On this Day: 1902: Wilson’s hat-trick wins cup for Broughton Rangers
26th April 1902 was a glorious day in the history of Broughton Rangers.
It was Challenge Cup Final day with the Athletic Ground in Rochdale playing host to Broughton Rangers and Salford.
Salford had won through via wins over Pontefract (28-2), Dewsbury (2-0), Goole (67-0), Huddersfield (9-6) and Batley (8-0), while Broughton Rangers cup run brought wins over Keighley (15-7), Stockport (5-0), Hull (13-2), Swinton (13-0) and Hunslet (5-9).
The Athletic News reported that the popular side stand was not used as “the surveyor had condemned it as being unsafe.”
This was the year of the Ibrox Stadium disaster, and the 15,006 crowd, whilst down on expectations, did see the Challenge Cup Final go up against a replayed FA Cup Final.
The game itself was played in a notable breeze and Broughton scored three tries in the first half to take a stranglehold on the contest.
The second period saw Salford spend a lot more time on Broughton’s line but it was Rangers that won through with two further tries.
Bob Wilson was the hero, scoring a hat-trick of tries with Hogg and Widdeson adding other flowing scores. W James kicked four goals and Oram one as Broughton overwhelmed Salford 25-0.
While Wilson’s cup final scoring heroics were equalled, his feat was not bettered until 1999 when Leroy Rivett scored four tries for Leeds Rhinos.
Wilson was a big figure for Broughton Rangers, he was captain of the side and a star centre that came to Manchester from Carnforth and scored 141 tries in a brilliant playing career that included 33 in the 1901/02 season. In total he played over 250 games for Broughton.