The 19th April in years gone by has marked the debuts of three Leeds legends -Syd Hynes, Phil Cookson and Graham Eccles.
On this day in 1965 Leeds legend Syd Hynes made his debut against Wakefield on the last day of the season. So far in the season Leeds had lost to Wakefield in the final of the Yorkshire Cup and coming into this game they had managed just one win from their last five games. In this game they were unable to stop the run of bad results and once again lost out to Wakefield. R Smith was the Loiners only try scorer and George Simpson scored a goal. Despite the defeat Hynes had something to celebrate on his debut, landing a goal in the 20-7 defeat. Hynes went on to become a hero twice over at Leeds. As a player the tough, mercurial and versatile back captained and cajoled a magnificent group of players to glory through the most successful era in the club's history. He then repeated that record as a coach in the late seventies, building the Loiners into one of the most feared and respected cup fighters around highlighted by two exhilarating trips to Wembley in 1977 and 78. On this day in 1969 both Phil Cookson and Graham Eccles made their Leeds debut in a local derby match against Bradford Northern. It was the final game of the season and Leeds had not been defeated in the league since October but in this game it was Bradford who were the victors. Frank Brown, Ronnie Cowan both scored tries and Eccles added the third on his debut. Brown also scored a goal and Bev Risman kicked two more but it was not enough and the Loiners lost 32-15. Both Cookson and Eccles went onto become true Leeds greats, Cookson making 306 appearances and scoring 102 tries and Eccles scoring 59 goals in his 262 appearances. On this day in 2002 Leeds took on Wakefield and with a 52-22 victory moved to the top of Tetley's Rugby Super League. Chev Walker was the star for Leeds, running in a hat-trick on his return to the side in their nine-try win over a plucky Wakefield side who had come back to 30-22 with two Chris Feather tries. But Leeds cut loose in the final 15 minutes, with Ben Walker, Rob Burrow, Ryan Sheridan and Keith Senior all adding to Matt Adamson's earlier score, Walker ending with seven goals from as many attempts and Kevin Sinfield adding one. The Wildcats were only ten points adrift at the break due to Francis Cummins' score on the stroke of half time, with Chev Walker grabbing a brace in trading tries with Ben Westwood and George Truelove. The Wildcats fought back in the second half with two tries by replacement Chris Feather, and Wakefield looked likely cutting the lead to just two points with twenty minutes remaining when Damon Keating broke down field. Karl Pratt and Keith Senior made an excellent chase back to cover but the incident was put on report as Keating left the field severely concussed. Wakefield were on top at this stage but then came the onslaught from the Rhinos led by the arrival of Willie Poching, who was dangerous everytime he touched the ball and live wire Rob Burrow.