Further Info: 1st World War Player. Died Monday 1st March 1958. Brother of Jack.
Representative Honours: England
William Thomas Barton by Dave Dooley: Tom Barton was a stalwart for the club playing over 200 matches mostly as a winger and full back. Tom like his father before him was a bricklayer by trade. He made his debut against Millom on the 16th March 1904. In 226 matches for the Saints Tom scored 97 tries, kicked 118 goals for a total points aggregate of 527 points. Tom Barton was a superstar of his time. He could play anywhere in the backs utilising his power and skill to `run through` opponents. He was a great general for the Saints, possessed a fantastic kicking game and was renowned as a demon tackler. Tom was the fastest man in the region and won the professional championships in Leigh where he clocked just over 10 seconds for the 100 yards sprint. Tom withdrew from the Tour Squad for the 1910 Australian Tour because the Rugby League would not make up his wages to his mother while he was away. He was an inspirational leader and prevented a players strike before the 1915 Challenge Cup final against Huddersfield at Oldham. Yet even he could not prevent the slaughter when we were outclassed by the Yorkshiremen by 37 points to 3.
Tom scored four tries on two occasions against Keighley (30/1/1915) and Rochdale Hornets (11/4/1914). In the latter match Tom also kicked 5 goals for a new individual points scoring record of 22 points. The speedster also crossed for hat-tricks against Merthyr Tydfil, Coventry and Dewsbury.
Tom played for the Club in the War Emergency League during the First World War. He scored plenty more tries and goals in these matches but unfortunately these games do not count for statistical purposes. The hostilities therefore robbed Tom of becoming the first Saints` player to score 100 tries and 100 goals for the Club. That distinction would fall to Len Killeen some fifty years later!
Tom`s versatility is evident in his career positional analysis; in his total of 226 matches Tom played 80 times at full back, 127 matches on the wing, 11 starts in the centre, loose forward on three occasions and a solitary outing at Stand off. His final match for the Club was against Rochdale on the 17th of September, 1921, over seventeen years after he had made his debut!
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