William Briers by Dave Dooley: William `Kitty` Briers was the ultimate stalwart for the club playing 463 matches mostly In the forwards pack. If we included matches played prior to 1895 Briers would have undoubtedly worn the Saints jersey more than any other player in the Club`s history.
Emanating from Thatto Heath, Kitty was a blacksmith`s striker at Lea Green Colliery. He made his debut in Saints first ever Northern Union game against Rochdale Hornets on the 7th. September 1895.
In his matches for the Saints Kitty scored 109 tries, kicked no goals for a total points aggregate of 327 points. This tally included two hat tricks for the club. On October 1st. 1898 playing at stand off Billy scored three tries against Oldham as part of a 15 points to 9 victory. Seven seasons later, playing in the pack, Billy repeated the feat in the 68 points to nil demolition of Liverpool City on 30th. March 1907.
William was a member of the Saints side in the first ever Challenge Cup Final on the 24th. April, 1897 when Saints went down to the `Gallant Youths` of Batley by 10 points to three.
Kitty also played in the first Saints side to lift a trophy when the team beat Runcorn, in extra time, by 6 points to nil in the South West Lancs and Border Towns Cup at Widnes on April 30th., 1900.
This lad from Thatto Heath owed his longevity in the game to a high fitness level. He possessed a great turn of speed and great shoulder muscles. His strength was developed at Lea Green Colliery, where he was a blacksmith`s striker. He had great soccer skills and was renowned as the best ever `dribbling` forward to appear in a Saints jersey. Briers played 78 consecutive games for the club from November 1907 to February 1910. He represented Lancashire in county matches.
William Briers died of appendicitis at the age of 56 in the 1930s. When Alex Service requested some contact with the relatives of Kitty Briers he was inundated with volunteers!
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