Saints and Huddersfield have rich Challenge Cup history

Two clubs, who have a rich history of success in the world famous Rugby League Challenge Cup, are just 160 minutes away from a date at Wembley on Saturday, July 17.

Monday, 3rd May 2021, 9:23 am
Updated Monday, 3rd May 2021, 9:26 am
Saints and Huddersfield walk out at Wembley for the 1953 Challenge Cup final

Saints - 12 times winners of the iconic trophy - and Huddersfield who have six triumphs safely tucked under their belts, come face-to-face in the quarter final of this year's competition at Emerald Headingley on Friday night (kick-off 8.15pm), leaving the winner within touching distance of their ultimate goal.

St Helens won their last cup final meeting 42-12 at Twickenham in 2006, but turn back the clock to 1953 - the year Queen Elizabeth II acceded to the Throne - and New Zealander mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay scaled Everest and envisage a tearful young Saints' fan trying to come to term with his home town club losing 15-10 under the Twin Towers to their West Yorkshire rivals.

His name? Ray French, the former BBC TV Rugby League man behind the microphone who stepped down from the terraces to play a part in Saints' 1966 Wembley triumph over Wigan.

The one-time Cowley school teacher recalled: ''The game against Huddersfield was my first-ever Challenge Cup Final and we went down to London by train.

''We travelled with a party from the St Helens glass company, UGB, and I can still remember watching in awe as crates of beer were loaded into the carriages.

''It was a tough game for Saints. Huddersfield had a very impressive side and were worthy winners but we beat them 38-4 in the play-offs a few days later and went on to win the Championship.''

Saints' Wembley squad: Moses, Llewellyn (try), Greenall, Gullick, McComick, Honey, Langfield {try, one goal and one drop goal), Prescott, Blakemore, Parr, Parsons, Bretherton, Cale.

Huddersfield: Hunter, Henderson, Pepperell, Devery (one goal), Cooper (two goals), Ramsden (two tries), Banks (one try), Slevin, Curran, Bowden, Large, Brown, Valentine.

Attendance: 89,558.

Gates receipts: £30,865, 12 shillings and three old pence - a record at the time.

Lance Todd man of the match: Ramsden.