Throwback Thursday: Previous Super League games at Anfield

James Gordon

Anfield hosts the Magic Weekend this month but it’s not the first time Super League has been played at the ground.

St Helens took on the road games there in 1997 and 1998, beating Castleford 42-16 and Warrington 36-14 in front of crowds of 12,329 and 10,058 respectively.

Magic Weekend in 2019 sees a repeat of that clash with Castleford. In April 1997, the Saints team included the likes of Steve Prescott, Tommy Martyn, Keiron Cunningham, Chris Joynt, Apollo Perelini and Bobbie Goulding, who scored seven goals, while Karl Hammond scored a hat-trick of tries and Paul Newlove scored two.

Castleford were captained by Mike Ford and their side includes Danny Orr, Adrian Vowles and Dean Sampson.

On the road games were an early feature of Super League as clubs tried to spread the gospel of rugby league, but sadly they never caught on.

Back in 1996, then Saints chief executive David Howes said: “We are a Merseyside club and we are coming to the capital of Merseyside hoping to convert people to rugby league for their summer break.

”We are sending out a message that we want to become a regional side. We see this becoming an annual event, although there is no hidden agenda of merger or ground-sharing.”

Anfield hosted the World Club Challenge between Wigan and Penrith in 1991, as well as the Charity Shield between Wigan and Widnes in 1989.

It hosted Four Nations games in 2016, including the final between Australia and New Zealand.