Alan Whittle by Dave Dooley: Alan Whittle was a classy, quick-witted stand off who played a pivotal role in some memorable matches for the Saints. Alan was gifted with speed off the mark, nimble footwork and neat ball distribution skills. His brilliant anticipation ands support play was a defining feature of his game. Whittle made his debut in the match against Liverpool City on the 11th. of February, 1967. In this is only outing of the season, Alan was on hand to score his first try for the club in a 23 points to 6 home victory. Alan broke into the first team on a regular basis in the following season when he scored 5 tries in 24 outings for the club. He played in the drawn 1967 Lancashire Cup Final against Warrington. Unluckily, Alan was not selected for the replay when Volls men carried off the trophy in a 13 points to 10 victory.
In the 1968/9 campaign Alan was virtually an ever-present member of the side. He featured strongly in the 1968 Lancashire Cup Final when he teamed up at half back with captain Tommy Bishop to cut the Roughyeds defence to ribbons in the last quarter of the match. That season also brought the Lancashire League Championship to Knowsley Road as Alan featured in the stand-off position in the last 25 matches to end the campaign top of the club appearances chart with an incredible 48 matches played.
Alan Whittle retained the number six jersey for most of the next three seasons as Saints embarked on a glory run at the start of the 1970s. He was an unused substitute in the 1970 Championship Final win over Leeds but starred in the 1972 Challenge Cup victory over the same opposition. In between Alan featured in the 1971 Championship Final victory over Wigan when a last minute try from Billy "the bandit" Benyon sealed the win over the old enemy. That season was probably the high point of Alans career. He notched two hat tricks against foreign opposition that campaign. Saints defeated newly crowned champions Australia by 37 points to 10 with Whittle putting in a blistering headline performance. In the last match of the season Alan ran riot as the Saints destroyed St Gaudens by 62 points to nil to claim the European Champions tag.
With a rampant Ken Kelly grabbing the headlines at the start of the 1972/3 season, Alan was transferred to Barrow after scoring a solitary try against Warrington in the first round of the Lancashire Cup.
Alan Whittle was one of those sharp, exciting players that supporters loved to see crossing the opponents tryline. His shrewd play was an integral part of Saints open style of play that was so successful in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
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