|George Langfield by Dave Dooley: |
George Langfield was an important signing for the first great Saints` post-war era in the early 1950s. Although he was only at the Club for a relatively short time he brought vital half-back experience to Jim Sullivan`s squad. He was signed from Castleford and made his debut against Whitehaven on the 2nd. February, 1952. In 55 matches for the Saints George scored 9 tries, kicked a very creditable 206 goals for a total points aggregate of 439 points.
George scored a superb try in the 1953 Challenge Cup final defeat by Huddersfield. He was a vital member of the squad that emerged as champions and Lancashire League winners in the same 1952-53 season.
His final match for the Club was against Barrow on the 9th. of September, 1953. He transferred to Hull shortly afterwards.
Long before football crowds sang their versions of "You`ll never walk alone," the excursion trains left St. Helens` Shaw Street Station to the strains of "We ain`t got a barrel of money.”
The Saints fans adaptation used to go: "We ain`t got a barrel of money, but we`ve got Langfield and Honey. . .! Jimmy Honey was the impish stand-off of the half back partnership praised in song.
The Langfield half was George, goal-kicker extraordinary and the scrum half who pushed Saints to some fantastic feats in the hey-day of his career at Knowsley Road in the early and mid 1950`s.
Not that George was just a Knowsley Road man. He popped over goals wherever he went and in his fantastic scoring career took him from Castleford to St. Helens, then Hull and finally Bramley, bringing him well over 800 goals in the process.
There never was a goalkicker like George Langfield, as far as some of the old die-hards are concerned. George could plonk the ball down anywhere in his opponents half and plant the shot between the posts.
And remember, in those days clubs didn`t have the non-wet plastic ball used nowadays - they had the old wet leather `casey’ that got heavier and slippier the longer the game went on.
"`The Evergreen" they called him when they wrote headlines about him in the newspapers of the 1950’s. He carved his name with real pride in the annals of post-war rugby wherever he went.
In over 10 years of top class rugby league football, from opening his account with Castleford in season 1946-47, George Langfield piled up a massive tally of over 1,800 points.
How about these for consistent figures? For Castleford George netted 400 goals and 64 tries equalling 992 points. At St.Helens he amassed 217 goals and 10 tries for 464 points. His short spell at Hull added 4 goals and 2 tries for14 points. Then he went on to Bramley, where he received a clock in May 1957 for setting a new club points scoring record of 123 goals and 10 tries totalling 276 points in the season!
George started his record breaking early on with Castleford. In season 1949-50 he kicked 105 goals to beat the club record of full-back Georgie Lewis who hit 103 in the season before the war.
In February 1952, he was transferred from Castleford to St Helens for what was then an eyebrow-raising fee of £2,000.
From his first game for Saints on February 2, 1952, until the famous Cup Final with Huddersfield at Wembley in April 1953, Langfield scored in every game, how’s that for value for money.
What makes a good goalkicker? Langfield told reporter Ken Henry: "The right temperament and coolness in a crisis, however desperate the situation or difficult the position, I never let it worry me, I always approached the shot feeling confident it would go over, they usually did".
Yet he became a goalkicker more by accident than design. While playing for Castleford against Swinton in November 1946, the Castleford skipper threw George the ball and told him: "Here, have a go at goal".
George: ‘had a go’ and landed three out of four, from that day on the job was his. Langfield was a modest man, and always gave credit to Castleford`s trainer in those days, Billy Rhodes, for polishing up his kicking.
Furthermore, he always paid tribute to Billy Stott, the former Bel1e Vue Rangers and Wakefield centre and kicker for passing on secrets of the goal-kicking trade.
"The most useful tip Billy Stott ever gave me", said George, "was to always try and see as much space as possible between the posts from any part of the ground you might be taking the kick."
In the 1950s, Saints, building after the war, may not have had a barrel of money, But with Langfield and Honey, they had talent that today, a few barrels of readies couldn`t buy.
In 1946 George was living in Park Dale, Pontyfract. He died in Beverley, Yorkshire in May 1984, aged 62. Thanks to George`s daughter, Ann Barry, and reporter Ken Henry for the additional information and quotes.
|Season (Official Matches)||Tries||Goals||DGoals||Matches|
|Season (Other Matches)||Tries||Goals||DGoals||Matches|
|2nd Feb 1952||L||7||Whitehaven||L||1951~52||H||6||7||3||VIEW|
|9th Feb 1952||W||7||Belle Vue Rangers||CC1(1)||1951~52||H||6||5||2||VIEW|
|16th Feb 1952||W||7||Belle Vue Rangers||CC1(2)||1951~52||A||9||4||3||VIEW|
|23rd Feb 1952||W||7||Huddersfield||L||1951~52||H||37||13||8||VIEW|
|1st Mar 1952||W||7||Liverpool City||L||1951~52||A||31||6||1||5||VIEW|
|8th Mar 1952||L||7||Workington Town||CC2||1951~52||A||4||15||2||VIEW|
|15th Mar 1952||W||7||Belle Vue Rangers||L||1951~52||A||16||8||5||VIEW|
|22nd Mar 1952||L||7||Batley||L||1951~52||A||5||16||1||VIEW|
|29th Mar 1952||L||7||Oldham||L||1951~52||H||6||10||3||VIEW|
|2nd Apr 1952||W||7||Warrington||L||1951~52||H||13||5||5||VIEW|
|11th Apr 1952||L||7||Wigan||L||1951~52||A||11||15||4||VIEW|
|12th Apr 1952||W||7||Halifax||L||1951~52||H||16||11||5||VIEW|
|14th Apr 1952||L||7||Huddersfield||L||1951~52||A||15||34||3||VIEW|
|26th Apr 1952||L||7||Barrow||L||1951~52||A||8||12||1||VIEW|
|30th Apr 1952||L||7||Toulouse*||Fr Tour||1951~52||A||5||31||1||VIEW|
|1st May 1952||L||7||French XIII*||Fr Tour||1951~52||T||5||45||1||VIEW|
|4th May 1952||W||7||French XIII*||Fr Tour||1951~52||F||27||24||1||6||VIEW|
|18th Aug 1952||L||7||Barrow *||Fr Ward Cup||1952~53||A||18||32||3||VIEW|
|23rd Aug 1952||W||7||Widnes||L||1952~53||H||41||2||7||VIEW|
|27th Aug 1952||W||7||Salford||L||1952~53||A||15||9||3||VIEW|
|30th Aug 1952||W||7||Barrow||LC1(1)||1952~53||A||24||21||3||VIEW|
|3rd Sep 1952||W||7||Barrow||LC1(2)||1952~53||H||23||5||4||VIEW|
|6th Sep 1952||W||7||Liverpool City||L||1952~53||A||42||2||1||9||VIEW|
|10th Sep 1952||W||7||Oldham||L||1952~53||H||6||2||3||VIEW|
|13th Sep 1952||L||7||Workington Town||L||1952~53||H||9||15||3||VIEW|
|20th Sep 1952||W||7||Keighley||L||1952~53||A||27||7||6||VIEW|
|23rd Sep 1952||W||7||Rochdale Hornets||LC2||1952~53||H||31||7||8||VIEW|
|27th Sep 1952||W||7||Australia||Tour||1952~53||H||26||8||1||7||VIEW|
|4th Oct 1952||W||7||Castleford||L||1952~53||H||18||17||3||VIEW|
|11th Oct 1952||W||7||Bramley||L||1952~53||A||21||0||6||VIEW|
|14th Oct 1952||W||7||Warrington||LCSF||1952~53||A||17||10||4||VIEW|
|18th Oct 1952||W||7||Salford||L||1952~53||H||14||6||4||VIEW|
|25th Oct 1952||L||7||Huddersfield||L||1952~53||H||14||17||4||VIEW|
|1st Nov 1952||W||7||Swinton||L||1952~53||A||14||7||1||4||VIEW|
|15th Nov 1952||W||7||Swinton||L||1952~53||H||23||10||4||VIEW|
|22nd Nov 1952||W||7||Warrington||L||1952~53||A||19||8||2||VIEW|
|29th Nov 1952||L||7||Leigh||LCF||1952~53||N||5||22||1||VIEW|
|13th Dec 1952||W||1||Barrow||L||1952~53||H||26||9||7||VIEW|
|20th Dec 1952||W||1||Widnes||L||1952~53||A||7||2||2||VIEW|
|27th Dec 1952||W||1||Wakefield Trinity||L||1952~53||A||20||11||1||VIEW|
|24th Jan 1953||W||7||Warrington||L||1952~53||H||17||5||2||4||VIEW|
|31st Jan 1953||W||7||Castleford||L||1952~53||A||8||0||1||VIEW|
|7th Feb 1953||W||7||Oldham||CC1(1)||1952~53||H||20||4||4||VIEW|
|14th Feb 1953||D||7||Oldham||CC1(2)||1952~53||A||5||5||1||VIEW|
|21st Feb 1953||W||7||Belle Vue Rangers||L||1952~53||A||20||7||4||VIEW|
|28th Feb 1953||W||7||Belle Vue Rangers||CC2||1952~53||H||28||0||5||VIEW|
|14th Mar 1953||W||7||Leigh||CC3||1952~53||A||12||3||3||VIEW|
|18th Mar 1953||W||7||Whitehaven||L||1952~53||A||17||15||4||VIEW|
|21st Mar 1953||W||7||Whitehaven||L||1952~53||H||26||10||1||4||VIEW|
|28th Mar 1953||W||7||Warrington||CCSF||1952~53||N||9||3||3||VIEW|
|31st Mar 1953||W||7||Rochdale Hornets||L||1952~53||A||8||0||1||VIEW|
|4th Apr 1953||W||7||Liverpool City||L||1952~53||H||20||4||1||VIEW|
|6th Apr 1953||D||7||Huddersfield||L||1952~53||A||10||10||1||2||VIEW|
|11th Apr 1953||W||7||Belle Vue Rangers||L||1952~53||H||38||9||4||VIEW|
|13th Apr 1953||W||7||Keighley||L||1952~53||H||29||12||7||VIEW|
|18th Apr 1953||W||7||Oldham||L||1952~53||A||14||13||4||VIEW|
|25th Apr 1953||L||7||Huddersfield||CCF||1952~53||N||10||15||1||2||VIEW|
|29th Aug 1953||W||7||Huddersfield||L||1953~54||H||12||9||3||VIEW|
|9th Sep 1953||W||7||Barrow||LC1(2)||1953~54||H||21||17||3||VIEW|
|*Unofficial Match. **Non Playing Sub.|