When Tom Banks made his debut, the Saints produced a storming performance to beat Swinton 10-2 at Knowsley Road, with scrum-half Jackie Bradbury scoring two tries and Welsh threequarter Stan Powell kicking two goals. “Saints become Tigers to beat the Lions,” trumpeted the St Helens Reporter and there was a new man in the pack for the Red and Whites. Tom Banks was from Castleford, for whom he played 42 games and also played for Huddersfield.
Despite the Saints’ creditable victory, the local Correspondent, Recorder, was quite guarded as to the new man’s prospects:
“Banks, the new man played prop till about half time and then changed over and was replaced by Cunliffe. It is unfair to judge him by one display and I will not do so. I have seen him with Huddersfield play grandly as a second row man and to me he seems the right build for second row and not stocky or solid enough for prop. Tall and fairly slim in build, he looks to me like a 10-12 to 13 stones man stripped. A raiding type. Taken as prop pure and simple, I still think that Stan Hill cannot be equalled in the club’s books. Banks has a long stride, is active and forceful and can hold and give a pass. He has played at Castleford as prop and has come as a front row man and no doubt was fresh and strong and therefore can only be judged as prop after a longer trial. I will leave it at that for this week and heartily welcome him as a fellow with go in him.”
Banks formed a front-row partnership with hooker George Roberts and Jim Cunliffe on his debut. He played 8 times for the Saints overall, being selected for the final time on 4th April 1938, when the Saints were defeated at Featherstone. Banks was in the back row this time, partnered by Les Garner and a teenage loose forward, Norman Thompson.
Clearly, things didn’t work out at Knowsley Road and he returned to the Castleford club shortly afterwards, where his address in the Rugby League Registers was given as Granville Street, Cutsyke. A general labourer in public works, he died in June 1959 aged 51 and his death was registered in Pontefract. If anyone has any further information about Tom, we would like to hear from you.
|Season (Official Matches)||Tries||Goals||DGoals||Matches|
|Season (Other Matches)||Tries||Goals||DGoals||Matches|
|29th Jan 1938||
|5th Feb 1938||
|12th Feb 1938||
|19th Feb 1938||
|26th Feb 1938||
|19th Mar 1938||
|26th Mar 1938||
|9th Apr 1938||
|*Unofficial Match. **Non Playing Sub.|
|WINS : 3 | LOSSES : 5 | DRAWS :|
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