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The last Wilderspool Aussie “war cry”

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Pictures Eddie Whitham

LOCAL photographer Eddie Whitham’s huge archive of local news pictures includes the day the touring Kangaroos visited Wilderspool in 1967, one of the last times they were to perform their famous war cry, until it was re-introduced after half a century.

The touring Australian Team arrived at Wilderspool on Saturday, September 30 1967. The Aussies won 16 points to 7 in front of a crowd of 11,642.

The game was almost over by the interval as the Aussies led 14-2.

Warrington’s only try came six minutes from time when Coupe cut in from the wing, and gave captain Willie Aspinall a clear run to the posts for a try, Affleck adding the extras.

Pictures below show the Aussie “War Cry” which has not been performed for many years.

Billy Aspinall (Wire) and Reg Gasnier (Australia) are pictured leading lead their teams out at Wilderspool while Wire legends Brian Glover (5) and Jackie Melling are pictured taking on the Aussies.

The war cry was adopted at start of the 20th century by the touring Wallabies and Kangaroos, described at the time as being fairly theatrical, with the rugby league one performed until 1967.

“We are a race of fighters descended from the War Gods
Beware! Beware! Beware! Beware!
Where we fight there will be great bloodshed
Go! Go! Go! Go!
We are powerful but merciful; are you friends?
Good! Good!
The kangaroo is dangerous when at bay
Come on. Come on, to death”

A version of the war cry was re-introduced in 2017.

The Warrington team that day was: Affleck (two goals), Couue, Melling, Cannon, Glover, Aspinall (T), Harvey, Ashcoft, Harrison, Price, Briggs, Brady, Clark. Subs: Owen and Churm.
There was also a testimonial collection for Alistair Brindle.

During the the 1967 – 1968 season Warrington won the Lancashire league by one point from St Helens. They played 34 games winning 24, losing 10 and points for were 539 and against 290.

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About Author

Experienced journalist for more than 35 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with six in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

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