The St.Helens club had always relied upon a certain number of Cumbrian players in the first 20 years of its existence in the Northern Union and William John ‘Gillie’ Hillen was no exception. He came from Millom and could play in either centre position with equal effectiveness. Not only was he a good winger’s centre, but he could also score tries too. He is one of a number of players who have played over 100 matches for the club and during his first season in 1904-05 he operated at right centre, with Jimmy Liversedge and Charlie Creevey outside him. He was also used as a winger on occasions during the following campaign, although he was a centre as such. The 1906-07 campaign was Hillen’s most consistent to date when he was a virtual ever-present, missing just one game of the 29 played. He was centre to Charlie Creevey for most of the campaign. His 13 tries also showed how good an attacking player he could be. In 1907-08, the visiting New Zealanders played twice at Knowsley Road and Hillen was a member of the team on both occasions, with Charlie Creevey his winger in the first match and his brother Jimmy on the flanks in the second. He completed 14 games in 1908-09, his last season at Knowsley Road and we are not certain where he ended up. Presumably he retired and went back to Cumbria, but if anyone has any further information, we would like to hear from them.