Posted by Editor on 29th August 2011 at 02:12 PM
Video: A Brief History of Salford Reds - Part 2
by Tony Flynn
Video: Tom Rodgers
In this second part of our three-part series looking at the history of Salford City Reds, we look at Salford's revival in fortune from the 1960s onwards.
The club went through a slump in the 1950's but their star was back in the ascendency when Brian Snape succeeded Jim Hammond as chairman in September 1963. Incidentally does anyone remember his flash Jensen Interceptor?
Snape appointed Griff Jenkins as secretary-coach in 1964, and the Reds immediately started to climb the league ladder.
In June 1967 The Willows switched on its floodlights for the first time in the match with Widnes on Friday 11 March 1966. From that evening, Friday night was rugby league night as the fans flocked to The Willows.
In October 1967 David Watkins joined Salford for £15,000, then a club record. Watkins scored in 92 consecutive matches for Salford from 19 August 1972 to 25 April 1974. He totalled 929 points from 41 tries and 403 goals.This became another golden era for Salford, with such players as Mike Coulman, Charlie Bott, Colin Dixon, Chris Hesketh etc all gracing the Willows.
Wembley was reached again in 1969 and Salford met Castleford only to be defeated 11-6, in a game which many Salford fans feel that Salford were cheated out off.
Chris Hesketh in many people's opinion scored a try which was not given, the referee did not see the incident, and the touch judges gave the decision, in the modern game and it's technology the try may have stood, we shall never now.
On 3 January 1982, John Wilkinson took over as chairman. Wilkinson inherited a club living above its income, forcing him to make cost saving measures. While the books were being balanced, steady progress was made on it, the Reds pulling off a major coup with the signing of Australian full-back Garry Jack in 1988. The Lancashire Cup final was reached in 1988, the Reds losing narrowly to favourites Wigan.
1990 turned out to be his golden year under coach Kevin Tamati. Salford won the Second Division Championship, losing just one game all season. In the Premiership final in front of 50,000 at Old Trafford, the Red Devils beat Halifax 27-20. They also made the final of the Lancashire Cup, losing narrowly to favourites Widnes.
During the 1990s, the team rewarded Wilkinson with five trophies; Division Two Championship (1990/91), Division Two Premiership (1991), Division One (formerly Division Two) Championship (1995/96 and 1996) and Divisional Premiership 1996.
The Reds as we all now were relegated in 2002 to the first division, however they bounced back the following season and yet another chapter of their history was to be written. This came about when the club announced that it was to move to a new ground at Barton, a move that has proved unpopular with some fans, yet neccesary if the club is to survive in the modern age.
Thanks to ianw2007 for the use of his photograph of David Jenkins at Salford City Reds
WATCH: Part 1 click here
WATCH: Part 3 click here
Comment by Paul Kenny ( member ) 30th August 2011
I remember so vividly the Friday night game that David Watkins made his debut. There was a lot of scepticism in the crowd until he scored an electric try running three quarters the length of the field. It was the best try I ever witnessed and the crowd went wild
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