THE rival benches at the 1976 Challenge Cup Final could not have been closer - and the contrasting expressions etched on their faces tell the story.

Saints - dubbed Dad's Army - were locked in a titanic struggle with neighbours Widnes in the baking 100 degree Wembley heat.

On the left the tension shows on Widnes coach Frank Myler and assistant Harry Dawson, on the right there is jubilation from Saints' young track-suited travelling reserves Harry Pinner and Graham Liptrot and a smile from the substituted Billy Benyon.

Calm as you look in the hubbub, Eric Ashton remains focused. He was about to achieve as a coach what he had already done as a player and captain at Wigan. Ten years later he would repeat the feat as a chairman.

It is not clear at what point this picture is taken.

With 15 minutes to go Saints clung to a one-point lead - before a drop goal and then Jeff Heaton's try 12 minutes from the end opened the floodgates.

Saints' Widnes-born substitute Peter Glynn grabbed a late brace to give a final score of 20-5.