Huddersfield Rugby League 1953 – Challenge Cup Final against St Helens.
On the 25th April 1953 in front of a crowd of 89,400 Huddersfield met St Helens at Wembley to contest the Rugby League Challenge Cup Final. Saints went in to the game as favouirites. Captain by Doug Greenall and featuring the flying Welsh winger Steve Llewellyn who would both be later inducted in to the St Helens Hall of Fame
Huddersfield started well. And it was they who drew first blood. Peter Ramsden celebrating his 19th birthday with the first try of the game. St Helens came roaring back with try through Llewellyn and a further try and two goals from Langfield. Huddersfield needed inspiration. It came in the shape of Billy Banks who went in for a cheeky try. Cooper goaled.
The game was all even and the Saints forward pack dominated in the scrums and in turn possession. But, Huddersfield’s forwards had a determination in the loose, particularly Bowden, Slevin and Valentine. To end his fairytale day, Peter Ramsden managed to get on the end of a move engineered by Valentine and Bowden to score the winning try. And won the Lance Todd Trophy for Man of the Match to cap a birthday he’ll never forget. Lionel Cooper added the conversion to make the final score Huddersfield 15 v St Helens 10. Making Huddersfield Rugby League 1953 Challenge Cup Champions. View the POLO
The Huddersfield team was captained by Russ Pepperell who won four England caps, before moving to Sydney coach the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles. The team of 1953 also featured Australian Pat Devery and New Zealand’s Peter Henderson. View the YEAR BOOK
Pat Devery won 3 Australian international caps in 1946 whilst playing for the Balmain club. He won grand finals with the Tigers in 1944, 1946 and 1947. Devery joined Huddersfield at the end of the 1947 Australian season and had a successful career playing in England until 1954 before returning to Sydney where he coached the Manly-Warringah club.
Peter “Sammy” Henderson played for both New Zealand rugby union All Blacks and New Zealand Kiwis rugby league. Henderson excelled in several sports, including sprinting. In the 1950 British Empire Games in Auckland he won a bronze medal as part of the men’s 4 x 110 yards relay alongside Kevin Beardsley, Arthur Eustace and Clem Parker. He also competed in the 100 yards where he placed fifth in the final. Henderson is still credited with being one of the fastest All Blacks of all time, with a time of 9.7 seconds for 100 yards.