Representative Honours: Wales and Lancashire League representative
Stan Powell by Alex Service
Another Welsh signing from the Saints in the mid 1930s, Stan was brought to Knowsley Road by another Welsh legend, George Lewis, as explained in the St.Helens Newspaper on 23rd September 1935: “Powell was the discovery of George Lewis and George discovered him of all places in the cricket field. George was in a cricket match in South Wales where his attention was attracted by a particularly agile youngster. He bounded about like a rubber ball when on the move and set George wondering what sort of rugby player he might be. George set to work to find out and discovered that his elegant young cricketer was a fly-half from Risca. And thus the trail of events was set moving which ended to such a delightful surprise for the spectators at Saturdays final trial.” Stan obviously shone in his first practice game at Knowsley Road and it was later revealed that he had quite a rugby pedigree: “His senior career started with Pontypool Harlequins at the age of 15 and a half. He played anywhere in the backs but his best position was stand-off half back. He also played for the Cilfyndydd First Team. As a schoolboy footballer he had more than an outstanding career. He represented Pontypool Town School in the 1929-30 season and scored 151 points in that season. Pontypool schoolboys had also had his services in several matches. When he played for the Town School they won the Schools Shield for the first time in the history of that school, largely with the help of Powell.” He certainly was a breath of fresh air for Saints fans when he arrived on the scene, with his pace and elusiveness. His career totals make for fine reading, with 194 appearances, 45 tries, 320 goals and 775 points for the club. He took up the goal-kicking duties half-way through the 1936-37 season and remained the regular kicker until the outbreak of World War Two. It is true to say, like so many, that Stan lost a large chunk of potentially the best part of his career as a result of the ensuing conflict and it is perhaps true to say that his figures would have been even more impressive for the Saints. His best seasons were 1937-38 and 1938-39, when he made 37 and 38 appearances respectively and kicking 79 and 81 goals. After starting out at stand-off at Knowsley Road he gravitated towards the left wing and in 1938-39 was the archetypal utility back, filling in a number of positions in the threequarter line. During the war, he made two representative appearances. His first was for the Lancashire League v Yorkshire League at Barrow, followed by an international appearance for Wales against England in March 1945 at Central Park, Wigan. Always a popular figure at St.Helens, Stan signed for Belle Vue Rangers on 5th January 1946, playing 46 matches for the Manchester club, including the 1946 Lancashire Cup final, when they lost 3-9 to Wigan. He was also the club’s leading goal-kicker during the 1946-47 campaign with 62 successes. Stan then joined Warrington in 1947-48 before returning to Rangers for a brief spell in 1951-52. His former team-mate at St.Helens, Jack Waring also trod a similar path post-war. Stan passed away in Southport in 1995, but he will be remembered fondly by St.Helens supporters who watched his whole-hearted performances during a particularly flat time for the club and the team.
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