26th December 1968: St Helens 11 Wigan 3 (Match Abandoned)
Posted by cherryandwhite on December 20 2012 - 09:29

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St Helens 11 Wigan 3 (Abandoned after 37 Minutes due to Frozen Pitch) - Boxing Day 26th December 1968
Venue: Knowsley Road, St Helens
Competition: League
Kick Off: 3:00pm (Kick Off Delayed by 10 Minutes to 3:10pm)

WiganlBacks:l 1. Colin Tyrer, 2. Bill Francis, 3. Eric Ashton, 4. Bill Ashurst, 5. Kevin O'Loughlin, 6. Cliff Hill, 7. Johnny Jackson
WiganlForwards:l

8. John Stephens, 9. Colin Clarke, 10. Terry Fogerty, 11. Brian Hogan, 12. Geoff Lyon, 13. Doug Laughton

WiganlSubslUsed:l (None)

WiganlTries:l

Cliff Hill
WiganlGoals:l (None)

StlHelenslBacks:l 1. Austin Rhodes, 2. Frank Wilson, 3. Billy Benyon, 4. Frank Myler, 5. Les Jones, 6. Alan Whittle, 7. Tommy Bishop
StlHelenslForwards:l

8. John Warlow, 9. Bill Sayer, 10. Cliff Watson, 11. Graham Rees, 12. John Mantle, 13. Kel Coslett

StlHelenslSubs Used:l (None)

StlHelenslTries:l Alan Whittle 2, Billy Benyon
StlHelenslGoals:l Kel Coslett 1
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Summary:l

Their had been a lot of fuss pre match about whether this match should have gone ahead in the first place. St Helens had planned to cover the pitch with straw but changed their minds when a more favourable weather forecast was predicted. Saints staff were adamant the pitch was fine on matchday but when a Wigan director turned up early to inspect himself, he disagreed with their view. Later, referee John Elliott turned up at 1pm and he agreed with St Helens viewpoint that the match should go ahead. But at 2pm the players had now arrived and both sets of players were declining to play. The referee was insistent though and the match eventually began 10 minutes late at 3:10pm. However the match only lasted 37 minutes before being called off. Remarkably, fans stood around thinking that the game had just naturally reached half time and not realising that referee John Elliott had called half time three minutes early and abandoned the match. Most of the crowd only realised when Saints players appeared with collection tins for Bob Dagnall's testimonial. Referee Elliott stated he "called the match off after 37 minutes following two appeals from the Wigan captain". The clubs weren't too fussed. They would keep their shares of the 20,000 gate whilst the Saints players still got winning pay and Wigan players got their pay too, with the prospect of another bumper gate with a planned re-arrangement on the following Saturday. As it turned out that ended up postponed so the game was replayed on Tuesday 14th January 1969 (Click Here) with the result of this match being voided.

Referee:l John Elliott (Barrow)
Attendance:l 20,000