HERE’S a photo to tug at the heartstrings of rugby league fans in York. It shows a floodlit match in 1978 at the historic Clarence Street ground which was home of York Rugby League Club for more than 100 years.

The ground, which first opened in 1885, was eventually closed in 1989. It was 30 years ago yesterday, in fact, that York RL, then known as the Wasps, defeated Second Division rivals Hunslet 26-17 in front of a crowd of 2,904 in their last match at the old ground. The bulldozers then moved in and flats were built.

The Wasps relocated to the Ryedale Stadium.

This atmospheric photo dates from 11 years before that historic final game at Clarence Street. We weren't sure of the date of the photo, or who York were playing. But York Press reader Dave Smith believes it was the game between York RL and an Australia side on November 14, 1978. "I think that was the only game that season played under floodlights - and you can see there's a good crowd," he said.

York lost the match something like 26-2, Dave believes. But it was obviously quite an occasion. and it's a great photograph. It may be a bit fuzzy (presumably because of the light) but it shows the ground in its full glory, lit up under spotlights and with a good crowd in the stands. Just the way older rugby league fans in York will like to remember it, in fact...

Stephen Lewis