Frank Bowen is one of the greatest players from the old St.Helens Recs team of between the wars. His brother Tom played for Saints, although other brothers turned out for the red amber and blacks. Frank initially was a bit of a utility player at City Road when they joined the Rugby League just after the First World War. He literally grew up with the club, as the Recs proved to be a team capable of challenging for major honours in the 1920s. By the late 1920s, Bowen had settled down as a blind side prop forward and was selected with two of his team mates (Dolan and Fildes) for the 1928 Autsralasian Tour. There were also four Saints players in the squad. Prior to that, among his many distinctions, he was selected play for Lancashire against Australia at Goodison Park in 1922. Frank loved playing for the Recs and enjoyed a star-studded Benefit Match in 1931, when a Saints-Recs team played against a Jim Sullivan Select XIII. Having retired from playing at City Road in the early 1930s, he apparently was taken on board by the Saints to help out with training and coaching and actually played a handful of matches for the First Team, where his experience was valuable. He was also the licensee of the Vine Tavern in Thatto Heath, who also had a successful amateur team after the Second World War, not least as a result of having such a famous international at the helm. Frank passed away at the age of 67 in 1964 while still at the Vine. He remains one of the towns Rugby League greats and will never be forgotten as one of the Seven Stars of 1928.
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