Matt Creevey

OVERALL STATISTICS

BIRTHAGESIGNED ONFROM
23-04-1886
N/A
Date unknown.
Pocket Nook Shamrocks
DEBUTLAST MATCHLEFT
06-10-1906 v Runcorn
Leigh
1919- when he Retired
CAREERAPPEARANCES (SUBS)
1906-1910
125 (0)
TRIESGOALSDGOALSPTS
15
15
0
75

Biography of Matt Creevey



HERITAGE NO : 153
Matt Creevey by Dave Dooley:
Matt Creevey was one of the greatest all round sportsmen ever to don a Saints` jersey. Besides becoming a great half back for the Saints Matt was also an accomplished professional sprinter and handball player. Furthermore, Matt was a music hall `trick jumping` artist who held several related world`s records. My father related a tale of Matt being able to perform a jump over the head of an adult from a standing position. Matt recalled his early experiences in a candid interview in the St Helens Newspaper during the depression years following World War I.

"Jumping on the canal bank was how I got started. It was a popular sport in those days and I was quite young when I took it up professionally."

The most sensational feat he performed was the standing jump with two weights over the backs of two 16 hands high horses standing side by side. He astounded Music Hall audiences all over the British Isles with his hazardous leap over 11 chairs and two tables - seven chairs on the floor, four on top and a card table at each end. He performed at the Kelvin Hall Glasgow for six weeks, jumping backwards as a stunt, farther than any challenger could jump forwards!

The talented Saints half back could run the 100 yards in 10.4 seconds well into his thirties. His biggest win in a wonderful succession of handicap triumphs was at the Broughton handicap in1916 when he beat 343 runners! Matt was also decorated by the Royal Humane Society for the rescue of a woman from the local Sankey Canal.

The same interview served to illustrate the temporary nature of fame and fortune as Matt found himself without work in the hard times of the late 1920`s. He longed to become a football trainer:-

"I myself had the finest trainer in the world and I would like nothing better than to put some of his precepts into practice."

Matt signed for Saints from Pocket Nook Shamrocks in 1904. He made his first team debut on October 6th., 1906 in the home defeat by 22 points to 8 against Runcorn. His first goal and points for the club came in the same match. That season Matt went on to play 20 matches in his inaugural season netting 4 tries and kicking 5 goals. It was this season that the Creevey clan established a notable first in the history of the Club. In the first ever 13- a side derby against Wigan on March 9th. 1907 Matt accompanied his brothers, Charlie and Jimmy in the first team as the Saints defeated Wigan by 10 points to 8. It was a red letter day for the family as Matt scored a try and Charlie kicked two goals. The same three brothers also played in the corresponding away fixture in the same season. No other family trio have played in a Saints fixture together.

The following season Matt played in 31 out of the 36 matches scoring three tries and six goals. At this point of his career he was playing mostly at scrum half but he had already appeared at stand off, in the centre and on the wing. His appearances in the 1908/09 season were curtailed as Matt sailed to the USA to trade local fame for fortune. The final match of the 1913/14 season saw Matt capture a brace of tries in the home match against Hunslet. The 1914/15 season witnessed Matt making 33 appearances for the Saints as the team marched to the Challenge Cup Final to face the great Huddersfield team. Matt played stand off in the May Day final at Oldham, that saw the Saints go down by 37 points to 3. During the following three seasons the War Emergency League were not counted as official matches but Matt did play 16 matches in the 1915/16 campaign resulting in a personal haul of one try and one goal.

Matt`s all round athleticism and agility were reflected on the rugby field. He was `lightning` off the mark and extremely evasive with the ball in his hand. He played 3 official matches in the 1918/19 season and played his last match for the Club on March 1st. 1919 in a 10 points to nil home defeat by Leigh. In all Matt played 58 games at scrum half and 54 at stand off with the rest in the centre or on the wing. His family background and all round abilities make him one of the most colourful and rich characters ever to have played for our great Club.

The following obituary of Matt Creevey appeared in the St.Helens Reporter on Tuesday 06/01/1948.
The death is announced at the age of 61 of Matt Creevey of Oliver Road, one of the best fly-half backs St.Helens RFC ever had. He was a star of a few decades ago, was one of the world's champion jumpers and had three well-known brother footballers who each in turn played for the Saints. They were Charlie, Jimmy and Luke. Matt collapsed twelve months ago owing to heart trouble and had been in poor health since. He was an indirect product of the St.Helens Junior Rugby League team St.Helens Shamrocks. Matt could do 70 yards in seven seconds ' a very nice dash for a half-back. He won a professional short distance sprint over that distance. He also won most of the world's jumping records. He could jump over the average man's head; onto a horse's back and off again in one movement; into a fair-sized barrel and out again in the same way; and backwards over an ordinary chair. At one period he travelled the music halls performing jumping tricks. His assets as a rugby player were, first, his brilliant burst of speed; second, his blinding dummy; third, his simultaneous sidestep and last, but perhaps the most important of all, his ability to change his position to take his runs at different angles when playing fly-half. Some time after retiring he became licensee of a pub in Pocket Nook. In 1939 Matt lived in Napier Street, St Helens. He died in January 1948 in St Helens aged 61. He died a widower with three daughters ' all married. His grandson, aged four, died on the same day.

Matt Creevey and the Burglar

This interesting confrontation took place in May 1913 and was reported in the St Helens Newspaper

“On Monday night there was a very interesting encounter between Matt Creevey, the well-known professional jumper and ex-rugby footballer and a man named Alfred Bromley, who is described as a labourer of no fixed address. On that night at eleven o’clock Creevey returned home and seeing footprints on the kitchen floor decided to investigate. On entering the scullery he found Bromley and although the latter was a burly man he at once tackled him. Creevey has gained a few points in boxing and a short arm jab on the point staggered his man, whilst another similar blow laid him out for the time being. Creevey then sent for the Police and handed Bromley over to them, where it was found that he had in his possession two razors belonging to him. When Bromley was arrested he said he would not have been there if he had got in the first blow, but Creevey said he was too smart for him and Bromley admitted he was a good lad.”

Rugby league player, champion jumper and sprinter and top-notch pugilist, Matt was certainly a fine all-round sportsman and not to be taken lightly!

Manchester Evening News 16-02-1915
“Matt Creevey the well-known half-back of St Helens Rugby Football Club was this morning at the St Helens Police Court commended by the magistrates for his gallantry in jumping into the canal last night and rescuing a woman who had attempted to commit suicide. The woman was remanded.”

Athletic News 08-11-08
Leigh 13 St Helens 5
“Matt Creevey substituted Trenwith at half-back and played a rare grand game, and it was through one of his brilliant dashes from the scrum that St Helens scored their only try….Leigh crossed over with a lead of five points, but within five minutes after the restart the ball, from a scrum in his own half, went to Matt Creevey. By a quick dash and clever feinting, he beat the opposition, and then ran up to Clarkson and punted. His brother, Charlie, who had crowded on all sail, came up at the psychological moment, took the ball on the bounce and went over the line, and as he also placed a goal the scores were equal…Matt Creevey was ordered off for striking Johnson.”



SEASON STATISTICS

Season (Official Matches)TriesGoalsDGoalsMatches
1906~07 4 5 0 20
1907~083 6 0 31
1908~090 1 0 2
1909~10 3 0 0 23
1910~111 0 0 9
1913~14 3 0 0 4
1914~15 1 2 0 33
1918~19 0 1 0 3
TOTALS:15 15 0 125
Season (Other Matches)TriesGoalsDGoalsMatches
1908~09 0001
1909~10 0002
1915~16 11016
1918~19 0002
TOTALS:11021

ALL MATCHES

DateMatchPosOpponentsCompVenueFTFTOTGDG
6th Oct 1906 1
L
7 Runcorn L H 8 22 1 VIEW
13th Oct 1906 2
L
7 Oldham LC1 H 14 17 VIEW
20th Oct 1906 3
L
7 Pontefract L A 7 17 VIEW
24th Nov 1906 4
W
7 Keighley L H 18 9 1 VIEW
1st Dec 1906 5
L
7 Batley L A 5 30 VIEW
15th Dec 1906 6
L
7 Rochdale Hornets L A 8 14 VIEW
22nd Dec 1906 7
L
7 Broughton Rangers L H 7 14 1 VIEW
25th Dec 1906 8
W
6 Liverpool City L H 42 0 1 VIEW
1st Jan 1907 9
W
7 Batley L H 26 0 1 VIEW
5th Jan 1907 10
L
7 Warrington L A 3 20 VIEW
19th Jan 1907 11
L
7 Leigh L A 2 5 VIEW
2nd Feb 1907 12
L
7 Broughton Rangers L A 11 27 VIEW
16th Feb 1907 13
W
7 Barrow L H 26 3 VIEW
23rd Feb 1907 14
L
7 Runcorn L A 8 14 VIEW
6th Mar 1907 15
L
6 Swinton L A 11 14 VIEW
9th Mar 1907 16
W
7 Wigan L H 10 8 1 VIEW
16th Mar 1907 17
L
7 Swinton CC1 A 9 16 VIEW
29th Mar 1907 18
L
7 Wigan L A 2 24 VIEW
30th Mar 1907 19
W
7 Liverpool City L H 68 0 3 VIEW
1st Apr 1907 20
W
6 Salford L H 30 5 VIEW
3rd Sep 1907 21
L
7 Keighley L A 3 12 VIEW
7th Sep 1907 22
L
7 Swinton L A 0 22 VIEW
14th Sep 1907 23
L
7 Bradford L H 9 14 VIEW
21st Sep 1907 24
L
7 Salford L A 2 21 VIEW
28th Sep 1907 25
W
7 Warrington L H 7 6 VIEW
5th Oct 1907 26
L
7 Widnes L A 5 17 VIEW
12th Oct 1907 27
L
6 Swinton LC1 A 0 7 VIEW
19th Oct 1907 28
W
7 Runcorn L H 17 11 VIEW
26th Oct 1907 29
L
7 Rochdale Hornets L H 8 12 VIEW
30th Oct 1907 30
L
7 New Zealand Tour H 5 24 VIEW
2nd Nov 1907 31
L
4 Broughton Rangers L A 13 25 VIEW
9th Nov 1907 32
L
4 Oldham L A 2 39 VIEW
16th Nov 1907 33
D
3 Ebbw Vale L H 11 11 VIEW
23rd Nov 1907 34
W
6 Swinton L H 8 0 1 VIEW
25th Dec 1907 35
L
7 Runcorn L A 0 19 VIEW
26th Dec 1907 36
L
6 Barrow L A 8 9 VIEW
28th Dec 1907 37
W
6 Bramley L H 16 3 1 1 VIEW
1st Jan 1908 38
L
6 Hunslet L H 8 24 VIEW
4th Jan 1908 39
L
4 Wigan L A 5 35 1 VIEW
18th Jan 1908 40
L
6 Rochdale Hornets L A 11 27 VIEW
25th Jan 1908 41
W
6 Keighley L H 11 3 3 VIEW
1st Feb 1908 42
D
6 Widnes L H 5 5 1 VIEW
22nd Feb 1908 43
L
6 New Zealand Tour H 10 21 VIEW
29th Feb 1908 44
L
6 Whitehaven Recs CC1 A 8 13 VIEW
7th Mar 1908 45
L
6 Hunslet L A 6 21 VIEW
14th Mar 1908 46
L
6 Bradford L A 10 17 VIEW
21st Mar 1908 47
L
5 Oldham L H 5 14 VIEW
4th Apr 1908 48
L
5 Warrington L A 5 20 VIEW
12th Apr 1908 --
L
7 Rochdale Hornets * Fr A 0 15 VIEW
13th Apr 1908 49
L
5 Broughton Rangers L H 11 28 VIEW
18th Apr 1908 50
W
5 Barrow L H 15 5 1 VIEW
20th Apr 1908 51
D
5 Leigh L H 5 5 VIEW
28th Nov 1908 52
W
5 Bradford Northern L H 8 2 1 VIEW
12th Apr 1909 53
L
6 Warrington L A 6 78 VIEW
23rd Oct 1909 54
D
3 Dewsbury L H 8 8 VIEW
6th Nov 1909 55
L
7 Leigh L A 5 13 VIEW
20th Nov 1909 56
W
7 Widnes L H 37 8 1 VIEW
27th Nov 1909 57
L
7 Oldham L H 5 31 VIEW
4th Dec 1909 58
W
7 Hunslet L A 24 8 1 VIEW
11th Dec 1909 59
W
7 Salford L H 7 3 VIEW
13th Dec 1909 60
W
7 Swinton L A 20 9 VIEW
18th Dec 1909 61
L
7 Oldham L A 6 36 VIEW
25th Dec 1909 62
W
7 Runcorn L A 13 0 VIEW
27th Dec 1909 63
L
6 Wigan L H 6 7 VIEW
15th Jan 1910 64
W
7 Leigh L H 11 3 VIEW
22nd Jan 1910 --
L
7 Coventry * Fr A 11 19 VIEW
5th Feb 1910 65
L
7 Dewsbury L A 3 11 VIEW
12th Feb 1910 66
W
7 Warrington L H 18 10 VIEW
19th Feb 1910 67
L
7 Rochdale Hornets L A 0 6 VIEW
26th Feb 1910 68
W
7 Barrow CC1 A 15 0 VIEW
5th Mar 1910 69
W
7 Swinton L H 26 5 VIEW
12th Mar 1910 70
L
7 Halifax CC2 A 6 21 VIEW
25th Mar 1910 71
L
7 Wigan L A 10 23 VIEW
29th Mar 1910 72
W
7 Hunslet L H 28 15 VIEW
2nd Apr 1910 73
W
7 Bramley L A 33 18 VIEW
9th Apr 1910 74
W
7 Barrow L H 21 5 1 VIEW
16th Apr 1910 75
W
7 Hull Kingston Rovers L H 23 8 VIEW
23rd Apr 1910 76
W
7 Rochdale Hornets L H 20 11 VIEW
7th May 1910 --
L
7 Turthills Colonials * * Fr W. Whiteleys Tes H 24 42 VIEW
3rd Sep 1910 77
W
7 Oldham L H 16 5 VIEW
10th Sep 1910 78
L
7 Runcorn L A 4 8 VIEW
17th Sep 1910 79
W
7 Salford L H 19 14 VIEW
24th Sep 1910 80
W
7 Merthyr Tydfil L A 17 6 VIEW
1st Oct 1910 81
L
7 Widnes L A 12 28 1 VIEW
8th Oct 1910 82
W
7 Broughton Rangers L H 31 2 VIEW
15th Oct 1910 83
L
7 Leigh L A 5 9 VIEW
22nd Oct 1910 84
L
7 Rochdale Hornets LC1 H 5 11 VIEW
29th Oct 1910 85
L
7 Warrington L H 9 17 VIEW
28th Mar 1914 86
L
6 Salford L H 2 8 VIEW
10th Apr 1914 87
L
6 Wigan L A 2 30 VIEW
11th Apr 1914 88
W
6 Rochdale Hornets L H 47 5 1 VIEW
18th Apr 1914 89
W
6 Hunslet L H 36 6 2 VIEW
5th Sep 1914 90
W
6 Runcorn L H 26 0 VIEW
12th Sep 1914 91
L
6 Swinton L A 3 12 VIEW
19th Sep 1914 92
W
6 Oldham L H 10 4 VIEW
26th Sep 1914 93
L
6 Rochdale Hornets L A 11 26 VIEW
10th Oct 1914 94
W
6 Widnes L H 12 5 VIEW
17th Oct 1914 95
L
6 Swinton LC1 A 11 13 VIEW
24th Oct 1914 96
L
6 Bradford Northern L A 3 28 VIEW
21st Nov 1914 97
W
6 Dewsbury L H 26 16 VIEW
28th Nov 1914 98
L
6 Warrington L A 6 15 VIEW
5th Dec 1914 99
W
6 Keighley L H 11 6 VIEW
12th Dec 1914 100
W
6 Oldham L A 9 5 VIEW
19th Dec 1914 101
W
6 Bramley L H 24 0 VIEW
26th Dec 1914 102
L
6 Wigan L H 6 15 VIEW
1st Jan 1915 103
W
6 Runcorn L A 10 4 VIEW
2nd Jan 1915 104
W
6 Warrington L H 25 0 1 VIEW
9th Jan 1915 105
W
5 Salford L A 9 3 VIEW
16th Jan 1915 106
W
6 Leigh L A 6 2 VIEW
23rd Jan 1915 107
W
6 Hull L H 11 9 1 VIEW
30th Jan 1915 108
W
6 Keighley L A 20 2 VIEW
6th Feb 1915 109
W
6 Salford L H 23 2 1 VIEW
13th Feb 1915 110
L
6 Barrow L A 0 10 VIEW
20th Feb 1915 111
W
6 Swinton L H 10 0 VIEW
27th Feb 1915 112
W
6 Featherstone Rovers CC1 A 6 0 VIEW
6th Mar 1915 113
L
6 Dewsbury L A 3 13 VIEW
13th Mar 1915 114
W
6 Swinton CC2 A 5 0 VIEW
20th Mar 1915 115
W
6 Leigh L H 14 8 VIEW
27th Mar 1915 116
W
6 Keighley CC3 A 3 2 VIEW
29th Mar 1915 117
W
6 Rochdale Hornets L H 12 3 VIEW
2nd Apr 1915 118
L
6 Wigan L A 11 13 VIEW
10th Apr 1915 119
D
6 Rochdale Hornets CCSF N 5 5 VIEW
17th Apr 1915 120
L
6 Widnes L A 0 21 VIEW
24th Apr 1915 121
W
6 Rochdale Hornets CCSF(rep) N 9 2 VIEW
1st May 1915 122
L
6 Huddersfield CCF N 3 37 VIEW
11th Sep 1915 --
L
6 St. Helens Recs * Fr WEL A 5 10 VIEW
25th Sep 1915 --
W
6 Broughton Rangers * Fr WEL H 11 5 1 VIEW
2nd Oct 1915 --
W
6 Swinton * Fr WEL H 7 3 VIEW
9th Oct 1915 --
W
6 Salford * Fr WEL H 27 8 VIEW
16th Oct 1915 --
W
6 Oldham * Fr WEL A 13 0 VIEW
23rd Oct 1915 --
W
6 St. Helens Recs * Fr WEL H 12 5 VIEW
30th Oct 1915 --
D
6 Broughton Rangers * Fr WEL H 11 11 VIEW
7th Nov 1915 --
D
6 Runcorn * Fr WEL A 0 0 VIEW
14th Nov 1915 --
L
6 Salford * Fr WEL A 5 18 VIEW
11th Dec 1915 --
W
6 Runcorn * Fr WEL H 6 2 VIEW
18th Dec 1915 --
L
6 Wigan * Fr WEL A 8 11 VIEW
25th Dec 1915 --
D
6 St. Helens Recs * Fr WEL H 0 0 VIEW
26th Dec 1915 --
W
6 Wigan * Fr WEL H 8 2 VIEW
1st Jan 1916 --
W
6 St. Helens Recs * Fr WEL *AB A 2 0 1 VIEW
8th Jan 1916 --
L
6 St. Helens Recs * Fr WEL A 3 8 VIEW
12th Feb 1916 --
L
6 Hull * Fr WEL A 3 22 VIEW
25th Dec 1918 --
L
6 St. Helens Recs * Fr A 0 20 VIEW
14th Jan 1919 --
L
6 Barrow * Fr A 3 27 VIEW
18th Jan 1919 123
L
6 St. Helens Recs L H 3 24 VIEW
1st Feb 1919 124
W
6 Warrington L H 8 3 1 VIEW
1st Mar 1919 125
L
6 Leigh L H 0 10 VIEW
*Unofficial Match. **Non Playing Sub.
WINS : 64 | LOSSES : 74 | DRAWS : 8

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