Past Players Hall of Fame

Rugby League Hall of Fame
& St Helens Hall of Fame


Player
Biography
Vincent Karalius

Vinty Karalius was a legend for the club playing over 250 matches mostly as a loose forward. Born on the 15th. October 1932 in Widnes, he signed for the Club from the famous RL hotbed, West Bank ARL club (Widnes), on 16th. October 1951. Vinty made his debut against Warrington in the 13 to 5 points home victory on the 2nd. April 1952. Vinty impressed as a nineteen year old and played out the season with another five matches without crossing the try line. A fitness fanatic at 6 feet and 14 stones he was to become the complete loose forward and one of the all time greats.

His firs....(continued)


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Alexander Murphy

, with additional comments from Dave Dooley

The Saints faced a fixture backlog of 3 games in 5 days shortly before the 1956 Challenge Cup Final. For the last match of the sequence, at home to Whitehaven on 11th April, the Board selected a virtual reserve side. Skipper George Parsons was the only regular on duty that day as the lads from the` A` team, inspired by the prospect of a hefty bonus, beat the Cumbrians in every department of the game. Making his debut in the 21-7 success was Alex Murphy, an effervescent little half-back who exuded an air ....(continued)


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Karel van Vollenhoven



"The Greatest of them all," say the lyrics to the Vollenhoven Calypso - a seven inch record released to coincide with his Testimonial Season in 1967/68. It has always been a matter of debate as to whether the Flying Springbok was, actually, the best winger of his generation in English Rugby League. Wigan fans point to the block-busting ability of Billy Boston, while over at Wilderspool, Brian Bevan was breaking all try-scoring records with his particularly unorthodox - some would say freakish - attacking style. Yet Tom Van Vollenhoven is w....(continued)


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St Helens Hall of Fame

Player
Biography
Jack Arkwright

Jack Arkwright was a giant second row forward who represented Lancashire and went on the 1936 Great Britain tour of Australia and New Zealand as a Warrington player. Jack played 174 times for the Saints scoring 39 tries and kicking 21 goals for a total of 159 points.

Jack was signed from amateur side Sutton Commercial for £50. He made his debut for the club on the 8th of December, 1928 in the 14 points to eleven win at Oldham. His first try for the club came against Rochdale Horn....(continued)


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Frank Barrow
Frank Barrow was the rock solid last line of defence for the Saints in the 1960s. His tackling technique was exemplary. If the Saints defence was breached rather than wait for the player with the ball, Frank would race out to the ball carrier and down him with a trademark crunching, head-on tackle. With the ball in his hands charging towards the defence spectators would never witness Frankie slow down before impact. His urgency in taking the ball up would ensure that Saints made maximum yarda....(continued)


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Billy Benyon

Billy Benyon signed professional forms for the club at the age of 16. He made his first team debut three days after his seventeenth birthday. Billy was equally gifted at soccer but spurned the opportunity to play for West Bromwich Albion and Bolton Wanderers in order to sign for his hometown club. Billy had superb hands and a timely pass, his tackling was first-class, he had bags of pace and could utilise the grubber kick with deadly accuracy when the situation deemed it necessary. He a....(continued)


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Tommy Bishop
In a remarkable three and a half seasons at Knowsley Road, Bishop won a total of 15 Caps for Britain and was appointed Captain for the French Tests in 1968/69 - a season in which he also skippered his Club and County. The capture of Tommy Bishop from Barrow for £5,500 completed the pieces in the Saints team-building jigsaw before the 1966 Challenge Cup-ties began. A small, tough scrum half who never shirked a tackle regardless of the size of an opponent, 26 year old Bishop had starred with Blackpool Borough and Barrow befor....(continued)


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Frank Carlton
Frank Carlton
Frank Carlton was a stalwart for the club playing over 150 matches mostly as a winger. Born on the 21st March 1936 in St Helens, he signed for the Club from the famous RL hotbed, Parr Central School, on 17th., November 1952. Frank made his debut away against Huddersfield in the 10 points all draw on the 6th. April 1953. Frank only played two matches in his first two seasons.
His first try was against Widnes in the first match of the 1954/55 season. Frank seemed to enjoy playing against ....(continued)


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Eric Chisnall

Eric Chisnall literally burst onto the scene towards the end of the 1966/7 season. This fast elusive locally born second row forward was destined to become a member of the exclusive member of the Saints '500' Club - the elite band of four players who have made more than 500 appearances for St Helens RFC. His first try for the club came in the 1967 Lancashire Cup Final Replay against Warrington in December of that year. With the teams locked at eight points apiece Eric plunged over the 'Wir....(continued)


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Kel Coslett


Kel Coslett is synonymous with Saints` great golden period in the 1960s and 1970s. His exploits are legendary and he holds many individual records at the club including most ever career appearances, greatest career and season points total and greatest number of goals kicked in a career or season. Kel was a player who evolved from a full back to the back row in the forwards and at the end of his career moved effortlessly into the prop forward position. His abilities and knowl....(continued)


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Bob Dagnall

Bob Dagnall was one of the best ever Saints` hookers. Bob played mostly in the era of unlimited tackles when possession from the scrum was of paramount importance. Technically he was magnificent in the scrummage and used to win the hooking battles week in week out. He excelled in winning the ball `against the feed`. He was aided and abetted in his work by the highest quality scrum-halves in Alex Murphy and Tommy Bishop. When you also consider he often packed in between props such as Cl....(continued)


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Bernard Dwyer
Bernard Dwyer

Bernard Dwyer was one of the best ever professionals to play for the Saints. His effort and commitment were always total. His tackling was exemplary and in attack he could always be relied upon to take the right option. Bernard was extremely strong especially close to the opponents line. When you also consider that he had neat footwork and was a reliable goal-kicker his value to be the Saints during a 12 year career was immense. He was signed from the local outfit, the Hare and Houn....(continued)


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Alf Ellaby


Born in St.Helens, on 24 November 1902 and one of eight children, Alfred Henry Ellaby was destined to become a rugby league immortal, who found fame on two continents between the Wars. Cast in the classical winger’s mould at just over six feet and weighing twelve stones, Ellaby had great pace and the ability to pick up even the most wayward pass from his centre. He was a try-scoring sensation at Knowsley Road, who could always be relied upon to add an extra couple of thousand to the crowd....(continued)


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Les Fairclough
Leslie Fairclough

Late in the 2010 season, the last at Knowsley Road, the St. Helens club named their 17 Greatest Players. One or two eyebrows were raised when Les Fairclough was selected in the stand-off half position. Names like Paul Sculthorpe, Frank Myler, Leon Pryce and Bill Francis were all touted by the fans. Yet for those with any knowledge of Saints’ history, there was only one real contender. In terms of his achievements at club and county level, together with his fantastic exploits during....(continued)


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Ray French

It must be a great feeling to play rugby league for your hometown club! Ray was signed from St Helens RUFC in the summer of 1961. By then French had already represented England at the fifteen a side code. He was an uncompromising second row forward and a belligerent tackler whose running style was characterised by a high knees gallop. Ray was a cornerstone of a new pack of forwards that was to be rebuilt following the break-up of the six that had steered saints to a Lancashire Cup and Chall....(continued)


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Duggie Greenall


A local lad, born on 7 June 1927, Duggie began his rugby career as an ATC cadet at Rivington Road school, under the command of future Saints’ Chairman Harry Cook. He signed for St.Helens on 4 February 1946, for just £30. Duggie first appeared in a number of positions, including wing and stand-off, but he eventually settled down at centre and went on to representative honours. When Duggie began at Knowsley Road, the club was one of the poorer relations in the league. When he left 14 y....(continued)


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Jeff Heaton

This local lad played for the Saints in two spells over the 1960s and 1970s. He originally signed for the Saints on October 13th 1960. Jeff serves his apprenticeship in the `A` team for a couple of years. His opportunity came at the start of the 1962/3 season when Alex Murphy returned from the 1962 Australasian Tour with a serious shoulder injury. Jeff played in a friendly against the S.H.A.P.E. Indians then made his official debut on August 30th 1962 against Liverpool City. One week l....(continued)


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Neil Holding


Neil Holding was a mainstay of the Saints side in the turbulent years of the 1980`s decade. He made his debut as a sixteen year old on the 23rd of October 1977 against Swinton. Neil made an immediate impact with a well taken try. Early observers likened his speed off the mark to that of the mercurial Alex Murphy. The other features of his play that would emerge over time were an ability to make and support a break, great tactical kicking, place kicking and dropping a goal at a ....(continued)


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Dick Huddart


Dick Huddart was a legend for the club playing over 200 matches mostly as a second row forward. Born on the 22nd. February 1936 in Flimby Cumberland, he signed for the Club from Whitehaven on 15th. October 1958. Dick had had a sensational 1958 Tour Down Under and became firm friends with Vinty Karalius. After returning from the antipodes Dick asked Whitehaven for a transfer, and publicly stated that he would like to play for St Helens. Basil Lowe explained the bizarre circumstance....(continued)


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Les Jones
Les Jones

Frequent discussions about former Saints` players always conjure up the name of Les Jones, especially if the other conversationalists are from Wigan. Les used to haunt the men from Central Park with timely interceptions and a knack to seal the game for the Saints when matters were in the balance. Emanating from Parr, Les was a model professional who prided himself on fitness and maintaining a sharp edge to his speed. He was sound in defence and totally dedicated to the Saints` cause. Les....(continued)


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Chris Joynt


Back in the days when one`s body could withstand a Watersheddings` winter, I witnessed a match between a rampant Saints outfit and an ambitious Second Division Oldham. The date was the 24th.of November, 1991 in the second round of the Regal Trophy. I don`t honestly recall much from the match other than a scorching try scored by an up and coming forward named Chris Joynt. Receiving the ball twenty metres out Chris steamed on a diagonal path to outpace and out-power the Sain....(continued)


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Tony Karalius

This highly talented ball playing forward was a member of the famous Widnesian Karalius clan. Tony was a highly adaptable player who played equally well at hooker, in the second row or at loose forward. He was signed from the Widnes club in January 1967 and made his debut at loose forward against Oldham on February 17th the same year. Tony made just 20 appearances in his first two and a half seasons with the Saints. However, at the start of the 1969/70 season some sparkling form helpe....(continued)


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Len Killeen

This popular South African played for the Saints in the mid-sixties. His scoring prowess was an integral part of the great cup winning sides of this era. He was extremely quick with an excellent elusive swerve. Len was also one the sweetest kickers of a rugby ball ever to have laced a boot in the Knowsley Road dressing rooms. A summer signing his debut was nothing short of sensational.

In his first season Len also to cross the line four times in a match against Huddersfield ending....(continued)


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Barrie Ledger


The son of stalwart Eric Ledger, Barrie gained a reputation as a clinical finisher. He possessed great evasive skills and genuine pace. Additionally, he had sound positional play and was a reliable goal-kicker to boot! Barrie played for the St Helens Colts team in the 1980/81 season and graduated to sign professional forms. He made his first team debut on the 3rd of March 1982 in a home match which the Saints prevailed by 14 points to 4 over Featherstone Rovers. Barrie scored his fi....(continued)


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Steve Llewellyn

As a schoolboy `Llew` was unable to command a place in the school Rugby Union team because he was considered to be too small. This would have seemed incredible to the full backs and opposing wingers who were briefed with the task of preventing Llew`s tries as he crash-dived over in the corners of the Knowsley Road ground. He attended the same school as George Parsons in Abertillery. From there he went to Caerleon training college where Viv Harrison and Don Gullick also studie....(continued)


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Paul Loughlin
Paul Loughlin

This talented footballer was signed from St Helens Colts in the summer of 1983. Equally comfortable at full back or in the centres he was a superb signing for the Saints. He evolved into a classic `service centre` with an impeccable timing for the money ball out to the winger. He also possessed a great side-step and was one of the most accurate kickers to have played at Knowsley Road. He made his debut as a seventeen year old coming on as substitute in the 31 points to 20 home victor....(continued)


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John Mantle


John Mantle was a multi-talented athlete and sportsman. He attended Bedwelty Grammar School where he became a Wales youth soccer international, Monmouthshire triple jump champion and schools cricket captain. He was, of course, a rugby player to boot! John attended Loughborough College where he played Rugby Union and turned out for the college in the Middlesex sevens. He continued his development as an all round athlete becoming the college shot putt champion.

He joined Newport....(continued)


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Tommy Martyn
Tommy Martyn

Tommy was masterful reader of the game. His deft passes complemented an eye for an opening in any quality defence, together with a varied artillery of tactical kicks made him a cornerstone and leading architect behind many of the Saints` successes in the Super League era. In a tight game situation Tommy usually came up trumps; a kingpin blessed with astute tactical awareness and original, creative plays. Crowned `Tommy God` by the popular side, his all round game and cheerful personali....(continued)


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Roy Mathias


Roy Mathias had represented Wales RU against France in the 1972 Home Championships when he was lured to the greener pastures of Knowsley Road. The man himself gave an early impression of Rugby League

I watched the opening matches of the season against Rochdale and Salford and I saw David Watkins getting the treatment from one of our forwards and I thought "What have I let myself in for?"

The likeable Welshman`s fears were unfounded as he used the touchline beautifully wit....(continued)


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Stan McCormick

Stan McCormick was born in Oldham on the 5th. of July 1923. He was signed from Belle Vue Rangers for a then record figure of £4,000 on the 19th of January 1949. The Club was determined to sign him and raised the cash by selling Len Constance and Harry Street to Dewsbury for £3000 on the same day of the signing. Stan was an accomplished professional sprinter, who gained a reputation as an `Interception King`. McCormick would swoop from the wing as if to crash tackle the man with the ....(continued)


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Glyn Moses
Glyn Moses
"For 15 months I didn`t have a game of football in the rugby hotbed of Wales. I was hanging around on Saturday for the first time since I was in short pants. I did not even ask for a game, I knew it was useless. I came to St Helens on Christmas Day 1952 just glad to get a game. I was lucky to hit a team coming to its best."
Glyn Moses was the rock solid last line of defence for the Saints in the 1950s. A natural footballer he often demonstrated his prowess in attack netting a total of....(continued)


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Paul Newlove


Paul Newlove was born in Featherstone on the 10th of August, 1971. He started his professional career with Featherstone Rovers before moving to Bradford Northern in the early 1980s. Paul is the son of ex-Hull and Featherstone Rovers star John. Whilst he was on the books of the Rovers he became the youngest ever GB international when he made his debut against New Zealand at the age of 18 years and 72 days.

Saints smashed the world record on November 29th., 1995 when the....(continued)


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George Nicholls


George Nicholls was undoubtedly one of the greatest forwards ever to play for the Saints. He stood out as a creative and powerful back row forward in the 1972 World Cup competition in France and was part of that team that brought the World Cup back to British shores. As the rugby league world sat up and noticed this burgeoning talent, Saints officials moved quickly and snapped up George from Widnes in the new year of 1973. He made his debut against Leeds on the 20th. of January, 197....(continued)


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George Parsons

George Parsons was a stalwart for the club playing almost 300 matches mostly in the second row position. He made his debut against Rochdale Hornets on the 24th. January, 1948. George was born on the 21st January 1926 in Newbridge, Wales. George was a powerful, strong running and hard-tackling forward. In 296 matches for the Saints George scored 45 tries, kicked 40 goals for a total points aggregate of 215 points.

It was a spur of the moment decision which brought George Parson....(continued)


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Geoff Pimblett

I first came across Geoff Pimblett when he arrived at Grange Park Technical School in the mid-1960s as a fresh-faced teacher of History. There must be some kind of fountain of eternal youth close to Broadway as `Sir Geoffrey` didn`t seem to age through the following fifteen or so years during which he became one of Saints` all time great full backs and captains. The very same `secret spring` could also explain why Geoff became a `lifer` at the same school for the rest of his professiona....(continued)


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Harry Pinner


Harry Pinner was one of the best ball distributors ever to don a Saints` jersey. His brilliant reading of the game, timely passes and tactical kicking were often the difference between Saints and the opposition. After graduating through the Saints Colts, Harry burst onto the scene at the conclusion of the treble winning 1975/76 season. The team were faced with a backlog of fixtures during April 1976 and Harry was pitched into the first team. Supporters soon became aware of his extens....(continued)


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Alan Prescott


Alan Prescott was an international rugby league icon, who gained the utmost respect from his on-field deeds and inspirational captaincy. In 1956, Alan was at the pinnacle of his career as captain of his club, county and also his country – the first forward to achieve this particular honour! The Challenge Cup Final was a Roses Battle royal between St.Helens and Halifax - two evenly-matched sides. The game was typified by uncompromising tackling, as both sets of forwards vied for suprema....(continued)


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Austin Rhodes

Austin Rhodes was a gifted half back and full back who played for the Saints in two spells. He was a prolific points scorer and stands in third place on the all-time Club list of points accumulators with 1921 points from 97 tries and 815 goals. This stylish stand off formed an all St Austin’s/Thatto Heath partnership in the mid to late 1950s with Alex Murphy. In his first spell with the club Austin collected all available club, county and international honours. He made his first team de....(continued)


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Wilf Smith


Wilf was a stalwart of the St.Helens club for 14 years, winning virtually every honour in the game during his career at Knowsley Road. Rugby League was in his blood – his father, Tommy, was a fine second row forward with the mighty St.Helens Recs in the 1920s and part of the famous ‘Smith, Fildes and Mulvanney’ back three! A great all-round footballer, with good hands and a clinical tackler, he signed for the Saints from the Clock Face amateur club on 15 September 1955 and learned his tra....(continued)


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Jimmy Stott
Jimmy Stott

Jimmy Stott was a stalwart for the club playing almost 200 matches mostly as a centre. He made his debut in Saints on the 4th of November 1939 against Broughton Rangers. He was born in Spurgeon Street off Park Road on the 15th of November 1919. Jimmy Stott was a great all-round sportsman who attended the rugby league hotbed of Parr Central School.

Jimmy was signed from the local UGB amateur team, incidentally Jimmy also worked for the glass firm. In 193 matches for the Saint....(continued)


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Ab Terry

Albert Edward Terry was born in St Helens on the 17th, May 1934. He was a stalwart for the club playing over 200 matches mostly as a prop. Abe was signed from the St Helens 'B' team on 17th., February, 1955 and made his debut in the last match of the season against Barrow on the 18th. April 1955. In 216 matches for the Saints Abe scored 27 tries, kicked no goals for a total points aggregate of 81 points.

He scored his first try for the first team against Dewsbury on Februar....(continued)


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John Warlow
John Warlow

John Warlow played in the successful Saints teams of the sixties and early seventies. He was a 6 feet 1 inch, 15 stones second row forward from Llanelli RU Club and a welsh Rugby Union international. He was signed in a pub by the then secretary Basil Lowe and Saints Chairman Harry Cook. The directors of Workington Town were also present attempting to sign `Big John`. Also in attendance to witness, and later celebrate, the signing of a Saint, were John`s team-mates from Llanelli.
....(continued)


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Cliff Watson
Cliff Watson

Cliff Watson played in the very successful Saints teams of the sixties.

"Come and join us, as long as you are big and fast"

He joined Saints in 1960 after responding to a Club advertisement in the Sporting Chronicle offering trials for `top class Rugby Union forwards`. Cliff must have felt confident and wrote to Basil Lowe, the then Saints secretary, with his curriculum vitae. The original letter aremains in the archives to this day and a copy of this document is printed in....(continued)


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Also included in the Hall of Fame are

Former Chairman Harry Cook
Former Coach Jim Sullivan

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