JIMMY Lowes made a glorious try-scoring return to Leeds as a Bradford player – now he is aiming for similar success in his first game back as Bulls head coach.
On August 4 in 1996, Bradford destroyed Leeds 56-18 on their own turf, with Lowes among the scorers in his first Headingley outing since being sold by Dean Bell.
Lowes marked his try with a double clenched-fist salute in front of the Leeds diehards in the South Stand and admits they have probably never forgiven him.
The Bulls boss says there is a tinge of regret for his zealous celebrations of 18 years ago but he admits he always loves going back there.
"I'm going to really enjoy this one, going back to Headingley and getting booed by the South Stand," said Lowes.
"I got shown the door at Leeds and rugby league is about opinions. Some players are not in a coach's thoughts and I didn't feature in Dean Bell's plans.
"Even though I didn't like it particularly, Leeds sold me to Bradford – but sometimes you have to go back somewhere and prove a point.
"The first time I went back we won and I scored. I regret it now but I jumped up and I faced the South Stand with my fists held high as if to say 'you beauty'. Probably ever since that point, they have given me some stick.
"I enjoyed playing there as a Leeds player and I enjoyed going back as a Bradford player. The atmosphere was always really good and the fans get into you, but that's part and parcel of it."
Lowes hails from Hunslet, the club where he began his career, and the former hooker said: "I'm from south of the River Aire, so Hunslet is my home-town club and I had six years there.
"I then spent four years at Leeds and had a really good time before going to Bradford. Leeds is a well-run club, very stable, and is full of really good players.
"It will be nice to go back but disappointing at the end because we're not going to get that opportunity to do it again for another year at least."
The mutual respect between Lowes and opposite number Brian McDermott runs deep. They played together at Bradford and have remained close friends, with Lowes assisting McDermott at Headingley before taking the reins at Leeds Carnegie.
Lowes said: "Brian and I have similar ideas and I think that's borne out from our time together at Bradford. We've got the same philosophies on not only the game but players as well.
"We had a great relationship as players and coaches. There were no major disputes or big arguments, which you probably find quite surprising because we are two stubborn blokes really.
"The whole experience of going back there and seeing the likes of Jamie Peacock and Kevin Sinfield, great blokes who I've worked with the last few years, will be fantastic."
Encouragingly for Lowes, his men head to Leeds on the back of an outstanding win over Wigan.
He said: "I thought we played really well last weekend and fully deserved another couple of tries. It'll be tough to show the same amount of energy but that's what it's about.
"The players' attitude is good and, touch wood, hopefully they will have plenty of energy to put up a good performance again. If you're off your game for one second, Leeds have got that bit of strike that can get you.
"Salford pushed them hard last week but Kallum Watkins scored a try and they've got strike players all over who can do that. Hopefully we've conserved enough energy to give them a good game."
Having signed up Adam Sidlow and Tom Olbison, the Bulls are currently in talks with a number of their squad – with Lowes particularly keen to hold on to Adam O'Brien.
The home-grown hooker has played 80 minutes for the past two games and Lowes said: "I've always felt that hookers should be prepared to do that.
"Whether they do or not is irrelevant but Adam has some attributes that I like and I want him to prepare for an 80-minute role every week.
"Against Huddersfield he got a whack in his throat and was being sick behind the posts. The physio was there and he just ignored him and got ready for kick-off again.
"You can't put that in people, it's bred into them as little kids, and I like that."