Wembley final deserved reward for Featherstone Rovers chairman and fans
IT has been 38 years since Featherstone Rovers last descended on Wembley and head coach James Webster feels that next month’s 1895 Cup final will be a deserved reward for the club’s supporters and chairman Mark Campbell.
Featherstone defeated Widnes Vikings 24-18 in a tense semi-final clash at Post Office Road on Sunday to set up a final with York City Knights on July 17.
Rovers’ last Wembley appearance saw them shock Hull FC to lift the Challenge Cup in 1983 and their return to the famous stadium has been a long time coming for many involved at the club.
“It is fantastic for everyone involved,” said Webster.
“I am happy for people like Mark Campbell who has invested a huge amount of money and time into the club.
“You have supporters who have lived and breathed Featherstone and they come every week and spend their hard-earned money.
“I am really happy for those people, that they will get the chance to experience going to Wembley.”
The 1895 Cup was introduced in 2019 to give Championship and League 1 clubs a realistic shot of reaching a Wembley final.
Webster praised Leigh Centurions owner Derek Beaumont for sponsoring the competition through his company, AB Sundecks Limited.
“Full marks to Derek Beaumont for sponsoring the competition and giving it some importance,” added Webster.
“But also for the league for not running it as a midweek competition this year.
“It just made it a more worthwhile competition. With it being a midweek competition before, it didn’t figure in our mindset too much.
“But with it being played on standalone weekends it meant it was something we were willing to have a go at.
“It has enabled a lot of people within the rugby league community to experience something special.”