing of prop forwards Bill Darbyshire and Bill Riley from Liverpool Stanley. Harry 'Moggy' Palin returned from Swinton as loose forward. Centre Albert Pimblett joined from Halifax. Emlyn Jenkins, the former Salford and Great Britain half back was appointed coach. Welsh Rugby Union international hooker William Gore was signed as a replacement for Dave Cotton, but he only managed one game a 16-21 defeat to Belle Vue Rangers, at Wilderspool, in September.
A crowd of over 30,150 gathered at Wilderspool for the first time on 3rd September to see the Lancashire Cup first round match against Wigan, who win 15-10.
Revenge was gained a month later with an amazing 17-0 victory over Wigan at Wilderspool. A brilliant display by Palin saw him score 2 tries, 3 goals and a drop goal, Bevan also scored a try.
In November Warrington played two matches in the South of France. Perpignon were defeated 30-5 and the following day Carcasonne 26-6. On 15th November, Warrington defeat the New Zealand tourists 7-5, watched by a crowd of 20,682, despite the rain, the second highest outside the Tests. Jim Featherstone scored the try and Stan Powell kicked 2 goals. A treacherous pitch did not detract from a well-contested match with two very good defences.
On January 17th the game against Castleford at Wilderspool was abandoned after 70 minutes. The pitch was a quagmire and the players asked the referee to call the match off. Warrington was leading 9-2 and the result was to stand.
Warrington's first all-ticket home game is on 13th March, when 29,300 people watched the Challenge Cup third round match against Wigan. Despite tries from Bevan and Jackie Melling, Wigan won 13-10.
The following week Australian forward, Harry Bath signed from Barrow for £1,250, he made his debut against Featherstone Rovers at Wilderspool. Bath made a good start, with two tries and a goal. On Easter Monday Brian Bevan scored a club record: seven tries in a match when Warrington beat Leigh 28-8 at Wilderspool.
On 6th April Warrington win 14-8 at Dewsbury to complete 20 consecutive league games without defeat (19 wins and 1 draw), the Club's longest run of league games without defeat. This run enabled Warrington to finish in 2nd place in ther league just 2 points behind Wigan. In the process they won the Lancashire League.
Huddersfield were defeated 17-5 in the play-off match at Wilderspool, with tries from Bevan 2, Pimblett 2 and Cotton, Palin kicked a goal. A crowd of 69,143 packed Maine Road to see the Championship Final against Bradford Northern. Player of the match Brian Bevan inspired Warrington to their first Championship with a 15-5 win. Bevan, Pimblett and Powell scored tries and Palin kicked 3 goals. Bevan's try extended his Club record in a season to 57.
Centre Roy Francis was signed from Barrow for £800.
A crowd of 26,879 saw Warrington defeat the touring Australians 16-7. Tries from Gerry Helme and Jim Featherstone and 5 goals from Harold Palin saw Warrington home.
Albert Pimblett and Gerry Helme played for Great Britain in all three Tests against Australia, and Jim Featherstone made his debut in the final Test. Pimblett's four tries helped Great Britain to a whitewash of the Kangaroos.
Warrington lost to Wigan, 8-14, in the Lancashire Cup final at Swinton in front of 39,015 fans. The game marked the retirement of Dave Cotton and Ossie Peake's last appearance before his transfer to Widnes. Cotton was one of the oldest players to play for the Wire at the age of 39 years and 229 days. Wingers Bevan and Johnson scored the tries and Palin kicked a goal.
Ike Fishwick was signed from St Helens for £2,500 as a replacement for Cotton.
On Christmas Day Brian Bevan was dismissed for a high tackle on his opposite number at Widnes. He was suspended for two matches.
In January Warrington announce that they have signed Brian Bevan's brother, Owen.
The record attendance for a match at Wilderspool is created on 22nd January, when 34,304 see Warrington lose their first match at home for 21 months, 4-8 to Wigan.
Warrington finished their league season in style with a 36-7 victory over Hull at Wilderspool. A crowd of 16,916 saw Warrington finish top of the league for the first time, five points ahead of Wigan. Warrington also retained the Lancashire League trophy.
Barrow were defeated 23-8 in the play-off match to enable Warrington to reach the Championship Final at Maine Road. A crowd of 75,194, the largest rugby league crowd outside of the Challenge Cup Final saw Warrington lose 12-13 to Huddersfield. Roy Francis and Billy Jackson scored tries and Harry Bath with 2 and Harold Palin kicked the goals. The match is remembered for the referee Frank Smith, who failed to arrive and had to be replaced by touch judge Matt Coates.
Harold Palin broke the Club's goals in a season record with 146 and Bevan fell one try short of his own try scoring record with 56 tries. This was a record year for attendances, the lowest in 23 matches at Wilderspool was the 13,481, against Halifax. There were eight gates of over 20,000, and the average for the season was 20,199.
On 29th October, all 35,000 tickets are sold for the Lancashire Cup Final at Wilderspool. However, only 33,701 actually turn up to see Wigan beat Leigh 20-7.
The November match at Odsal was abandoned, with Bradford leading 2-0, because of the fog. The match was replayed in April and Warrington won 23-5.
In November, Warrington break the transfer fee record for a second time when they pay Widnes £4,600 for twenty year old centre Albert Naughton. He made his debut on the Club's short trip to France. A South of France XIII were beaten 6-3, in Toulouse and Albi 16-8.
The Challenge Cup brought relief to Warrington's league season that saw them drop from 1st to 11th. The Cup run started with wins over Hull KR, Swinton and Hunslet. Warrington reached the Challenge Cup final by beating Leeds at Odsal. A record semi-final crowd of 70,198 saw the Wire through 16-4. Darbyshire, Bath, Johnson and Helme scored tries and Palin kicked 2 goals.
Warrington won at Wembley for the first time, by beating Widnes 19-0, in front of 94,249 spectators. Skipper Harry Bath, Ron Ryder and Bryn Knowlden scored tries and Harry Palin kicked five goals. Gerry Helme played one of the finest games of his career to win the Lance Todd Trophy as man of the match. Warrington forwards Bob Ryan and Jim Featherstone miss the Cup Final, as they are on the slow boat to Australia with the Great Britain tourists.
Jim Featherstone and Bob Ryan were selected for the Great Britain tourists. Ryan played in the first Test which was Great Britain's only win. Ryan and Featherstone played in both Tests against New Zealand.
Eric Frodsham took over from Les "Cowboy" Jones at Full-back and Pimblett was transferred to Salford.
Warrington started the 1950/1 season in explosive style by winning the first twelve and scoring 70 points twice. 73-0 against Liverpool Stanley when Harold Palin scored a record 14 goals in a match and 75-3 against York, Bevan scoring 6 tries and Palin kicking 12 goals.
That winning run saw Warrington reach the Lancashire Cup Final. A Lancashire Cup record crowd of 42,240 saw Warrington beaten 5-28 by Wigan, at Swinton. All Warrington had to show was a Naughton try and Palin goal.
Warrington finished the season with a win at Swinton which saw them clinch top spot in the league one point above Wigan. Harold Palin playing at prop forward kicked four goals in his final match in the Primrose and Blue colours. Leigh were beaten 15-9 in the play-off match at Wilderspool.
Warrington disappointingly lost in the Championship Final to Workington Town 11-26. A Gus Risman inspired Workington, in only their sixth season won a thrilling match at Maine Road in front of a crowd of 61,618. Austin Heathwood 2 and Bill Jackson scored tries and Bath kicked a goal. Winger Albert Johnson broke his leg in the match and never played again.
Brian Bevan scored a Club record 60 tries in the season. He also scored 8 tries in other matches. His failure to score in Wire's last 6 matches cost him the chance of beating Albert Rosenfeld's record 80 tries in a season.
Wigan's New Zealand stand-off Cec Mountford is appointed Manager/Coach on a ten-year contract, to succeed Chris Brockbank. Warrington wanted him as player coach, but Wigan refused to release his playing registration. He was selected by both sides to appear in the Wardonia Cup game, in the end played for neither.
Harold Palin was transferred to Halifax.
New Zealand gained their first victory at Wilderspool with a 19-13 win over Warrington. They fully deserved their win in a splendid match watched by another big crowd of 18,889. The Warrington tries were scored by Bevan, Bath and Herbert, with Gil Wright kicking 2 goals.
The Kiwis visited Warrington again on their tour. This time they lost 12-13 to Lancashire, watched by a much smaller crowd of 7,313.
On 1st December, Laurie Gilfedder becomes the youngest ever Warrington player when he makes his debut, in a 26-11 victory against Belle Vue Rangers at Wilderspool, aged 16 years and 199 days.
Brian Bevan celebrates a tryOn Easter Monday, a crowd of 23,847 at Wilderspool witnessed the only occasion that the Bevan brothers played against each other Warrington beat Leigh 12-11 with both Brian and Owen scoring tries.
A season of great optimism ends disappointingly with Warrington losing at Swinton, just failing to make the play-offs and finish the league in 6th.
The Club continued to invest in ground improvements with further cover being added to the popular side.
The RFL ruled that Cec Mountford could be registered as a Warrington player. He made his debut at stand-off against Bradford in a 16-9 victory at Wilderspool. The following week he played in a weakened side against Australia. The Kangaroos won easily 34-10. Warrington's points coming from tries by Bevan and Livesey and 2 Mountfield goals.
Three days later a vastly improved St Helens won a hard fought Lancashire Cup semi final at Wilderspool 17-10. During this period Warrington lost 8 out of 9 matches to send them plummeting down the league table.
For the first time the Kangaroos won both of their tour matches at Wilderspool, when they recorded a 36-11 victory over Lancashire. The fifth and final occasion that Australia played Lancashire at Wilderspool was watched by a crowd of 5,863.
In February, Warrington beat local amateurs Orford Tannery 46-2 and 46-8 in the Challenge Cup first round, both legs were played at Wilderspool. Bevan scored 8 tries and Bath kicked 16 goals in the two matches.
On Saturday 28th February 1953, just before the 2nd round Challenge Cup tie at Wilderspool Stadium between Warrington and Workington Town, Fred Davies, the Club Chairman broadcast a goodwill message to the patients of the local hospitals. This was then followed by the first live match commentary by George Duckworth, Ossie Roberts and Paul Cowell. Radio General has broadcast home matches to patients ever since.
Warrington progressed to the semi-final of the Cup, but lost to St Helens 9-3, at Swinton. An early Bevan try gave Warrington the lead, but it could not prevent St Helens from progressing to Wembley.
In April the first international is held at Wilderspool, when Wales beat Other Nationalities 18-16, before a crowd of 8,449. Brian Bevan, Cec Mountford and Harry Bath all played for the Other Nationalities.
Brian Bevan equalled his own Club record of seven tries in a match against Bramley, on 23rd April, in a 71-10 victory. His final try that day at Wilderspool gave him a nClub record 66 tries in a season. He also scored 6 tries for Other Nationalities.
Warrington played better in the second half of the season and eventually finished 9th. Harry Bath scored 13 tries and kicked 162 goals to create record points for Warrington in a season of 363.
Welsh international stand-off Ray Price was signed from Belle Vue Rangers, with Jimmy Featherstone going to Belle Vue.
A mid season run of 14 consecutive league wins maintained Warrington's challenge for the top spot in the league.
Warrington started their Challenge Cup campaign with wins over Bramley in both legs, Bevan scoring 6 tries in the 30-5 away win. A hard fought win at Oldham was followed by an easy victory over York. at Wilderspool. In the semi-final Warrington met Leeds at Swinton. Tries from Jim Challinor and Brian Bevan and a Harry Bath goal saw Warrington through to Wembley 8-4.
Warrington finished the league season strongly but had to be content with 2nd place as Halifax pipped them by one point.
Warrington met Halifax at Wembley in the Challenge Cup Final. Whilst the match was dull and uninspiring it was the first drawn Wembley final 4-4. Both sides kicked two penalties, the Wires efforts coming from Bath.
The replay was set for Odsal Stadium and the whole sporting world was to be stunned by the events of that dull evening on 5th May 1954. No one could have foreseen the vast migration of people to Bradford that day. The official attendance in the vast Odsal bowl was 102,569, however many more gained entry through broken fences and there were over 120,000 present. The game was far better than the one at Wembley and those fans that could see witnessed a game of good rugby, controversy and in doubt until the final whistle. Warrington eventually winning 8-4 with tries by Challinor and Helme and a Bath goal. The magnificent Gerry Helme became the first man to win the Lance Todd Trophy as man of the match in two finals.
Three days later the two clubs met again this time in the Championship Final at Maine Road. The match was televised by the BBC and there was a disappointing crowd of 36,519. Another tremendous defensive effort helped Warrington to a narrow 8-7 win, with Bath kicking 4 goals.
The Halifax saga continued as both clubs play a couple of exhibition matches in Belfast and Dublin, with Halifax being victorious on both occasions.
So ended Warrington's most successful season. Brian Bevan finished the season with 62 tries and Harry Bath kicked 153 goals.
Half-backs Gerry Helme and Ray Price were selected for the Great Britain tour of Australia. Helme played in all three Tests and Price in one against the Australians. They both played in both Tests against New Zealand.
Warrington made a good start to the 1954/5 season by only losing two league matches before Christmas. Despite the team's continued good performances the gates began to fall.
Ally Naughton and Gerry Helme helped Great Britain to win the World Cup in France. Both played in the final a 16-12 victory over France.
Good form in the league saw Warrington finish top on points difference from Oldham, after both teams lose their final league matches.
Halifax were beaten 17-9 in the play-off at Wilderspool. Ally Naughton 2 and Philips scored the tries and Bath kicked 4 goals. This led to another Championship Final at Maine Road, this time against Oldham. A crowd of 49,434 saw Warrington win 7-3. The match was played in a deluge of rain and hailstones, but it did not stop the players putting on a high quality performance which thrilled the crowd. Bevan scored a try, 61st of the season and Bath kicked 2 goals.
Jackie Edwards was signed on his 16th birthday for the substantial fee of £1,000.
The game at Blackpool Borough on 14th September was declared void after the home side claimed that the referee had only played 70 minutes. Warrington had won 12-7, but the game was declared void. The match was replayed later in the season and Warrington won 18-11.
Wilderspool staged the New Zealand tourists match against Lancashire. The Kiwis won a close match 17-15, watched by 6,887.
The Kiwis once again lost at Wilderspool, Warrington running out winners 22-15. McFarlane (2), Bath, Price, Kilbride and Helme scored tries and Bath kicked 2 goals.
In October and November Warrington were one of eight teams that took part in a floodlight competition for the Independent Television Trophy. Jackie Edwards made his debut at stand off in the win over Wakefield Trinity. All the matches were played on London soccer grounds and Warrington beat Leigh 43-18 in the final at Queens Park Rangers ground. Harry Bath was the hero as he scored 22 points from 2 tries and 8 goals.
The first ever Boxing Day clash with Widnes is held at Wilderspool. Warrington win 15-0 thanks to tries by wingers Eric Fraser (2) and Brian Bevan, with three Harry Bath goals.
Eric Frodsham broke his wrist in a 25-7 win at Liverpool City in April and did not play again for the Club.
A great end of the season run which saw Warrington only drop one point out of their last ten matches took them to the top of the league. They had a percentage of 80.88% with Halifax second on 80.55%. The percentage system had to be used when Belle Vue Rangers dropped out of the league.
Warrington received a shock in the play-offs when they were comprehensively beaten 17-0 by Hull at Wilderspool. This was the first loss to a Yorkshire side at Wilderspool since Castleford won 27-13 in January 1939.
Australians Bevan and Bath again had magnificent seasons, with Bevan scoring 53 tries and Bath kicking 154 goals and scoring 344 points.
Warrington again went on an end of season tour, this time to France. They played four matches in a week. Beating Bayonne 18-6 and Villeneuve 28-9 and losing to Toulouse 7-10 and Albi 16-36. Jackie Edwards and Bill McFarlane suffered injuries that kept them out of the 1956-7 season.
The 1955 British Lions captain Robin Thompson, an Irish second row was signed in the summer. He was to be groomed as Bath's replacement, when the Aussie returned home at the end of the season.
Stan McCormick was transferred to Liverpool City and Gerry Lowe to Keighley. In August, Liverpool and England fly half, Martin Regan signed for Warrington. He made his debut that week at stand off, at Wilderspool, in a 14-17 defeat to Halifax. He was the only England Rugby Union International to join Warrington.
French side Albi paid Warrington a return visit, they were defeated 35-5 at Wilderspool.
Warrington started the new season well before going down 9-17 to St Helens in a Lancashire Cup semi-final tie at Wilderspool. 26,281 fans turned up on a Thursday to see Warrington put up a brave display, in which they lost Alan Robinson and Ally Naughton with serious injuries.
In October Warrington defeated the Australians 21-17. Gilfedder (2), Challinor (2) and Horton scored tries, three of which were interceptions and Bath kicked 3 goals. A crowd of 15,613 witnessed another historic Wire victory, which was to prove to be the highlight of the season.
The Rugby League Council banned the Judo arm tackle, which had become Gerry Helme's tackling trademark, in November.
In January the Club launched a weekly lottery, which had about 9,000 members.
In February, Gerry Helme played his last game for the Club, on the left wing in a defeat at Workington. The following week Harry Bath kicked four goals in his last game for Warrington against Bramley at Wilderspool, a 14-2 success in the first round of the Challenge Cup. He made 346 appearances, scored 90 tries and kicked 812 goals, for a total of 1,894 points. Which put him third on the Club's goals and points scoring lists.
Ray Price was selected for the Great Britain squad for the World Cup tournament in Australia. He was badly injured in a warm-up match in Perth. He returned home to Wales and announced his retirement from the game.
Warrington started the season well by winning their first five matches, but a home defeat to Featherstone Rovers saw the season fall away. The highlight being a 21-5 win over Wigan at Wilderspool in November.
The season finished on a high note with a 61-16 win over Rochdale at Wilderspool. Bevan scored 5 tries to take his total for the season to 45. A disappointing season ended with Warrington in 13th place in the league. The average attendances had now fallen to 7,571.
Jim Challinor and Eric Fraser were selected for the Great Britain tour of Australia. Eric Fraser played in all five Tests, 3 against Australia and 2 against New Zealand. Challinor played in one Test against each nation. Both played in the famous 'Rorke's Drift Revisited' Test, which Great Britain won 25-18. Challinor scored a try and Fraser kicked 5 goals. Fraser kicked 8 goals in the final Test against Australia.
Len Horton made his final appearance for Warrington in a shock 23-26 defeat to Liverpool City at Wilderspool.
In September, the Popular side roof is extended to fully cover the length of the pitch, and shortly after, the Fletcher Street terrace also becomes covered.