Interviews

First Challenge Cup final and the first ever sending off at Wembley.

murphy_lifts_the_challenge_cup_in_1971_200.The 1971 Challenge Cup final has become part of Rugby League folklore. However, it is not the shock 24-7 victory by Leigh over favourites Leeds that has seen this match become embedded in the collective memory of British Rugby League fans. After 65 minutes Syd Hynes became the first player to be sent off in a Challenge Cup final at Wembley after an incident which saw Alex Murphy leave the field on a stretcher. Although few would argue that runaway-favourites Leeds were outplayed that day, the sending off has continued to be shrouded in controversy. It was claimed that the irrepressible Murphy took a dive in order to get Hynes dismissed. Some claim that he winked to the crowd as he was being carried from the field whilst others even maintain he jumped from the stretcher as it entered the tunnel. For Billy the final had been his first appearance on the sport’s biggest stage and he remembers the events of that day in characteristically honest and philosophical style.