Francis played his only official game for the first team in the league away defeat to Widnes by 22 points to 3 in March 1919. He played on the right wing in this match. He had earlier played in the same position in a friendly against Barrow in January of the same year. Again the Saints were vanquished by 27 points to 3. In 1939 Francis was living in Hillside Avenue, St Helens where he was sadly described as an invalid. He died in March 1949 at the age of 51. His death was registered in Prescot.
We are very grateful to his nephew, Donal McCormack, for providing the following informatin about Frank.
Frank was my uncle. He was the son of Frank and Ellen McCormack. Frank senior was a Councillor and Alderman and was also on the Saints Committee in the1920s. Ellen was also a Councillor and Alderman and was Mayor of St Helens in 1950. The slight discrepancy in the name arose when my Grandad, who was an insurance broker at one time, had his name painted on his office. The signwriter wrote it as McCormick and my Grandad was too polite to ask him to change it.
Young Francis was an excellent runner, so would have been quick enough for the wing. He was considered to be Olympic triallist standard for either the 220 yards or 440 yards, I am not sure which. He took part in professional races, and I understand that there used to be a banked running track around the cricket oval at Ruskin Drive where some of these races took place.
After attending West Park School, Francis volunteered in the First World War and joined the Royal Welch Fusiliers. Sadly his war records were among those destroyed at Kew during the Blitz of 1940. I do know that he became a Corporal and also an Acting Sergeant.
Unfortunately during his war service Francis was gassed. The gas affected his lungs and gradually killed him, although it took twenty years to do so. He had alcohol and mental problems and spent some time in Rainhill hospital where he died. On his hospital admission document he was listed as a clerk for the Urban Council. You note on his heritage page that he was listed as an invalid in 1939.
Although Frank was eventually another casualty of the Great War, his name cannot be found on any War Memorial so I am delighted that at least there is this lasting record of his life. Well said Donal.
|Season (Official Matches)||Tries||Goals||DGoals||Matches|
|Season (Other Matches)||Tries||Goals||DGoals||Matches|
|14th Jan 1919||
|8th Mar 1919||
|*Unofficial Match. **Non Playing Sub.|
|WINS : | LOSSES : 2 | DRAWS :|
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