IT has been widely reported in these Press pages that, before today, York's rugby league team hadn't reached a knockout cup final since 1978 and hadn't won one since way back in 1936.

So how about a trip down memory lane for today's iPro Sport Cup final special Knights diary page.

York RL historian Stuart Evans has dug out facts and figures for both of those games and, while there won't be many left among us who can recall the teams of 80 years ago, there aren't half some famous names involved, while the 1978 vintage likewise contains plenty of still-revered players.

Both of those finals were in the old Yorkshire Cup - obviously a competition with more history and prestige than the new iPro Cup for League One clubs only. And with considerably bigger attendances too.

A crowd of 19,000 watched York's famous "Dreadnoughts" pre-War team beat Wakefield Trinity 9-2 in the 1936 final at Headingley.

The Trinity team comprised (surnames only): Oliver, Ryan, Malpass, Pearman, Smart, Herbert, Goodfellow, Wilkinson, Carter, Hobson, Horton, Exley and Watson, with full-back Oliver notching their sole goal.

They wore their famous red and blue jerseys.

The York team, wearing those traditional old colours of amber and black, included such luminaries as the great Harry Field at hooker and Welshman Norman Fender at loose-forward, both of whom won Great Britain honours while at Clarence Street, with the latter being among the first septet to be inducted into the York RL Hall of Fame a few years ago.

Also in the team were: T Dinsdale, T Western, W Welsh, S Hunt, H Haigh, G Rees, W Thomas, L Sharpe, D Prosser, H Coldrick and F Elias.

Hunt got the game's only try, with Dinsdale (2) and Fender adding goals.

The last time York reached the final, meanwhile, they came up against a Bradford Northern team featuring the legendary Neil Fox MBE in the twilight of his great career - as well as seven more aces who won Great Britain honours.

Fox kicked three goals that day in Northern's 18-8 win - six points of the mammoth 6,220 during his illustrious 23-year career, an all-time points record for rugby league. He was inducted into the RL Hall of Fame 11 years later.

Also in the Bradford team were such stars as South African-born Dave Barends, fellow winger David Redfearn, brother Alan Redfearn at half-back, full-back "Sir" Keith Mumby, prop Jimmy Thompson, Welsh hooker Tony Fisher and loose-forward Bob Haigh, who all won GB caps.

Oh, and not forgetting a certain Colin Forsyth, the Heworth ARLC product who also starred for York during his career and played for England in the 1975 World Cup. He's the dad of former Knights favourite Craig Forsyth.

Les Gant, David Parker, Alan Redfearn and man-of-the-match Haigh got Bradford's tries that day.

The full Bradford team was: K Mumby, D Barends, L Gant, D Parker, D Redfearn, I Slater, A Redfearn, J Thompson, A Fisher, C Forsyth, N Fox, D Trotter, R Haigh. Subs: J Woolford, G Joyce.

In the York team, meanwhile were a plethora of Clarence Street favourites.

Among them was full-back Gary Smith, who was unlucky never to play for Great Britain in a Test match, especially after his performance for York against the touring Australians in 1975, and who, like Fender, was one of the first names in the York RL Hall of Fame.

There were also the ever-popular Kevin Harkin, Dave Dunkerley and stand-off Barry Banks, who won England caps while with York, while Jonny Crossley was on the bench.

Smith got York's sole try while Banks kicked two goals and former Featherstone forward Barry Hollis - who had joined the club two years earlier in a straight swap for points-machine Steve Quinn - booted a drop goal.

A crowd of 10,429 watched that game.

There won't be anywhere near that number when the Knights meet Keighley today, more's the pity, but this iPro Sport Cup has nevertheless given the Knights their first-ever passage to a KO cup final since those days of yore, and here's hoping they get to lift the trophy.

A quick look at the news pages of those days, meanwhile, as supplied by Evans, also underlines just how times have changed in the intervening years.

BRETT TURNER needs to touch down in today's final - if selected to play - to be this season's leading try-scorer in the iPro Sport Cup.

The Knights winger goes into the game joint top of the charts with Gloucestershire All Golds counterpart Phil Cowburn with five tries in the previous three rounds.

York prop Russ Spiers is joint third on the list with three - so a hat-trick here could see him top the list.

Despite his inconsistent goal-kicking so far this term, Danny Nicklas tops the competition's charts for goal and point scoring with 15 and 34 respectively. Keighley's Adam Brook may want to usurp him, though, as he stands on 13 goals and 27 points.

THE Press Player of the Year points will be updated in this column next week.

Don't forget to email in your votes for the May Player of the Month after today's match to

The matches to consider are the iPro semi-final win over Gloucestershire, and the League One games against Barrow (loss), North Wales (draw) and Newcastle (win).