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marklaspalmas

30 YEARS ON: The Story of Wembley 1983

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It's also the 40th anniversary of our 1973 victory.

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It's also the 40th anniversary of our 1973 victory.

 

Another marvellous moment from our club's history. Do you fancy writing a piece for the blog about it Steve?

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Been to every one Mark. The 1952 Eric Batten/ Freddie Miller final sticks in my mind simply because we were just a team of locals and a few big team cast offs. Batten made them into a working force to be reckoned with. When you think we were up against Mudge, Paskins, Risman etc we did well at Wembley. I wonder if anybody ever wrote a biography of Batten, he was a very interesting character. A man or iron will was my understanding of him when I was 18. Now at 79 I might be a little more circumspect but it would make interesting reading..

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Batley at home in the first round, but they never came to Post Office Road..........

 

http://marklaspalmas.blogspot.com.es/2013/04/the-story-of-wembley-1983-part-ii.html

 

cup+lift+2.jpg

I'm looking forward to the next round of the blog. I really enjoyed the following game against Salford. I don't want to spoil it for anyone, just suffice to say Nigel Barker had a blinder in the game.

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Rovers followers turned out in massive numbers for yhis game on a grizzly, damp cold Sunday afternoon. Nigel Barker's second try was a peach. I seem to remember Terry Hudson playing at loose forward in this game and Neil Pickerill at scrum half, or the other way around. I can't believe that the great Steve Nash didn't play in that game although I do remember him battling a detached retina at the end of his career.

The next match in Mark's series is one of the most terrifying matches that I have ever attended. I don't mean on the field either.

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A great occasion. Hanley's try was incredible, he was playing in the centres that day, the pace and power which he exhibited was a precursor to his Wigan days.

Marsden had been immense in his role as a right winger, in this and the previous round. If I remember correctly he'd been converted to right winger by Allan Agar, from full back. Gilbert also was immense only to have his final ruined.

The pack was formidable as good as any in the league that year.

Another memory I have was watching the last few minutes from pitch level ( in anticipation of running on after the final hooter) and thinking that David Smith the Bradford winger had scored a try at the side of the posts which would have set up a simple equalising kick.

I've watched this back on TV many times since and still think that he must score, but for the remarkable effort of Pete Smith and Keith Bell with an impossible last ditch tackle.

Alex Murphy's classic rubbish in the commentary. On Rovers' second try. "That's Alan Hudson to Nigel Banks......"

"Tremendous strength by the 19 stone prop Ray Hankins ( Mick Gibbins) using his 16 stone ........"

what a caber thrower?

Mark I am almost 100% sure both the Saints and Bradford games were not shown either live or in their entirety by the BBC.

In Eddie Waring's days they used to show brief highlights of the first half and then the second half live and in full.

When the wordsmith Ray French took over in 1981/2 the BBC had a policy of showing delayed edited highlights of both halves but after

an early 2.15 kick off.

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Great memories. The other two things I recall from the Bradford game are Marsden putting Grayshon on his backside (think of the size differential) as he set up the winning try, and Fev managing to stretch out a scrum for about five minutes near the end of the game :-)

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Mark I am almost 100% sure both the Saints and Bradford games were not shown either live or in their entirety by the BBC.

In Eddie Waring's days they used to show brief highlights of the first half and then the second half live and in full.

When the wordsmith Ray French took over in 1981/2 the BBC had a policy of showing delayed edited highlights of both halves but after

an early 2.15 kick off.

 

I don't remember that. I thought it was first half highlights and second half live or as-live.

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I don't remember that. I thought it was first half highlights and second half live or as-live.

Unbelievably I have never seen the final on VT but I do still have a VHS of a little bit of this game from the original Grandstand broadcast. The Liverpool v Man Utd league cup final scores being up dated on it. One poster mentions Rovers stringing a scrum out in the second half, if you look closely it is in fact two or three scrums that have been edited to look like one scrum, they are a few yards apart. The bit where David Smith nearly scores at the end is also a really bad edit. The game finished at 4 o'clock and Grandstand compressed the whole game into 40 minutes or so, such that Granstand got the telly printer in at 440.

I'm not saying that the BBC regarded RL as a minority sport but Grandstand had shown 40 minutes of Badminton before showing our semi.

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Unbelievably I have never seen the final on VT but I do still have a VHS of a little bit of this game from the original Grandstand broadcast. The Liverpool v Man Utd league cup final scores being up dated on it. One poster mentions Rovers stringing a scrum out in the second half, if you look closely it is in fact two or three scrums that have been edited to look like one scrum, they are a few yards apart. The bit where David Smith nearly scores at the end is also a really bad edit. The game finished at 4 o'clock and Grandstand compressed the whole game into 40 minutes or so, such that Granstand got the telly printer in at 440.

I'm not saying that the BBC regarded RL as a minority sport but Grandstand had shown 40 minutes of Badminton before showing our semi.

Andy, it was just one scrum which collapsed time after time and lasted around three minutes I'd say. I had the pleasure of pressing the button to sound the final hooter at the end of the game and also at Wembley, both heart stopping encounters. Fantastic memories Mark, well done yet again.

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I was 16 and my mate was 15. He'd only started going about 2 months earlier and at that point had never seen Rovers lose. So he was a bit of a lucky charm. I stopped at his house the night before and I remember not daring to sleep too heavily (not that that was going to be possible anyway with the impending excitement) and setting 3 alarm clocks such that we didn't sleep in and miss Mrs. Thorpe's bus from Ponte.

Sure enough we were up in time and waiting for the bus at Stringer's petrol station in Pontefract. 8.00 am already a fag and a can of bitter on, although me and my mate decided to take it steady as we wanted to savour every moment of the day.

I remember we'd just got to Newark and one of the supporters Kersh, with his halved Blue and White face asking Ann if we could stop.

We did and it was about 20 privates on parade on the hard shoulder as the Bitter etc had kicked in.

I remember getting to Leicester Forest and there was a coach full of Derby County fans who'd wished us well until my mate, whose only available blue and white scarf was a Leicester City one showing it to them as our coach left, the well wishing turning to two digit salutes.

The grey weather turning to sunshine as we got toward Peterborough. Then the unthinkable happened!!!! Gearbox crunch.

We were broken down, we were going to miss the final after all. As luck would have it we got a replacement coach and thankfully we made it with about half an hour to go.

Seeing Wembley for my first and only time. Thinking it was a bit scruffier than I'd have imagined on the exterior.

On entering the field the green hallowed turf. The band and Todd Carty who played Tucker Jenkins in Grange Hill coming to our end with his thumbs up.

Going wild when Hobbsy scored after a few minutes, thinking this is beyond our wildest dreams.

Lee Crooks missing a straightforward penalty just in front of us.

Going to the toilet and hearing a huge boo, only on returning to learn that Gilbert our stsr man had been carried off.

Seeing all the cameras in the Hull crowd flashing as Lee Crooks took a conversion.

Thinking, as Mark said at 12-5 down that that was it. I still had my Catholic faith in those days and I remember saying a prayer, though you shouldn't really pray for gain.

Quinny, we thought at the time unbelievably taking 'two' when we were seven down and needing a miracle.

I think at 12-5 down there was a point, though I have never seen the playback, when I remember Kenny Kellett or Paul Lyman having a chance and bombing it.

David Hobbs or whoevers I can't remember had a drop goal attempt that soared over but also remebering Mr.Whitfield not allowing it as Trevor Skerrett or Mick Crane had indicated that I think Gary Kemble had touched it in flight.

Quinny's winning kick. me and lad I knew actually started to cry as Mr.Whitfield turned his back to us and signalled what would become utopia.

Still tears as the ball soared over, unbelievable emotion.

But it wasn't over, I remember James Leuluai their New Zealand test centre kicking the ball through and having a foot race with Quinn himself, surely Leuluai their star man would break our hearts, but Quinn unbelievable beat him on the foot race and dived on the ball. Everyone now whistling, even though we were listening for an electronic beep.

Loads of us not hearing the bleep but seeing Gary Siddall jumping up and down like a mad man signalling to us that that meant the game was over.

Loads of us just collapsing in a heep of tears of joy and disbelief.

15000 Rovers singing ' ee i adio' and 'We shall not be moved' as Terry Hudson lifted the trophy.

Finding the coach eventually after the game a lot if Hull fans magnanimous in defeat.

After about two hours of the homeward Journey we stopped at this country pub for 30 mins.

I remember having a skin full in thise 30 mins, now was the time to celebrate.

Getting of the coach and making last orders at the Blackmore Head, feeling so proud to have the Rovers colours on.

And final, getting home about half eleven expecting seeing my dad Jubilant ( he'd stayed at home) only for him to tell me to get to bed cis in his mind I was drunk. He was ok in the morning though ( which is more than I was) he'd just been a bit dejected at having to work and missing going.

The saddest thing of all is that I and many other young supporters at that time and a decade before that were privileged to see 15 working class heroes winning the cup, because of the powers that be the younger generation of under 35s will never probably experience that incredible journey ever again.

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I'd been to all games leading up to the final, apart from Salford away...can't remember why I didn't make that one.

 

I was 12 years old in May 1983, my big brother (Gary Siddall) was playing. I remember being disappointed that he was on the sub's bench, but had been struggling with an injury in the lead up to the final. At least he was in the 15 though.

 

In the days before the final we trimmed our house on Eastbourne Avenue up with blue and white crepe paper; cutting a cardboard cut-out of the cup and covering it with foil, putting twisty blue and white crepe paper 'ribbons' on it- that was our window display. Every house around us trimmed up too, and all the shops on Station Lane were decorated; they looked fabulous.

 

On the day I remember parking up near the ground with my mum and dad, meeting my pregnant sister and husband, and walking along Wembley Way, it seeming really long and full of the excitement of loads of fans and different colours.

 

Once inside the stadium, I'd never seen so many fans in one place before and the noise was immense!

 

I just remember not being able to believe that we were leading against the might of Hull; thinking the drop goal was over without being touched; wondering when Gary was going to get on the field and being proud when he did; and then not hardly bearing to breathe whilst Steve Quinn was taking that penalty kick, but going crazy when it went over! And as Andrew says, seeing my brother jumping up and down in the air when the final hooter went...that was when I started crying (and I'm not a crying person!).

 

Watching Terry Hudson lifting the cup to our right with those blue and white ribbons on it.

 

Coming out of the ground and Hull KR fans coming up and shaking our hands; but also the Hull fans being gracious in defeat and saying we deserved the win.

 

Going back up the M1 and waving to every car and coach that had Fev fans in it and feeling so proud.

 

And then in the week following, seeing Station Lane packed as the lads brought the cup back home, even the rain couldn't stop me smiling! Also, I couldn't wait to get back to school to brag to my schoolfriends (as I went to St Wilfrids they were mainly Cas and Leeds fans!)

 

As I've said on Facebook, this is one of the best days of my life, and one that will stay with me forever.

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I was only 11 years old but I can remember the semi final and the final, one of my favourite memories was stood on a wall near some traffic lights outside the ground with my whole family waving at all the coaches going past , Hull KR fans with blue and white scarfs on and cas fans with black and white on.

I can remember walking down Wembley way seeing the Twin Towers and Fev fans singing along, as usual we were well outnumbered but all the neutrals were on our side and helping us drown out the Hull masses.

The atmosphere was unrivalled in the ground throughout the game and at the final whistle everyone was deliriously happy.

Really enjoyed the blog Mark, it's brought back some great memories. Cheers.

Let's hope we can return one day soon and do it all again in the new Wembley so a new generation can experience the magic of a final experience.

Now where is my Wembley DVD

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I travelled down to London on the train with my 3 kids, ages 10, 7 and 18 months and hubby, we went on the Friday morning as we were staying with relatives down in Lambeth till the Monday. My Dad travelled down on the supporters coach on the Saturday and I along with the 2 eldest kids met him there. We were sat down at Wembley as standing was still an option at that time,sat behind us were St. Helens fans who were routing for us on the day, there were also Hull fans sat amongst us as well. Everything was good natured and the banter flowed. I remember closing my eyes when Steve Quinn went to kick that last goal, so never saw it till I watched the recording, but what I did witness was all the Fev fans and the neutrals going absolutely mental after that.After the final whistle the Saints fans were hugging us and the Hull fans were shaking our hands saying the best team won.

I missed the team bringing the cup back due to still being in London, but that game, the atmosphere and the spirit of the fans and the team will live with me forever.

Glory days!!!

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