This was perhaps the start of the long period of success
that was to follow for Wigan. Just three years after relegation to the Old
Divison 2, this match announced our return to the top. Numerous Challenge
Cup appearances, league titles and other successes were to follow.
Maurice Lindsay, who was the head of a new board that
took over the club in 1982 said after this game "let's hope this is the
start of something big". Don't think anyone that day would have predicted
what was to come for Wigan.
Alex Murphy was our coach ay the time. He had been
appointed during the previous off season and immediately brought success
with this win.
Both sides were having decent league seasons. At the time
of the final Leeds were second and Wigan fourth in the table.
The match was played at Elland Road, so arguably it was a
home match for Leeds but the Wigan fans came out in great numbers. Captain
Colin Whitfield said "our fans were magic" and that it was them that
"lifted" them to victory.
The first half of the match was pretty dull and included
the very rare scoreline of 1-0 when Whitfield kicked a drop goal for Wigan
after just seven minutes.
Leeds hit back with two penalties from scrum half Kevin
Dick before a penalty from Whitfield made it 3-4 to Leeds at the break.
Again not really a inspired start to the second half.
Leeds did go mightily close to increasing their lead however but Les Dyl was
on his back over the line.
The game came to life on 57 minutes and it was Henderson
Gill, the man who would go on to light up the 1985 Challenge Cup Final, who
sent Wigan on the road to success.
David Stephenson sent Gill racing away down the wing and
he beat three defenders to score in the corner. He just managed to squeeze
over for the try. It was a brave effort in which he injured himself. He was
immediately substituted as Whitfield's conversion made it 8-4.
Note it was still three points for a try. The four points
rule only came into force after this season had ended. Another Whitfield
penalty made it 10-4 on 64 minutes.
The game was still in the balance but it was Wigan who
finished strongest. Dennis Ramsdale, Brian Case and Danny Campbell all went
close to sealing it. Eventually we managed to do so. Mick Scott broke
through to send substitute Brian Juliff, who had replaced previous try
scorer Gill, underneath the posts to win the game in the 75th minute.
Andy Farrell was not the first Wigan captain to play
against Leeds with a broken nose as captain Whitfield played most of this
match with the same injury. Perhaps his contribution with the boot was the
key to this victory?
Leeds 4 Wigan 3
Overcast and Damp
Delayed Highlights shown on BBC 1 during "Grandstand" between 3:55 and
4:35pm - Commentator: Ray French
BBC 1 -
Saturday 22nd January 1983 9:10am The
All New Pink Panther Show 9:30am Saturday Superstore (presented by
Mike Read - Guests: Barbara Woodhouse, Geoff Capes) 12:12pm
Weather 12:15pm Grandstand presented by David Coleman including......
12:20 Football Focus 12:55, 1:20, 1:50, 2:20 Horse Racing from Haydock Park
1:10 Skiing: Mens Downhill from Kitzbühel, Austria 1:40, 2:10 Boxing from the
Royal Albert Hall including Frank Bruno v Stewart Lithgo 2:40 Darts: British
Open from Rainbow Suite, Kensington 3:45 Half Time Soccer 3:55
Rugby League: Leeds v Wigan 4:35 Final Score 5:10pm News,
Weather, Sport, News North West 5:25pm Rod and Emu's Saturday Special
(Guests: Angie Gold, John Inman, Brother Lees, Haysi Fantayzee) 5:55pm
Jim'll Fix It with Jimmy Savile 6:30pm Film: "The Glenn Miller Story"
(from 1954 starring James Stewart, June Allyson) 8:20pm The Les Dawson
Show (Guest: Karen Fell) 8:55pm News, Sport, Weather 9:10pm Dynasty
10:00pm Wogan (Chat Show with Terry Wogan - Guests: Len Deighton, Cilla
Black, Mel Smith & Griff Rhy Jones) 10:45pm The Ballroom of Romance 11:35pm
Film: "A Man called Romance" (from 1970 starring Richard Harris, Judith
Anderson) 1:25am Weather, National Anthem, Closedown
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