|Judge by Alex Service |
When the Saints went to Featherstone for the first leg of a wartime Challenge Cup tie on 4th April 1944, they were a man short. It was not in Featherstone’s interest to loan a player to the Saints who they would possibly need if they got through, as he would be cup-tied for the rest of the competition. A man called Judge was suggested, who had played before, but suffered a bad illness and dropped out of the team. He was back in training and so he was a likely candidate.
Judge eventually agreed to play on account of the visitors only having twelve men. The great correspondent Premier in the St. Helens Newspaper described him as ”looking lean about the legs, with a boil over the eyebrow, poor Judge looked about the world’s most unpromising substitute as he went out.”
Looks can be deceptive, however, as the new man proved to be quite an asset in Saints’ 21-11 win. Premier was also quite impressed: “Imagine our surprise when this plucky collier lad not only bravely faced a very good Featherstone forward line, but proceeded to give an extremely sound account of himself in the pack and in the open. In return for the surprise he gave us was another coming to him: he was the only Featherstone man to get winning money, an idea that could never have crossed his mind as he made his way to the ground for the match.” In 1939 he was a Collier living in Smawthorne Grove, Castleford. He died in York in June 1988, aged 62.