Swinton Lions look back 50 years for 2013
By Tom Rodgers
Swinton Lions will commemorate the 50 years since their Rugby League Championship wins by playing in a special 60s-style shirt for the 2013 season.
It's half a century since they won the first of back-to-back titles in 1963 and 1964 with their star-studded side coached by Cliff Evans and including players such as John Stopford, Alan Buckley, Ken Gowers, Dave Robinson, Billy "Daz" Davies, Bill Holliday and Albert Blan.
It was the first time Swinton had won the Championship since the 1934/35 season.
In the back end of the 1963 season Swinton went on a remarkable 17-game winning streak, beating the likes of Huddersfield, Hull, St Helens and Halifax home and away.
On May 25th 1963 the Lions travelled to Warrington for a win that would clinch the First Division title - beating their rivals in a very tight match by 6-4.
1964 remains in the record books for the biggest attendance Swinton ever had: a crowd of 26,891 against Wigan on 12th February.
Swinton's all time top scorers also come from the same era.
In th 1960/61 season Albert Blan broke the record for most points scored in a season with 283.
Fullback Ken Gowers, who also played for Great Britain, still holds top spot for most career goals for Swinton with 970, the most career points with 2105 and the most career appearances from 1954 to 1973 with 602 run-outs for the Lions.
The names of all the first team players from the 1962/63 and 1963/64 seasons will be woven into the material for the 2013 shirts.
Fans will also be able to have their name on the new Swinton shirts.
A spokesman for Swinton said today that he hoped the strip, produced by Ravensports, would be ready for sale by the end of the month.
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