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The Biggest Upset in Challenge Cup History

When the Sheffield Eagles defied the odds to beat Wigan in the 1998 Challenge Cup Final

The 2nd May 1998 is a historic day in the short history of the Sheffield Eagles. It was on this day, only 14 years after being formed that they defied the odds and expectations in beating Wigan Warriors 17-8 in the Challenge Cup Final. This match is often described as the biggest upset in Challenge Cup history, perhaps in British rugby league as a whole. What plans went into that day? What did it mean (and what does it still mean) to the fans, players and staff? What difference did it make to the future of The Club?

What the win means

In 20 years time when we’re boring old sods, the bond will still be with us. We’ll bore people to death with the story of the day we did it. We did it because we believed.
John Kear

The Road to Wembley

Read about how the Sheffield Eagles reached the Challenge Cup final here.

The Final

Read more about the Final here.

What was said at the time

For quotes from players, staff and fans at the time click here.

Celebrations - then and now

Read more about how the win was celebrated in 1998 and continues to be to this day by clicking here.

The 1998 Squad

You can find details of all the players from the 1998 squad by clicking here.

Challenge Cup Final Programme

You can read the programme for the final below, scanned in three parts.

1998 Challenge Cup Programme Part 1
1998 Challenge Cup Programme Part 2
1998 Challenge Cup Programme Part 3


Below are some links to other websites, featuring the historic Challenge Cup victory.

  • An article in the Sheffield Star from 2016 looking back to the game. CLICK HERE.
  • A Wikipedia article on the 1998 Challenge Cup. CLICK HERE.
  • Match Highlights
Highlights of the 1998 Challenge Cup Final


Richard King

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The Wembley Return

In 2019 the Sheffield Eagles won the inaugural 1895 Cup and maintained their unbeaten record at Wembley.