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Challenge Cup Celebrations

How the Challenge Cup win was celebrated in 1998 and continues to be celebrated over the years.

Few could have imagined after winning their first game 29-10 in 1984 , that just 14 years later the Eagles would be responsible for the biggest upset in Challenge Cup, perhaps rugby league, history.

What the win means to the Sheffield Eagles

The Challenge Cup victory in 1998 is a key part in the history of the Sheffield Eagles and continues to be celebrated on a regular basis.

Celebrations in Sheffield

After the win at Wembley and when the players had returned to Sheffield there was an open top bus tour of the City and a civic reception at the Town Hall. Thanks to Dave Goodlad for sharing his photos from that time.

Celebrations in Sheffield
Celebrations in Sheffield
Celebrations in Sheffield
Celebrations in Sheffield
Celebrations in Sheffield
Celebrations in Sheffield
Celebrations in Sheffield

Recognition from Sheffield City Council

In June 1998 Sheffield City Council formally congratulated Sheffield Eagles on their victory and their contribution to life in Sheffield.

Congratulations from Sheffield City Council

10 Years On

In 2008 the Eagles celebrated the 10th anniversary of the win with a souvenir brochure and series of events. You can read that brochure here.

10 Years On - Souvenir Brochure

25 years on

The Sheffield Eagles and Sheffield Eagles Heritage Project worked together to organise a celebration dinner on the evening of the 2nd May at the OEC Sheffield. It was attended by over 220 people including fans, players, coaching staff, former board members, sponsors and those associated with the Club over its lifetime.

The evening opened with the 17 staff and players from the 1998 squad who joined us that evening being welcomed to the room and the players receiving their heritage certificates. John Kear presented Paul Broadbent as the captain from 1998 with his certificate first before being joined on stage by: Waisale Sovatabua, Nick Pinkney, Keith Senior, Bright Sodje, Matt Crowther, Mark Aston, Johnny Lawless, Dale Laughton, Gareth Stephens, Darren Turner, Neil Law and Steve Molloy.

1998 Squad Receive their Heritage Certificates

After the three course meal there was a twenty minute film shown including highlights of the quarter final, semi final and final, followed by video messages from Rod Doyle, Marcus Vassilakopoulos and Michael Jackson who couldn't join us. We were then able to show never before seen footage from 1998 including interviews, behind the scenes and celebrations.

Rod Doyle Challenge Cup 25th Anniversary Celebrations Video Message
Michael Jackson Challenge Cup Video Message
Marcus Vassilakopoulos Challenge Cup Video Message

John Kear and the three try scorers from the game - Nick Pinkney, Matt Crowther and Darren Turner - took to the stage to share their memories through discussions with the compere for the night Pete Emmett. Pete then made his way to the players' tables and we were treated to a range of stories and memories from that 1998 season. It was clear from hearing John and all the players talk how much the 1998 season meant to them and the bond they have with each other.

Sheffield Eagles Challenge Cup winners 25th anniversary celebration dinner on stage interviews

The evening closed with a chance for people to have their photos taken with the Challenge Cup as well as catch up with each other and share memories. The evening was filmed and we will be looking to share highlights of the evening in the next few weeks, along with the video messages from those who couldn't be there and short interviews with a number of players.

You can watch highlights of the evening below.

Challenge Cup Celebrations 25 Anniversary Dinner Highlights

Also as part of the As part of the night Keith Senior, Dale Laughton, John Kear, Mark Aston and Matt Crowther were asked for their favourite memories of the 1998 victory and how it feels to look back on it after 25 years.

Reflections on the 1998 Challenge Cup win

A special commemorative brochure was produced for the evening including an introduction from the captain in 1998 Paul Broadbent, a look back to where the Club started, the road to Wembley, the final, newspaper headlines, quotes from the time, a timeline of the Club and what happened when the Eagles returned to Wembley in 1998.

25th Anniversary Commemorative Brochure
Challenge Cup 25th Anniversary Brochure

A very special limited edition pin badge was produced for those attending on the night. Just 250 have been made and each one is individually numbered, with the players from the 1998 squad given the badge corresponding to their squad number for that season.

Challenge Cup 25th Anniversary Pin Badge


Richard King


Photography: Jake Borrill & Alex Coleman

Filming: Lensgo Visual Media

Brochure Design: Make a Brew

Pin Badge Design: House of Logos