Ben Briers

OVERALL STATISTICS

BIRTHAGESIGNED ONFROM
14-02-1890
N/A
1915
Thatto Heath ARLFC
DEBUTLAST MATCHLEFT
02-01-1911 v Hunslet
Widnes
1925-
CAREERAPPEARANCES (SUBS)
1919-1925
199 (0)
TRIESGOALSDGOALSPTS
15
3
0
51

Biography of Ben Briers



HERITAGE NO : 208
Benjamin Briers by SHS

As a result of some key research in March 2016, Benjamin [Ben] Briers's career has had something of a make-over and a number of extra appearances have been added as a result! The younger brother of Saints' legend Billy Briers, born in Thatto Heath, took over somewhat seamlessly from him in the autumn of 1910. The Saints were down on numbers in the forwards and Billy put on the boots once more, playing five matches, before Ben made his debut on the 2nd January 1911, against Hunslet at Knowsley Road. Saints won 24-2 and the youngster clearly impressed with a competent display. 'Referee' in the St. Helens Reporter wrote that: 'A newcomer in Ben Briers, brother of the famous William, made a fine debut in first class company. He is a big fine lad as strong as a horse and twenty years of age'.with ordinary luck he will maintain the Donkey Common [Thatto Heath] reputation for producing typical forwards'.

Such optimism was realised, as Ben cemented his place in the seniors and Billy watched him in the Grandstand, eventually to become a Life Member of the club. Fast forward to the Saints' programme for the game with Wigan Highfield, on 4th October 1924, when Ben is featured in a series of player pen pictures. More detail about his earlier sporting life is revealed. By the mid 1920s, he was 34 years old and at the veteran stage of his career. He was just under six feet in height and weighed 15 and a half stones, which would put him in the 'burly' category. His extra weight was a big plus in the scrums and he remained reasonably mobile in the loose. He had captained the Saints on occasions and also had a good boot on him, although this was used sparingly.

The pen picture gives us an insight into Ben's early sporting life, which began in Association Football, with St. Annes, in the Liverpool and District League, where he played as a left-back. Ben then represented Ravenhead St. Johns in the St. Helens and District Sunday League before switching to rugby, as a second-rower with the Thatto Heath club in 1907-08. Progress was rapid and Ben captained the team for three seasons before catching the eyes of the Saints' Committee and he signed for the Knowsley Road club in 1909.

Although the Saints, in their unique blue and black hooped jerseys of the time failed to seriously challenge for major honours, Ben became a key member of the forward pack and one of his early highlights was to play for the club against the visiting Australians at Knowsley Road, on 14th October 1911. By then, he had become a Lancashire representative, just like his brother and featured that season in two matches for the Red Rose county: against Australia at Blackburn [12-25] and against Cumberland in the County Championship at Warrington [7-28]. He made three county appearances overall in his career.

Ben did not play for the Saints for the three remaining seasons before the outbreak of war. We do not know why this was the case. Was he injured? It is unlikely he would have played elsewhere, but he re-surfaced for some games during the War Emergency League during World War One and was there for the full resumption of Northern Union football in 1919-20, when he made 22 appearances. He continued to be a valued member of the pack for the next few years, playing 38 matches in 1924-25. Ben could play anywhere in the pack ' even hooker ' with success. His last game for the seniors was the opening fixture of 1925-26, against Widnes at Knowsley Road, when the Saints lost 6-23. He was getting on for 36 then and a fine career ended. The 1939 Census tells us that Ben had moved to Hornby Road, Blackpool, where he passed away in June 1964, aged 74. He had worked variously in labouring jobs. If anyone can provide any further information, particularly about the 'missing' seasons, 1912-13, 1913-14 and 1914-15, we would like to hear from you.

Benny Briers

Extract from the St Helens v Wigan Highfield Programme 4 October 1924

Age 34 Height 5ft 11ins Weight 15st 8lb

Commenced playing under the soccer code at the age of 15 and played left full back for St Annes in the Liverpool District League. He afterwards played for Ravenhead St Johns in the St Helens And District Sunday School League. In the season of 1907-08 he came over to the rugby league genre and was found playing for Thatto Heath as a second row forward being captain during seasons 1907, 1908 and 1909. He commenced playing for the Saints in 1909 and played for Lancashire against Cumberland, Australia and Yorkshire in seasons 1911 and 1912. He played for the West v the East at Leeds in the first Northern Union Trial Match in 1919-20. He has been captain of our team during different seasons of his career. He is playing this season with the full zest of a youngster and had already kicked some thrilling goals from a long range his weight in the pack and his presence on the field being of the utmost value to the side.



SEASON STATISTICS

Season (Official Matches)TriesGoalsDGoalsMatches
1910~11 1 0 0 18
1911~12 5 0 0 35
1918~19 1 0 0 9
1919~200 0 0 22
1920~21 1 0 0 30
1921~221 0 0 19
1922~231 0 0 14
1923~243 0 0 13
1924~252 3 0 38
1925~26 0 0 0 1
TOTALS:15 3 0 199
Season (Other Matches)TriesGoalsDGoalsMatches
1911~12 0001
1917~18 02014
1918~19 0004
1921~22 0001
1923~240001
TOTALS:02021

ALL MATCHES

DateMatchPosOpponentsCompVenueFTFTOTGDG
2nd Jan 1911 1
W
12 Hunslet L H 24 2 VIEW
7th Jan 1911 2
W
12 Swinton L H 11 10 VIEW
11th Jan 1911 3
L
12 Wakefield Trinity L A 9 26 VIEW
14th Jan 1911 4
W
12 Coventry L A 14 2 VIEW
21st Jan 1911 5
L
12 Wakefield Trinity L H 8 18 VIEW
28th Jan 1911 6
L
12 Broughton Rangers L A 7 14 VIEW
4th Feb 1911 7
W
12 Coventry L H 26 15 VIEW
11th Feb 1911 8
D
12 Barrow L H 8 8 VIEW
18th Feb 1911 9
W
12 Bramley CC1 H 26 7 VIEW
4th Mar 1911 10
L
12 Leeds CC2 H 6 11 VIEW
11th Mar 1911 11
L
12 Hull Kingston Rovers L A 10 42 1 VIEW
18th Mar 1911 12
W
12 Leigh L H 10 3 VIEW
22nd Mar 1911 13
L
12 Salford L A 6 19 VIEW
1st Apr 1911 14
L
12 Widnes L H 6 16 VIEW
14th Apr 1911 15
L
12 Wigan L A 8 25 VIEW
15th Apr 1911 16
L
12 Swinton L A 9 23 VIEW
17th Apr 1911 17
L
12 Hull Kingston Rovers L H 3 20 VIEW
22nd Apr 1911 18
L
12 Rochdale Hornets L A 2 17 VIEW
2nd Sep 1911 19
W
8 Barrow L A 15 6 VIEW
9th Sep 1911 20
W
8 Warrington L H 10 2 VIEW
16th Sep 1911 21
W
8 Swinton L A 13 5 1 VIEW
23rd Sep 1911 22
W
8 Runcorn L H 25 0 VIEW
30th Sep 1911 23
L
8 Leigh L H 11 13 VIEW
7th Oct 1911 24
L
8 Widnes L A 11 14 VIEW
14th Oct 1911 25
L
8 Australia Tour H 5 16 VIEW
21st Oct 1911 26
W
8 Salford LC1 H 18 7 1 VIEW
28th Oct 1911 27
L
8 Coventry L A 8 10 VIEW
4th Nov 1911 28
L
8 Wigan LC2 A 8 22 VIEW
11th Nov 1911 29
L
8 Ebbw Vale L A 0 2 VIEW
18th Nov 1911 30
W
8 Salford L A 15 13 VIEW
25th Nov 1911 31
W
8 Rochdale Hornets L H 27 12 VIEW
2nd Dec 1911 32
W
8 Broughton Rangers L H 10 5 VIEW
7th Dec 1911 33
W
8 Oldham L H 21 11 VIEW
9th Dec 1911 34
W
8 Warrington L A 17 2 VIEW
16th Dec 1911 35
W
8 Coventry L H 31 2 VIEW
23rd Dec 1911 36
W
8 Runcorn L A 9 0 VIEW
25th Dec 1911 37
W
8 Widnes L H 9 4 VIEW
26th Dec 1911 38
L
8 Wigan L H 3 16 1 VIEW
30th Dec 1911 39
L
8 Oldham L A 5 35 1 VIEW
1st Jan 1912 40
W
8 Hunslet L H 31 10 VIEW
6th Jan 1912 41
L
8 Wakefield Trinity L A 5 14 VIEW
27th Jan 1912 42
W
8 Rochdale Hornets L A 10 3 VIEW
17th Feb 1912 43
L
8 Barrow CC1 A 3 13 1 VIEW
20th Feb 1912 44
L
8 Dewsbury L A 8 17 VIEW
24th Feb 1912 45
W
8 Leigh L A 30 0 VIEW
2nd Mar 1912 --
W
8 Runcorn * Fr 27 8 VIEW
9th Mar 1912 46
W
8 Swinton L H 20 5 VIEW
16th Mar 1912 47
W
8 Salford L H 19 6 VIEW
28th Mar 1912 48
W
8 Dewsbury L H 20 0 VIEW
30th Mar 1912 49
W
8 Barrow L H 43 2 VIEW
5th Apr 1912 50
L
8 Wigan L A 14 17 VIEW
6th Apr 1912 51
L
8 Broughton Rangers L A 5 21 VIEW
8th Apr 1912 52
W
8 Wakefield Trinity L H 41 2 VIEW
13th Apr 1912 53
L
8 Hunslet L A 7 34 VIEW
1st Sep 1917 --
L
12 Wigan * Fr WEL A 8 14 VIEW
15th Sep 1917 --
L
12 Leigh * Fr WEL A 0 13 VIEW
29th Sep 1917 --
L
13 St. Helens Recs * Fr WEL A 0 8 VIEW
6th Oct 1917 --
W
12 Widnes * Fr WEL H 9 3 VIEW
13th Oct 1917 --
W
12 Warrington * Fr WEL H 9 8 VIEW
27th Oct 1917 --
L
12 Swinton * Fr WEL A 2 5 VIEW
3rd Nov 1917 --
W
12 Runcorn * Fr WEL H 30 0 2 VIEW
10th Nov 1917 --
L
12 Barrow * Fr WEL A 3 50 VIEW
17th Nov 1917 --
L
12 Leigh * Fr WEL H 2 22 VIEW
26th Dec 1917 --
L
12 Wigan * Fr WEL H 2 5 VIEW
1st Jan 1918 --
L
12 St. Helens Recs * Fr WEL A 0 14 VIEW
5th Jan 1918 --
D
12 Widnes * Fr WEL A 10 10 VIEW
12th Jan 1918 --
L
12 Widnes * Fr WEL H 6 18 VIEW
31st Jan 1918 --
L
12 Widnes * Fr WEL A 0 22 VIEW
1st Feb 1919 54
W
11 Warrington L H 8 3 VIEW
1st Mar 1919 55
L
11 Leigh L H 0 10 VIEW
8th Mar 1919 56
L
11 Widnes L A 3 22 1 VIEW
15th Mar 1919 57
W
11 Widnes L H 7 5 VIEW
22nd Mar 1919 58
L
11 St. Helens Recs L A 0 18 VIEW
29th Mar 1919 59
L
11 Leigh L A 0 9 VIEW
5th Apr 1919 60
W
11 Warrington LC1 H 11 5 VIEW
12th Apr 1919 61
L
11 Oldham LC2 A 8 16 VIEW
18th Apr 1919 --
W
11 Widnes * Fr H 16 10 VIEW
21st Apr 1919 --
D
11 Widnes * Fr A 3 3 VIEW
26th Apr 1919 --
L
11 St. Helens Recs * Fr H 6 8 VIEW
3rd May 1919 62
W
11 St. Helens Recs L A 8 2 VIEW
24th May 1919 --
L
10 Wigan * Fr N 3 16 VIEW
23rd Aug 1919 63
W
9 Broughton Rangers L H 28 2 VIEW
30th Aug 1919 64
W
9 Leigh L A 10 8 VIEW
6th Sep 1919 65
L
9 Oldham L H 3 12 VIEW
4th Oct 1919 66
L
9 Widnes L A 0 13 VIEW
25th Oct 1919 67
L
9 Oldham L A 3 26 VIEW
8th Nov 1919 68
W
9 Hull Kingston Rovers L H 11 0 VIEW
11th Nov 1919 69
L
9 Rochdale Hornets L A 5 6 VIEW
22nd Nov 1919 70
L
9 Halifax L A 8 17 VIEW
30th Nov 1919 71
L
9 Leigh L H 3 12 VIEW
13th Dec 1919 72
W
9 Swinton L H 12 7 VIEW
20th Dec 1919 73
W
9 Halifax L H 5 0 VIEW
25th Dec 1919 74
L
9 St. Helens Recs L A 6 21 VIEW
26th Dec 1919 75
W
9 Wigan L H 13 5 VIEW
27th Dec 1919 76
L
9 Broughton Rangers L A 0 15 VIEW
1st Jan 1920 77
W
9 St. Helens Recs L H 9 8 VIEW
3rd Jan 1920 78
D
9 Wakefield Trinity L A 9 9 VIEW
10th Jan 1920 79
L
9 Salford L H 6 13 VIEW
17th Jan 1920 80
W
9 Hull Kingston Rovers L A 17 5 VIEW
24th Jan 1920 81
W
9 Widnes L H 12 2 VIEW
7th Feb 1920 82
L
9 Barrow L A 5 25 VIEW
21st Feb 1920 83
D
9 Wakefield Trinity CC1 H 2 2 VIEW
24th Feb 1920 84
D
9 Wakefield Trinity CC1(rep) A 2 2 VIEW
28th Aug 1920 85
L
9 Broughton Rangers L A 11 13 VIEW
4th Sep 1920 86
W
9 Widnes L H 18 8 VIEW
11th Sep 1920 87
L
9 Leigh L A 0 5 VIEW
18th Sep 1920 88
W
9 Warrington L H 26 6 VIEW
25th Sep 1920 89
W
9 Swinton L A 17 8 VIEW
2nd Oct 1920 90
W
9 Bradford Northern L H 38 3 VIEW
9th Oct 1920 91
W
9 Widnes L A 10 2 VIEW
16th Oct 1920 92
W
9 Askam LC1 H 26 2 VIEW
23rd Oct 1920 93
L
9 Rochdale Hornets L A 8 15 VIEW
30th Oct 1920 94
L
9 Broughton Rangers LC2 A 2 6 VIEW
6th Nov 1920 95
L
9 York L A 0 8 VIEW
13th Nov 1920 96
W
9 Barrow L H 8 5 VIEW
27th Nov 1920 97
W
9 Salford L H 14 5 VIEW
4th Dec 1920 98
L
9 Swinton L H 2 6 VIEW
18th Dec 1920 99
W
9 Bradford Northern L A 16 0 1 VIEW
25th Dec 1920 100
L
9 St. Helens Recs L H 0 5 VIEW
26th Dec 1920 101
L
9 Wigan L H 4 22 VIEW
22nd Jan 1921 102
W
9 Hunslet L H 8 7 VIEW
29th Jan 1921 103
L
9 Warrington L A 2 15 VIEW
5th Feb 1921 104
L
9 Rochdale Hornets L H 0 10 VIEW
12th Feb 1921 105
L
9 Keighley L A 0 9 VIEW
19th Feb 1921 106
L
9 Barrow L A 5 25 VIEW
26th Feb 1921 107
L
9 Bramley CC1 H 0 7 VIEW
5th Mar 1921 108
W
9 Oldham L H 11 3 VIEW
19th Mar 1921 109
L
9 Hunslet L A 5 7 VIEW
25th Mar 1921 110
L
9 Wigan L A 3 24 VIEW
26th Mar 1921 111
L
9 Oldham L A 0 28 VIEW
28th Mar 1921 112
W
9 Broughton Rangers L H 9 7 VIEW
2nd Apr 1921 113
W
9 Salford L A 10 5 VIEW
22nd Apr 1921 114
W
9 Leigh L H 15 8 VIEW
27th Aug 1921 115
L
8 Oldham L H 3 10 VIEW
3rd Sep 1921 116
L
8 Huddersfield L A 3 38 VIEW
10th Sep 1921 117
W
8 Salford L H 16 6 VIEW
1st Oct 1921 118
W
9 Broughton Rangers L A 5 2 VIEW
8th Oct 1921 119
W
9 Barrow L H 31 8 VIEW
22nd Oct 1921 120
L
9 Warrington L A 0 11 VIEW
29th Oct 1921 --
L
9 Hull * Fr H 12 29 VIEW
5th Nov 1921 121
L
9 Oldham LC1 H 5 17 1 VIEW
12th Nov 1921 122
L
9 Leigh L A 3 9 VIEW
17th Nov 1921 123
W
9 Wakefield Trinity L H 6 5 VIEW
18th Nov 1921 124
L
9 Bramley L A 4 8 VIEW
25th Feb 1922 125
L
11 Broughton Rangers CC1 A 0 13 VIEW
4th Mar 1922 126
W
10 Broughton Rangers L H 14 9 VIEW
11th Mar 1922 127
L
10 Wakefield Trinity L A 5 17 VIEW
18th Mar 1922 128
W
10 York L H 17 8 VIEW
25th Mar 1922 129
W
10 Featherstone Rovers L H 24 13 VIEW
1st Apr 1922 130
L
10 Featherstone Rovers L A 4 11 VIEW
8th Apr 1922 131
D
10 Warrington L H 5 5 VIEW
14th Apr 1922 132
L
10 Wigan L A 5 8 VIEW
16th Apr 1922 133
L
10 York L A 3 6 VIEW
16th Sep 1922 134
W
10 Wigan Highfield L H 21 5 VIEW
23rd Sep 1922 135
L
10 Hull L A 15 18 VIEW
30th Sep 1922 136
W
10 Bramley L H 19 5 VIEW
7th Oct 1922 137
L
10 Warrington L A 14 21 1 VIEW
14th Oct 1922 138
W
10 Salford LC1 H 25 8 VIEW
21st Oct 1922 139
W
10 Broughton Rangers L H 24 10 VIEW
28th Oct 1922 140
L
12 Warrington LC2 H 4 17 VIEW
10th Feb 1923 141
W
9 Keighley L A 8 3 VIEW
24th Feb 1923 142
L
13 Salford L A 3 11 VIEW
30th Mar 1923 143
L
9 Rochdale Hornets L A 5 22 VIEW
2nd Apr 1923 144
L
8 Hull L H 8 23 VIEW
7th Apr 1923 145
L
8 Wigan L A 10 41 VIEW
14th Apr 1923 146
W
8 Oldham L H 17 12 VIEW
21st Apr 1923 147
W
8 Salford L H 56 10 VIEW
25th Aug 1923 148
W
9 Widnes L H 5 3 VIEW
1st Sep 1923 149
L
9 Warrington L H 5 8 VIEW
27th Oct 1923 150
D
9 Swinton LC2 H 5 5 VIEW
9th Feb 1924 151
L
10 Dewsbury L A 10 16 VIEW
1st Mar 1924 152
L
10 Huddersfield CC2 A 13 24 VIEW
8th Mar 1924 153
W
10 Wigan Highfield L H 10 9 VIEW
15th Mar 1924 154
W
10 Keighley L H 34 6 1 VIEW
22nd Mar 1924 155
L
10 Oldham L A 10 48 VIEW
29th Mar 1924 156
W
12 Bramley L H 13 8 VIEW
5th Apr 1924 157
W
12 Rochdale Hornets L H 15 13 VIEW
12th Apr 1924 --
L
12 St. Helens Recs* Fr H 8 10 VIEW
18th Apr 1924 158
L
12 Wigan L H 3 14 VIEW
19th Apr 1924 159
W
10 Broughton Rangers L H 21 6 1 VIEW
26th Apr 1924 160
W
11 Salford L H 37 15 1 VIEW
30th Aug 1924 161
W
11 Widnes L A 10 9 VIEW
6th Sep 1924 162
L
11 Widnes L H 7 8 VIEW
13th Sep 1924 163
L
11 Barrow L A 8 19 VIEW
20th Sep 1924 164
W
11 Keighley L H 16 9 2 VIEW
27th Sep 1924 165
W
11 Hull L A 9 0 1 VIEW
4th Oct 1924 166
W
11 Wigan Highfield L H 15 5 VIEW
11th Oct 1924 167
D
11 Widnes LC1 A 7 7 VIEW
15th Oct 1924 168
W
11 Widnes LC1(rep) H 19 5 1 VIEW
18th Oct 1924 169
L
11 Wakefield Trinity L A 2 3 VIEW
25th Oct 1924 170
W
11 Warrington LC2 H 15 5 VIEW
8th Nov 1924 171
L
11 Oldham LCSF H 9 16 VIEW
13th Nov 1924 172
L
11 Swinton L H 6 20 VIEW
15th Nov 1924 173
L
11 Salford L A 3 13 VIEW
22nd Nov 1924 174
W
11 Broughton Rangers L H 12 2 VIEW
29th Nov 1924 175
W
11 Keighley L A 5 4 VIEW
6th Dec 1924 176
W
11 Dewsbury L H 21 2 VIEW
13th Dec 1924 177
W
11 Leigh L H 21 3 VIEW
20th Dec 1924 178
L
11 Rochdale Hornets L A 0 11 VIEW
25th Dec 1924 179
W
11 St. Helens Recs L H 7 5 VIEW
26th Dec 1924 180
L
11 Wigan L H 7 13 1 VIEW
1st Jan 1925 181
D
11 St. Helens Recs L A 5 5 VIEW
3rd Jan 1925 182
W
11 Wakefield Trinity L H 15 2 VIEW
10th Jan 1925 183
L
11 Wigan Highfield L A 8 12 VIEW
17th Jan 1925 184
L
11 Oldham L H 5 24 VIEW
24th Jan 1925 185
L
11 Swinton L A 3 49 VIEW
31st Jan 1925 186
W
11 Salford L OBJ H 14 0 VIEW
2nd Feb 1925 187
W
11 Barrow L H 12 8 VIEW
7th Feb 1925 188
L
8 Oldham L A 5 32 VIEW
14th Feb 1925 189
L
8 Widnes CC1 A 8 10 VIEW
21st Feb 1925 190
W
8 Warrington L H 9 5 VIEW
28th Feb 1925 191
W
8 Salford L H 17 0 VIEW
7th Mar 1925 192
D
8 Halifax L A 11 11 VIEW
14th Mar 1925 193
W
8 Halifax L H 10 2 VIEW
21st Mar 1925 194
D
10 Broughton Rangers L A 10 10 VIEW
28th Mar 1925 195
W
10 Rochdale Hornets L H 34 3 VIEW
10th Apr 1925 196
L
8 Wigan L A 4 51 VIEW
11th Apr 1925 197
L
8 Leigh L A 10 17 VIEW
18th Apr 1925 198
W
12 Warrington L A 15 8 VIEW
28th Aug 1925 199
L
11 Widnes L H 6 23 VIEW
*Unofficial Match. **Non Playing Sub.
WINS : 99 | LOSSES : 109 | DRAWS : 12

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