Ben Halfpenny

OVERALL STATISTICS

BIRTHAGESIGNED ONFROM
25-04-1906
N/A
18-04-1927
Widnes
DEBUTLAST MATCHLEFT
10-09-1927 v Swinton
Broughton Rangers
1934- Warrington
CAREERAPPEARANCES (SUBS)
1927-1934
196 (0)
TRIESGOALSDGOALSPTS
59
0
0
177

BIOGRAPHY

Ben Halfpenny by Dave Dooley:
Ben Halfpenny was born in Ditton, Widnes in 1906. He was signed from Widnes for £250 on the 18th. of April 1927. He was a fast running second row forward who could complete the 100 yards in less than 11 seconds. Ben made his debut in the home 26 points to 20 defeat by Swinton on the 10th of September, 1927. In his first season Ben gained a reputation as a prolific try-scorer netting 16 tries in 31 appearances. This form resulted in his selection for the 1928 Touring team to Australia and New Zealand. This try haul included braces against Hull KR, Broughton Rangers and Runcorn. On the tour Ben scored 8 tries in ten matches but did not make the Test side. He scored his first try for the club in the 21 points to 8 home defeat of Featherstone Rovers on September 24th, 1927.

The Australasian Tour left its mark on Ben as he missed the first 13 matches of the 1928/29 season. Indeed Ben only played 11 matches all season netting three tries in the process. The 1929/30 season saw the Saints back on top form finishing the campaign on top of the league, having won the Lancashire League Championship and in the Challenge Cup Final at Wembley. Ben played his part in this campaign by contributing 17 tries in 44 appearances. This haul included braces against Wigan (away) and York (home) and two tries against Australia playing on the wing in a thrilling 18 points apiece encounter. The season finished on a sour note for the Saints and Ben with two upsets in their final matches. They first lost at home to Leeds in the Championship semi-final and then were defeated by Widnes in the second Challenge Cup Final against Widnes. In many ways Saints were a victim of their own success as the last month of the season saw them playing 13 matches in 35 days - perhaps the tanks were emptying somewhat even for a team which by then were indisputably the best Saints team ever.

Two seasons later Saints were a dominant force once again with Ben featuring strongly in 31 matches. His speed was still evident as he notched 8 tries and an appearance in the 1932 Championship Final win over Huddersfield by 9 points to 5. Saints finished the season as Lancashire League Champions and in second place in the league just one point behind Huddersfield. Ben played 35 matches in the following season including 15 outings as prop forward netting 6 tries in the process.

In the 1933/34 season Ben played in the first two games of the season against Widnes and then an injury put him out for the rest of the campaign. He made his return the following year and scored two tries in eight matches, both against Hunslet. However, a deepening crisis at the Club found Ben being transferred to Warrington in November 1934.

His try scoring feats are ever more creditable given the era he played in. Ben`s 59 tries in 196 games for the Saints (scoring rate 0.30 tries per match) places him 54th. on the all time try scorers list and 11th on the forwards charts. Ben played for England at Rugby League whilst he was at the Club.

Ben Halfpenny by Alex Service

Born in Widnes in 1906, Ben Halfpenny was ahead of his time. He was essentially a running second row forward, long before this became a ‘specialist’ position for the likes of Dick Huddart in the late 1950s. Saints signed him from his home-town club for £250 on 18 April 1927 and he went on to become a huge favourite at Knowsley Road. Ben gained a reputation as a prolific try-scorer notching 16 tries in 31 appearances by the end of his first full season. He played in England’s 20-12 victory against Wales on 11 January 1928 at Wigan, scoring a try and his form was such that he was later selected for the tour of Australia and New Zealand, one of seven St.Helens-based players chosen to make the trip (Ben Halfpenny, Les Fairclough, Alf Frodsham and Alf Ellaby of the Saints, Oliver Dolan, Frank Bowen and Albert Fildes from local rivals the Recs).

According to the St.Helens Newspaper and Advertiser, the likeable Halfpenny was described at the time as: “….a man of many parts. He is on the laboratory staff at Widnes United Alkali Works, plays the big bass fiddle, dances extremely well, weighs over thirteen stones and can do one hundred yards from scratch well under eleven seconds and is proud of the fact that he was born in Widnes – so he is indeed a very remarkable fellow.”

Alas, Ben did not figure in any of the Test Matches, Down Under, playing in 10 games and scoring 8 tries, the second row spots being taken almost exclusively by Bob Sloman of Oldham and Frank Bowen of the Recs. Indeed, an injury from the tour restricted him to just 11 matches during 1928/29, but Ben was back to his best the following season, with 17 tries from 44 appearances, as the Saints clinched the Lancashire League title. He even played on the wing in place of the injured Alf Ellaby against the visiting Australians on 16 November and scored two brilliant touchdowns! Yet the campaign was to end in disappointment, with a fixture backlog of 13 matches in 35 days taking its toll. Both the Challenge Cup Final (v Widnes) and Championship semi-final (v Leeds) were lost, although Ben did add a Lancashire League winner’s medal to his collection.

Halfpenny made 31 appearances in 1931/32, gaining his second Lancashire League winner’s medal and helped the Saints to win their first-ever Championship Final, against Huddersfield at Belle Vue, Wakefield. Ben played 35 matches in the following season including 15 outings in the front row, but his career at Knowsley Road was drawing to a close and he was transferred to Warrington in November 1934, as the St.Helens club was forced to sell off its stars from the start of the decade as a result of a deepening financial crisis. Ben worked as a Chemical Engineer and in 1939 he was living in Upton Lane, Widnes. He died in June 1966, aged 60, and his death is registered in Prescot.

SEASON STATISTICS

Season (Official Matches)TriesGoalsDGoalsMatches
1927~2816 0 0 31
1928~29 3 0 0 11
1929~3017 0 0 44
1930~317 0 0 34
1931~328 0 0 31
1932~33 6 0 0 35
1933~340 0 0 2
1934~352 0 0 8
TOTALS:59 0 0 196
Season (Other Matches)TriesGoalsDGoalsMatches
1929~30 0001
1930~31 0001
TOTALS:0002

ALL MATCHES

DatePosOpponentsCompSeasonVenueFTFTOTGDGNPS**
10th Sep 1927 L 12 Swinton L 1927~28 H 20 26 VIEW
14th Sep 1927 W 13 Dewsbury L 1927~28 H 8 2 VIEW
17th Sep 1927 L 13 Hunslet L 1927~28 A 10 12 VIEW
24th Sep 1927 W 11 Featherstone Rovers L 1927~28 H 21 8 1 VIEW
1st Oct 1927 W 11 Broughton Rangers L 1927~28 A 6 2 VIEW
8th Oct 1927 L 12 Swinton LC1 1927~28 H 7 13 1 VIEW
15th Oct 1927 W 12 Salford L 1927~28 H 44 10 2 VIEW
22nd Oct 1927 D 12 Hull L 1927~28 A 5 5 VIEW
29th Oct 1927 W 12 Wigan Highfield L 1927~28 H 15 5 2 VIEW
5th Nov 1927 W 2 Warrington L 1927~28 A 8 4 1 VIEW
12th Nov 1927 W 12 Warrington L 1927~28 H 13 0 2 VIEW
19th Nov 1927 W 12 Rochdale Hornets L 1927~28 H 10 2 1 VIEW
26th Nov 1927 L 12 Oldham L 1927~28 A 2 11 VIEW
3rd Dec 1927 W 12 Hull K.R. L 1927~28 H 25 7 2 VIEW
10th Dec 1927 L 12 Featherstone Rovers L 1927~28 A 3 15 VIEW
17th Dec 1927 W 12 Leigh L 1927~28 H 37 11 VIEW
24th Dec 1927 L 12 St. Helens Recs L 1927~28 A 2 5 VIEW
26th Dec 1927 L 12 Wigan L 1927~28 H 13 20 VIEW
29th Dec 1927 L 12 St. Helens Recs L 1927~28 H 5 22 VIEW
18th Jan 1928 W 12 Dewsbury L 1927~28 A 6 0 VIEW
21st Jan 1928 W 12 Hull L 1927~28 H 14 5 VIEW
4th Feb 1928 L 12 Leigh L 1927~28 A 5 10 VIEW
11th Feb 1928 L 12 Oldham CC1 1927~28 A 5 15 VIEW
18th Feb 1928 L 13 Oldham L 1927~28 H 13 14 VIEW
25th Feb 1928 L 12 Salford L 1927~28 A 5 14 VIEW
3rd Mar 1928 W 13 Hull K.R. L 1927~28 A 11 0 VIEW
10th Mar 1928 W 13 Barrow L 1927~28 H 15 6 1 VIEW
17th Mar 1928 W 13 Broughton Rangers L 1927~28 H 24 0 2 VIEW
24th Mar 1928 L 13 Swinton L 1927~28 A 3 5 VIEW
31st Mar 1928 L 13 Barrow L 1927~28 A 10 14 1 VIEW
6th Apr 1928 L 13 Wigan L 1927~28 A 11 21 VIEW
3rd Nov 1928 L 12 Wigan Highfield L 1928~29 H 12 15 VIEW
1st Dec 1928 W 11 Oldham L 1928~29 H 21 3 VIEW
8th Dec 1928 W 11 Oldham L 1928~29 A 14 11 VIEW
22nd Dec 1928 W 11 Warrington L 1928~29 A 13 4 1 VIEW
25th Dec 1928 L 11 St. Helens Recs L 1928~29 H 0 5 VIEW
26th Dec 1928 L 11 Wigan L 1928~29 H 2 10 VIEW
9th Feb 1929 W 12 Lindley CC1 1928~29 H 32 2 1 VIEW
23rd Feb 1929 W 12 Keighley CC2 1928~29 H 26 5 1 VIEW
2nd Mar 1929 W 12 Leigh L 1928~29 H 23 2 VIEW
9th Mar 1929 D 12 Wigan CC3 1928~29 H 2 2 VIEW
16th Mar 1929 L 2 Leeds L 1928~29 H 5 20 VIEW
31st Aug 1929 L 13 Widnes L 1929~30 H 0 3 VIEW
4th Sep 1929 L 12 Leeds L 1929~30 A 5 7 1 VIEW
7th Sep 1929 W 12 Widnes L 1929~30 A 21 8 VIEW
14th Sep 1929 D 12 Hunslet L 1929~30 H 8 8 VIEW
19th Sep 1929 W 12 Leeds L 1929~30 H 22 7 VIEW
22nd Sep 1929 W 12 Rochdale Hornets L 1929~30 A 11 7 VIEW
24th Sep 1929 W 12 Oldham L 1929~30 H 20 13 VIEW
2nd Oct 1929 L 12 Hull L 1929~30 A 5 8 VIEW
5th Oct 1929 L 12 Halifax L 1929~30 A 13 19 VIEW
12th Oct 1929 W 12 Broughton Rangers LC1 1929~30 A 10 9 VIEW
19th Oct 1929 W 12 Salford L 1929~30 H 18 12 VIEW
23rd Oct 1929 D 12 Salford LC2 1929~30 H 8 8 VIEW
26th Oct 1929 L 12 Castleford L 1929~30 H 10 20 VIEW
30th Oct 1929 L 5 Salford LC2(rep) 1929~30 A 3 13 VIEW
2nd Nov 1929 W 5 Broughton Rangers L 1929~30 A 8 3 1 VIEW
9th Nov 1929 W 5 Hull K.R. L 1929~30 H 24 5 VIEW
16th Nov 1929 D 5 Australia Tour 1929~30 H 18 18 2 VIEW
7th Dec 1929 W 11 Wigan Highfield L 1929~30 H 8 0 1 VIEW
14th Dec 1929 W 11 Barrow L 1929~30 A 12 2 1 VIEW
21st Dec 1929 W 11 Barrow L 1929~30 H 19 6 1 VIEW
25th Dec 1929 W 11 St. Helens Recs L 1929~30 H 8 3 VIEW
26th Dec 1929 W 11 Wigan L 1929~30 H 14 5 VIEW
28th Dec 1929 L 11 Castleford L 1929~30 A 0 5 VIEW
1st Jan 1930 L 11 St. Helens Recs L 1929~30 A 0 3 VIEW
4th Jan 1930 L 13 Oldham L 1929~30 A 4 20 VIEW
18th Jan 1930 L 12 Warrington L 1929~30 A 5 22 VIEW
25th Jan 1930 W 12 Rochdale Hornets L 1929~30 H 32 5 1 VIEW
1st Feb 1930 W 12 Wigan Highfield L 1929~30 A 22 0 VIEW
8th Feb 1930 W 12 St. Helens Recs CC1 1929~30 H 9 7 VIEW
15th Feb 1930 W 12 Hull K.R. L 1929~30 A 16 5 VIEW
22nd Feb 1930 W 12 Leeds CC2 1929~30 A 18 5 VIEW
22nd Mar 1930 W 12 Hull L 1929~30 H 23 4 1 VIEW
29th Mar 1930 D 12 Wigan CCSF 1929~30 N 5 5 VIEW
2nd Apr 1930 W 12 Wigan CCSF(rep) 1929~30 N 22 10 VIEW
5th Apr 1930 L 12 Hunslet L 1929~30 A 11 14 VIEW
9th Apr 1930 W 12 Swinton L 1929~30 A 8 3 VIEW
12th Apr 1930 W 2 Batley L 1929~30 H 19 3 2 VIEW
14th Apr 1930 W 12 Warrington L 1929~30 H 23 15 1 VIEW
18th Apr 1930 W 12 Wigan L 1929~30 A 8 3 2 VIEW
19th Apr 1930 W 12 Broughton Rangers L 1929~30 H 31 17 1 VIEW
21st Apr 1930 W 12 York L 1929~30 H 29 0 2 VIEW
22nd Apr 1930 W 12 Swinton L 1929~30 H 8 4 VIEW
26th Apr 1930 L 12 Leeds ChSF 1929~30 H 6 10 VIEW
3rd May 1930 L 12 Widnes CCF 1929~30 N 3 10 VIEW
10th May 1930 W 12 Wigan * Fr 1929~30 L 21 14 VIEW
30th Aug 1930 W 12 Widnes L 1930~31 A 21 7 VIEW
6th Sep 1930 L 12 Widnes L 1930~31 H 5 9 VIEW
13th Sep 1930 L 13 Swinton L 1930~31 A 3 12 VIEW
27th Sep 1930 W 12 Hull K.R. L 1930~31 A 21 5 VIEW
4th Oct 1930 W 5 Dewsbury L 1930~31 H 12 10 1 VIEW
11th Oct 1930 L 12 Wigan LC1 1930~31 A 7 24 VIEW
18th Oct 1930 L 5 Leeds L 1930~31 H 8 20 VIEW
25th Oct 1930 W 4 York L 1930~31 A 10 4 VIEW
1st Nov 1930 W 4 Bramley L 1930~31 H 34 14 VIEW
15th Nov 1930 W 12 Salford L 1930~31 H 7 0 VIEW
22nd Nov 1930 W 4 Barrow L 1930~31 A 7 4 VIEW
29th Nov 1930 W 13 Rochdale Hornets L 1930~31 H 33 15 VIEW
6th Dec 1930 W 13 Wigan Highfield L 1930~31 A 10 7 1 VIEW
13th Dec 1930 W 3 Oldham L 1930~31 H 7 2 VIEW
20th Dec 1930 W 10 Rochdale Hornets L 1930~31 A 9 2 VIEW
25th Dec 1930 W 4 St. Helens Recs L 1930~31 H 7 6 VIEW
26th Dec 1930 L 4 Wigan L 1930~31 H 2 23 VIEW
27th Dec 1930 L 11 Leeds L 1930~31 A 0 23 VIEW
1st Jan 1931 L 11 St. Helens Recs L 1930~31 A 3 5 VIEW
3rd Jan 1931 W 11 Halifax L 1930~31 H 20 6 VIEW
17th Jan 1931 W 12 Swinton L 1930~31 H 8 3 1 VIEW
24th Jan 1931 D 12 Broughton Rangers L 1930~31 A 0 0 VIEW
31st Jan 1931 L 11 Huddersfield L 1930~31 H 0 10 VIEW
7th Feb 1931 W 11 Keighley CC1 1930~31 H 46 4 2 VIEW
14th Feb 1931 W 11 Bramley L 1930~31 A 19 8 1 VIEW
21st Feb 1931 W 11 Castleford CC2 1930~31 A 8 2 VIEW
28th Feb 1931 W 11 Barrow L 1930~31 H 30 0 VIEW
7th Mar 1931 W 11 Broughton Rangers CC3 1930~31 A 8 7 VIEW
14th Mar 1931 W 11 Leigh L 1930~31 A 20 19 VIEW
28th Mar 1931 L 3 Halifax CCSF 1930~31 N 2 11 VIEW
3rd Apr 1931 L 11 Wigan L 1930~31 A 2 5 VIEW
4th Apr 1931 L 11 Oldham L 1930~31 A 7 28 VIEW
22nd Apr 1931 W 13 Wigan Highfield L 1930~31 H 40 17 1 VIEW
25th Apr 1931 W 13 Hull K.R. L 1930~31 H 25 5 VIEW
9th May 1931 W 13 Barrow * Fr Carnival Cup 1930~31 L 33 7 VIEW
29th Aug 1931 W 12 Widnes L 1931~32 H 39 2 VIEW
5th Sep 1931 D 12 Widnes L 1931~32 A 7 7 VIEW
9th Sep 1931 W 12 Barrow L 1931~32 A 12 0 VIEW
12th Sep 1931 W 12 Wigan Highfield L 1931~32 H 14 10 VIEW
19th Sep 1931 L 12 Huddersfield L 1931~32 A 2 5 VIEW
26th Sep 1931 W 12 Dewsbury L 1931~32 H 49 0 1 VIEW
3rd Oct 1931 L 12 Oldham L 1931~32 A 13 16 2 VIEW
10th Oct 1931 L 12 Salford LC1 1931~32 A 5 16 VIEW
7th Nov 1931 W 12 Wigan Highfield L 1931~32 A 19 4 VIEW
14th Nov 1931 W 12 Salford L 1931~32 H 10 2 VIEW
21st Nov 1931 W 12 Warrington L 1931~32 A 23 8 1 VIEW
28th Nov 1931 W 12 Warrington L 1931~32 H 38 8 VIEW
5th Dec 1931 W 12 Bradford Northern L 1931~32 A 31 5 2 VIEW
12th Dec 1931 W 12 Leigh L 1931~32 A 16 8 VIEW
19th Dec 1931 W 12 Rochdale Hornets L 1931~32 H 33 12 2 VIEW
25th Dec 1931 L 12 St. Helens Recs L 1931~32 A 2 13 VIEW
1st Jan 1932 D 12 St. Helens Recs L 1931~32 H 7 7 VIEW
2nd Jan 1932 W 12 Hull K.R. L 1931~32 A 5 3 VIEW
9th Jan 1932 W 12 Wakefield Trinity L 1931~32 H 11 2 VIEW
13th Jan 1932 L 12 Salford L 1931~32 A 3 9 VIEW
23rd Jan 1932 W 12 Halifax L 1931~32 H 24 10 VIEW
30th Jan 1932 W 12 Swinton L 1931~32 A 8 7 VIEW
6th Feb 1932 L 12 Keighley CC1 1931~32 A 6 12 VIEW
13th Feb 1932 L 12 Hull K.R. L 1931~32 H 5 8 VIEW
27th Feb 1932 L 12 Castleford L 1931~32 A 0 5 VIEW
26th Mar 1932 W 12 Castleford L 1931~32 H 24 6 VIEW
28th Mar 1932 W 11 Leigh L 1931~32 H 31 2 VIEW
16th Apr 1932 W 11 Swinton L 1931~32 H 17 5 VIEW
18th Apr 1932 W 11 Broughton Rangers L 1931~32 H 21 10 VIEW
30th Apr 1932 W 12 Leeds ChSF 1931~32 H 9 0 VIEW
7th May 1932 W 12 Huddersfield ChF 1931~32 N 9 5 VIEW
3rd Sep 1932 W 12 Widnes L 1932~33 H 16 9 VIEW
10th Sep 1932 W 12 Swinton L 1932~33 A 12 7 VIEW
17th Sep 1932 W 12 Leigh L 1932~33 H 33 10 VIEW
24th Sep 1932 L 12 Hunslet L 1932~33 A 8 15 VIEW
26th Sep 1932 W 12 Hunslet L 1932~33 H 21 3 VIEW
1st Oct 1932 L 12 Swinton L 1932~33 H 11 37 VIEW
8th Oct 1932 W 12 Widnes LC1 1932~33 A 10 5 VIEW
15th Oct 1932 W 12 Barrow L 1932~33 H 18 11 VIEW
22nd Oct 1932 D 12 Wigan Highfield L 1932~33 A 11 11 VIEW
24th Oct 1932 W 10 Broughton Rangers LC2 1932~33 H 22 4 VIEW
29th Oct 1932 W 12 Batley L 1932~33 H 14 7 1 VIEW
2nd Nov 1932 D 10 Salford LCSF 1932~33 A 2 2 VIEW
5th Nov 1932 W 10 Leigh L 1932~33 A 13 3 VIEW
7th Nov 1932 W 10 Salford LCSF(rep) 1932~33 H 17 10 VIEW
12th Nov 1932 W 10 Wigan Highfield L 1932~33 H 34 7 1 VIEW
19th Nov 1932 L 10 Warrington LCF 1932~33 N 9 10 VIEW
26th Nov 1932 W 10 Leeds L 1932~33 H 21 5 1 VIEW
29th Nov 1932 L 13 Batley L 1932~33 A 12 17 VIEW
3rd Dec 1932 W 11 Castleford L 1932~33 A 10 7 1 VIEW
10th Dec 1932 L 12 Warrington L 1932~33 H 16 18 VIEW
17th Dec 1932 L 13 Salford L 1932~33 A 5 13 VIEW
2nd Jan 1933 W 2 St. Helens Recs L 1932~33 A 10 5 VIEW
7th Jan 1933 W 10 Salford L 1932~33 H 12 5 VIEW
14th Jan 1933 L 12 York L 1932~33 A 5 11 VIEW
28th Jan 1933 L 11 Barrow L 1932~33 A 17 18 VIEW
4th Feb 1933 W 11 Halifax L 1932~33 H 5 3 1 VIEW
11th Feb 1933 W 10 Bradford Northern CC1 1932~33 A 24 3 VIEW
18th Feb 1933 W 10 Oldham L 1932~33 H 23 0 VIEW
2nd Mar 1933 W 10 Hunslet CC2 1932~33 H 14 3 VIEW
4th Mar 1933 D 10 Broughton Rangers L 1932~33 A 8 8 VIEW
11th Mar 1933 W 12 Halifax CC3 1932~33 H 18 6 VIEW
13th Mar 1933 W 12 York L 1932~33 H 9 8 VIEW
18th Mar 1933 L 10 Huddersfield L 1932~33 A 4 27 VIEW
25th Mar 1933 L 10 Warrington CCSF 1932~33 N 5 11 VIEW
1st Apr 1933 L 10 Huddersfield L 1932~33 H 8 31 1 VIEW
26th Aug 1933 W 12 Widnes L 1933~34 H 29 14 VIEW
2nd Sep 1933 L 12 Widnes L 1933~34 A 4 12 VIEW
22nd Sep 1934 W 10 Hunslet L 1934~35 H 30 10 2 VIEW
24th Sep 1934 D 10 Liverpool Stanley LC2 1934~35 H 9 9 VIEW
26th Sep 1934 D 10 Liverpool Stanley LC2(rep) 1934~35 A 3 3 VIEW
28th Sep 1934 L 10 Liverpool Stanley LC2(2nd rep) 1934~35 N 9 12 VIEW
6th Oct 1934 W 10 Hull K.R. L 1934~35 H 7 2 VIEW
13th Oct 1934 L 10 Hunslet L 1934~35 A 0 15 VIEW
20th Oct 1934 L 10 Rochdale Hornets L 1934~35 H 6 15 VIEW
10th Nov 1934 L 12 Broughton Rangers L 1934~35 A 2 31 VIEW
*Unofficial Match. **Non Playing Sub.

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