Frank Myler

OVERALL STATISTICS

BIRTHAGESIGNED ONFROM
04-12-1938
N/A
Date unknown.
Widnes
DEBUTLAST MATCHLEFT
01-09-1967 v Salford
Featherstone Rovers
1971- Rochdale Hornets
CAREERAPPEARANCES (SUBS)
1967-1970
144 (5)
TRIESGOALSDGOALSPTS
46
2
0
142

BIOGRAPHY

Frank joined the Saints in the summer of 1967 in an exchange deal involving Ray French. His four years at Knowsley Road brought winning Lancashire Cup and Championship medals. Frank continued his scoring prowess with the Saints and his try haul included a shared club record of six tries against Maryport in September 1969 in the first round of the Lancashire Cup. In total he scored 46 tries for the Saints and even booted over two goals. Certainly, Frank's assurance in the middle of the threequarters ensured the continued trophy trail for the Saints at the end of the 1960s.

The cornerstone of the Myler dynasty from Widnes Frank first played for his hometown team at the age of sixteen. By 1959, he had become team captain, and only the following year made his debut for Great Britain in the World Cup of 1960.

His nineteen years long playing career rolled on until 1973. Frank was a prolific try scorer throughout his career. He had a deceptively long stride, a natural swerve, and a burst of acceleration to take him through seemingly impossible gaps. Moreover, Frank made many tries for colleagues. He was a pioneer of the flick- pass which created many a touchdown for the grateful wingers who played outside him. He also had an instinct for doing the unexpected often manufacturing gaps by exhibiting a magnificent side-step and deceptive dummy plays.

In 1970, at the age of thirty one, Frank was the captain of the Lions squad who went down under to take on a Test team which had beaten us easily in the series in this country only two years before. Following a heavy defeat in the first Test but the Lions captained by Frank never lost another game on the whole tour. Frank Myler still has the distinction of being the last British captain to lift the Ashes trophy in Australia.

Frank left the Saints in 1971 to take up the position of player coach with Rochdale Hornets.

Frank Myler always exhibited personal qualities equal to his exceptional playing abilities. A modest man Frank would bypass his own abilities to praise the efforts of his playing colleagues. He truly was a man of supreme dignity and a great leader of his country.

Frank passed away on 27 March 2020 and this is our tribute to the great man and his contribution to rugby league.

It is extremely sad to report the passing of a true rugby league icon. Frank Myler has died at the age of 81 and those of a certain age will recall him as an outstanding all-round player, tough and classy, who could play either at stand-off half or in the centres at club, county and international level. He more than made his mark at all levels, but he remains the last Ashes winning captain for Great Britain, in 1970. It gives us all at St Helens RFC a great source of pride that he was wearing the red vee at that time. Yet his arrival at Knowsley Road was somewhat later in his career, as we shall see.

Born and bred in Widnes, a couple of years before the Second World War broke out, Frank first played rugby league at St Bede’s junior school and later at ‘Fisher More’ Secondary school, where he fast gained a reputation as a loose forward. By the time he was in his teens, he had attracted the notice of Warrington and Leigh, initially. Yet the tall, athletic loose-forward was also seen as a possible prospect by the Saints.

There was, however, already a great Widnes-born legend at St Helens RFC who was making his mark, called Vince Karalius. Vince was Frank’s cousin and the youngster was invited to meet Saints’ coach Jim Sullivan and attend the Summer School at Knowsley Road. It is said that on one occasion when the Summer School was in full swing the participants, including Frank, watched a figure heading towards the Boardroom who was met by Jim Sullivan. It was Welsh rugby union star Cliff Morgan!

Although Frank continued to train at Saints, there was no offer, as such, in the pipeline. When Widnes came in for him, the 16 year old signed for £50, plus a further £25 after his first twelve games, much lower than previous offers from Warrington and Leigh. After all, Widnes was where his heart was and as he came through the ranks at Naughton Park, he was developed as a stand-off par excellence. After only a few A team games, he was making his senior debut at the age of 17 against Liverpool City at Naughton Park on 27th December 1955 and scored two fine tries.

In twelve years at Widnes, he played over 350 matches, scored 146 tries and kicked 7 goals. In that time he became a brilliant exponent of half-back play: quick off the mark, with the footwork to beat any defender, with a side-step, change of pace or dummy. He was a superb tactician with a great rugby brain and the handling skills to put players through seemingly non-existent gaps. He was also a tough and reliable tackler. Frank was such a wonderful player to watch from the terraces and wore the number 6 jersey when Widnes beat Hull KR at Wembley in 1964, with his cousin Vince as captain. Frank scored a typically masterful try that afternoon too.

He played regular county rugby and made his Great Britain debut on 24th September 1960, against New Zealand at Odsal Stadium, Bradford, which was momentous in its own right: the first-ever World Cup game on British soil. The home side won 23-8 and try-scorer Myler was partnered in the halves by Alex Murphy, a constant selection in all three of the team’s successful World Cup winning campaign.

An Australian tourist in 1962 and 1966, Frank’s Widnes career was to end somewhat surprisingly for the player, at the end of the 1966-67 season, when Saints offered £6,000 for him, with forwards Ray French and Dave Markey also going to Naughton Park in an exchange deal. Widnes were not well endowed, financially, at the time and also needed forwards. Although clearly a wrench to leave Naughton Park, Frank agreed and it proved to be another memorable chapter in what was already a stellar career.

He made his Saints’ debut against Salford at the Willows in a 15-3 victory on 1st September 1967. He was left centre, with Les Jones outside him. Club Captain Tom van Vollenhoven was on the other flank, partnered by Peter Douglas. Frank played many games in the centres for the Saints and shortly after, he was captaining his county for the first time, against Cumberland at Workington. Frank played in 29 matches during his first season as a Saint and proved to be a wise investment, although many supporters rued the fact that he had not worn the red vee much earlier! Indeed, Frank made a total of 149 appearances and scored 46 tries during his four seasons at Knowsley Road and was so suited to Saints’ attractive brand of fast, open football, especially during the time of the four-tackle rule.

On 1st September 1969, Frank entered the record books with six tries against Maryport in a first round Lancashire Cup tie at Knowsley Road. Only the likes of Alf Ellaby, Tom van Vollenhoven, Steve Llewellyn and Shane Cooper have done that and he made it look so easy.

Although he had enjoyed Lancashire League and Lancashire Cup final success with his adopted club, his crowning glory was at the end of the 1969-70 season, when the Saints were determined to make amends for their Challenge Cup semi-final loss against Castleford by lifting the League Championship trophy. In a quite brilliant eighty minutes against Leeds at Odsal Stadium, Bradford, the Saints produced some quite stunning rugby, orchestrated by Frank Myler in the backs and Kel Coslett in the forwards, to beat the Yorkshiremen by 24-12. Frank was the outstanding player on the pitch and was awarded the Harry Sunderland trophy.

“Frank was a very good player and a good leader, who could read a game superbly,” remembers former team-mate Kel Coslett. “He was a natural footballer with an intense will to win, first and foremost.”

His impressive form meant that he was appointed captain of the 1970 Rugby League Lions to tour Australia and New Zealand. His co-captain was Saints’ front-rower Cliff Watson, who, ironically, was his club captain at Knowsley Road! Great Britain lost the first test in Brisbane 37-15, before roaring back with a stunning 28-7 victory in front of over 60,000 in Sydney, clinching the Ashes with a 21-17 victory in the third at the same venue on 4th July 1970.

Myler’s Men went on to make a clean sweep in the three tests against the Kiwis and went into the home-based 1970 World Cup competition with Frank still at the helm. Unfortunately, the matches were characterised by their physical brutality and Australia won the final 7-12 at Headingley. It was Frank’s last representative game for his country, which included a total of 24 appearances, 9 as captain and 5 tries.

In his last season at Knowsley Road, 1970-71, Frank suffered from niggling injuries, which prevented him from finishing the season. Yet one particular highlight was against Australia, the new World Champions, who came to Knowsley Road on 9th November 1970 and were thrashed 37-10 by the Saints. Frank was stand-off, with Alan Whittle as his scrum-half, who scored a magnificent hat-trick that night.

His last match in the red vee was on 13th March 1971 at Craven Park, in a 26-9 success, with Frank partnering Les Jones on the right flank. Unfortunately, he missed the Saints’ repeat Championship success against Wigan at the end of the campaign. He still managed 31 appearances and 5 tries and certainly gave St Helens RFC excellent service.

A move to Rochdale Hornets as player-coach followed at the start of the 1971-72 campaign and Frank was to be seen with his new team in the BBC 2 trophy final at Knowsley Road, when he was stand-off in their 2-8 loss on a heavy pitch. His partner at scrum-half was another former Saint, Peter Gartland.

Over the ensuing years, he combined business interests [painting and decorating and bookmaking] with coaching spells at Widnes, Swinton and Oldham. In 1984, he was the coach of the Rugby League Lions in Australia and New Zealand. Unfortunately, a repeat of the 1970 success was not forthcoming. A great pity. It was time for Frank to take a backward step, although he still proved to be a formidable opponent on the golf course!

“It was obviously such a blow to hear of Frank’s demise,” adds Kel Coslett. “Everyone thought he was such a lovely man. He was honest and eminently likable, with a great sense of humour….a good team man and a leader. Players of his ability are rare in any sport and his contribution to rugby league has been truly immense.”

SEASON STATISTICS

Season (Official Matches)TriesGoalsDGoalsMatches
1967~68 10 0 0 29
1968~69 15 0 0 44
1969~70 16 2 0 45
1970~71 5 0 0 31
TOTALS:46 2 0 149
Season (Other Matches)TriesGoalsDGoalsMatches
1968~690001
TOTALS:0001

ALL MATCHES

DatePosOpponentsCompSeasonVenueFTFTOTGDGNPS**
1st Sep 1967
W
4 Salford L 1967~68 A 15 3 VIEW
9th Sep 1967
W
4 Liverpool City L 1967~68 A 32 5 1 VIEW
15th Sep 1967
W
4 Leigh L 1967~68 H 22 0 1 VIEW
23rd Sep 1967
W
4 Rochdale Hornets L 1967~68 A 8 2 1 VIEW
27th Sep 1967
W
4 Warrington L 1967~68 H 17 12 VIEW
27th Oct 1967
W
6 Rochdale Hornets L 1967~68 H 14 7 VIEW
16th Dec 1967
W
4 Oldham L 1967~68 H 10 2 VIEW
26th Dec 1967
W
6 Wigan L 1967~68 A 16 10 VIEW
30th Dec 1967
D
6 Batley L 1967~68 H 9 9 VIEW
5th Jan 1968
L
4 Barrow L 1967~68 A 7 17 VIEW
15th Jan 1968
W
4 Barrow L 1967~68 H 6 2 1 VIEW
20th Jan 1968
W
4 Oldham L 1967~68 A 26 14 VIEW
22nd Jan 1968
L
4 Swinton L 1967~68 H 10 17 VIEW
27th Jan 1968
L
4 Workington Town L 1967~68 A 5 14 VIEW
3rd Feb 1968
L
4 Huddersfield CC1 1967~68 H 0 5 VIEW
17th Feb 1968
W
4 Batley L 1967~68 A 18 12 VIEW
23rd Feb 1968
L
4 Hull Kingston Rovers L 1967~68 A 10 12 VIEW
26th Feb 1968
W
4 Whitehaven L 1967~68 H 31 8 1 VIEW
6th Mar 1968
W
6 Warrington L 1967~68 A 12 6 VIEW
9th Mar 1968
W
4 Blackpool Borough L 1967~68 A 23 7 1 VIEW
16th Mar 1968
W
4 Widnes L 1967~68 H 18 13 VIEW
19th Mar 1968
L
4 Leeds L 1967~68 H 4 12 VIEW
23rd Mar 1968
L
6 Wakefield Trinity L 1967~68 A 3 23 1 VIEW
30th Mar 1968
W
4 Workington Town L 1967~68 H 18 11 1 VIEW
12th Apr 1968
W
4 Wigan L 1967~68 H 24 13 VIEW
13th Apr 1968
L
4 Widnes L 1967~68 A 7 24 VIEW
15th Apr 1968
W
4 Swinton L 1967~68 A 19 16 1 VIEW
19th Apr 1968
W
4 Halifax Ch1 1967~68 H 31 2 VIEW
24th Apr 1968
W
4 Warrington Ch2 1967~68 H 20 0 1 VIEW
9th Aug 1968
W
4 Swinton* Fr Gallie Cup 1968~69 H 13 9 VIEW
14th Aug 1968
W
4 Wakefield Trinity L 1968~69 A 5 0 VIEW
20th Aug 1968
W
4 Whitehaven L 1968~69 H 28 9 VIEW
24th Aug 1968
L
6 Leeds L 1968~69 A 13 20 VIEW
14th Sep 1968
W
6 Leigh L 1968~69 H 27 2 VIEW
18th Sep 1968
W
6 Widnes LC2 1968~69 A 20 17 1 VIEW
20th Sep 1968
W
6 Huyton L 1968~69 H 11 10 VIEW
23rd Sep 1968
L
6 Barrow FTP(2) 1968~69 A 11 18 VIEW
27th Sep 1968
W
6 Warrington L 1968~69 H 24 11 VIEW
4th Oct 1968
D
6 Salford L 1968~69 A 10 10 1 VIEW
7th Oct 1968
W
4 Leigh LCSF 1968~69 A 17 6 1 VIEW
12th Oct 1968
W
4 Leeds L 1968~69 H 28 3 1 VIEW
19th Oct 1968
W
4 Workington Town L 1968~69 A 13 2 VIEW
25th Oct 1968
W
4 Oldham LCF 1968~69 N 30 2 VIEW
30th Oct 1968
L
4 Rochdale Hornets L 1968~69 A 2 13 VIEW
9th Nov 1968
W
4 Doncaster L 1968~69 A 22 8 VIEW
11th Nov 1968
W
4 Hull Kingston Rovers L 1968~69 H 21 5 VIEW
16th Nov 1968
D
4 Salford L 1968~69 H 9 9 VIEW
23rd Nov 1968
W
4 Warrington L 1968~69 A 20 5 VIEW
4th Dec 1968
W
4 Blackpool Borough L 1968~69 H 13 10 VIEW
10th Dec 1968
W
4 Warrington FTSF 1968~69 H 29 6 VIEW
17th Dec 1968
L
4 Wigan FTF 1968~69 A 4 7 VIEW
26th Dec 1968
W
4 Wigan L AB 1968~69 H 11 3 VIEW
1st Jan 1969
W
4 Swinton L 1968~69 A 15 5 VIEW
6th Jan 1969
W
4 Hull Kingston Rovers L 1968~69 A 16 5 VIEW
11th Jan 1969
W
4 Whitehaven L 1968~69 A 9 7 VIEW
14th Jan 1969
W
4 Wigan L 1968~69 H 13 3 VIEW
18th Jan 1969
W
4 Rochdale Hornets L 1968~69 H 17 7 1 VIEW
25th Jan 1969
W
4 Hull CC1 1968~69 A 13 3 VIEW
25th Feb 1969
W
4 Oldham CC2 1968~69 A 15 6 VIEW
1st Mar 1969
L
4 Warrington CC3 1968~69 A 2 4 VIEW
6th Mar 1969
W
3 Huyton L 1968~69 H 37 6 3 VIEW
11th Mar 1969
W
4 Barrow L 1968~69 H 32 7 2 VIEW
15th Mar 1969
L
4 Leigh L 1968~69 A 10 12 VIEW
21st Mar 1969
W
4 Widnes L 1968~69 A 18 4 VIEW
24th Mar 1969
W
4 Blackpool Borough L 1968~69 H 43 12 1 VIEW
28th Mar 1969
W
4 Oldham L 1968~69 H 19 4 VIEW
4th Apr 1969
L
4 Wigan L 1968~69 A 10 34 VIEW
7th Apr 1969
W
4 Swinton L 1968~69 H 40 5 1 VIEW
12th Apr 1969
L
4 Workington Town L 1968~69 H 5 8 VIEW
15th Apr 1969
W
4 Oldham L 1968~69 A 17 2 VIEW
19th Apr 1969
W
4 Doncaster L 1968~69 H 57 5 1 VIEW
26th Apr 1969
W
4 Keighley Ch1 1968~69 H 25 7 VIEW
3rd May 1969
W
4 Featherstone Rovers Ch2 1968~69 H 47 4 2 VIEW
10th May 1969
L
4 Castleford ChSF 1968~69 H 6 18 VIEW
16th Aug 1969
W
4 Castleford L 1969~70 H 27 3 1 VIEW
20th Aug 1969
L
4 Widnes L 1969~70 A 5 17 VIEW
23rd Aug 1969
W
4 Workington Town L 1969~70 H 31 11 VIEW
29th Aug 1969
W
4 Warrington L 1969~70 A 14 7 VIEW
1st Sep 1969
W
4 Maryport LC1 1969~70 H 58 5 6 VIEW
10th Sep 1969
L
6 Castleford L 1969~70 A 3 9 VIEW
13th Sep 1969
W
4 Blackpool Borough L 1969~70 A 35 2 VIEW
20th Sep 1969
W
6 Rochdale Hornets L 1969~70 H 63 10 2 VIEW
27th Sep 1969
W
6 Workington Town L 1969~70 A 17 5 VIEW
29th Sep 1969
L
6 Widnes LC2 1969~70 A 14 22 VIEW
4th Oct 1969
W
6 Warrington L 1969~70 H 11 7 1 VIEW
7th Oct 1969
L
6 Leeds L 1969~70 A 7 13 VIEW
11th Oct 1969
W
6 Huyton L 1969~70 A 28 5 1 VIEW
29th Oct 1969
L
6 Salford L 1969~70 A 12 16 VIEW
4th Nov 1969
W
6 Barrow FT2 1969~70 A 11 6 1 VIEW
8th Nov 1969
L
6 Whitehaven L 1969~70 A 9 10 VIEW
10th Nov 1969
W
6 Leigh L 1969~70 H 16 10 VIEW
15th Nov 1969
L
6 Featherstone Rovers L 1969~70 A 6 13 VIEW
17th Nov 1969
W
6 Barrow L 1969~70 H 31 9 VIEW
22nd Nov 1969
W
6 Oldham L 1969~70 H 41 10 VIEW
9th Dec 1969
D
6 Wigan FTSF 1969~70 A 13 13 VIEW
11th Dec 1969
L
6 Wigan FTSF(rep) 1969~70 H 9 15 VIEW
13th Dec 1969
W
4 Blackpool Borough L 1969~70 H 26 9 VIEW
26th Dec 1969
W
6 Wigan L 1969~70 A 53 11 VIEW
1st Jan 1970
D
6 Swinton L 1969~70 H 18 18 VIEW
10th Jan 1970
W
6 Batley L 1969~70 H 22 9 1 VIEW
27th Jan 1970
L
6 Salford L 1969~70 H 15 16 1 VIEW
31st Jan 1970
L
6 Leigh L 1969~70 A 3 6 VIEW
7th Feb 1970
W
6 Bradford Northern CC1 1969~70 H 16 3 VIEW
21st Feb 1970
W
6 Bramley CC2 1969~70 H 17 2 VIEW
27th Feb 1970
W
6 Barrow L 1969~70 A 6 0 1 VIEW
2nd Mar 1970
W
14 Whitehaven L 1969~70 H 37 5 Y VIEW
10th Mar 1970
D
6 Doncaster CC3 1969~70 A 4 4 VIEW
14th Mar 1970
W
6 Featherstone Rovers L 1969~70 H 22 4 VIEW
16th Mar 1970
W
6 Doncaster CC3(rep) 1969~70 H 36 0 1 VIEW
21st Mar 1970
W
6 Batley L 1969~70 A 8 7 VIEW
27th Mar 1970
L
6 Wigan L 1969~70 H 16 23 VIEW
4th Apr 1970
L
6 Castleford CCSF 1969~70 N 3 6 VIEW
6th Apr 1970
W
4 Oldham L 1969~70 A 43 0 VIEW
10th Apr 1970
W
4 Widnes L 1969~70 H 15 12 VIEW
18th Apr 1970
W
6 Warrington Ch1 1969~70 H 36 8 2 VIEW
25th Apr 1970
W
6 Leigh Ch2 1969~70 H 16 5 VIEW
2nd May 1970
D
6 Castleford ChSF 1969~70 A 9 9 VIEW
4th May 1970
W
6 Castleford ChSF(rep) 1969~70 H 21 12 VIEW
16th May 1970
W
6 Leeds ChF 1969~70 N 24 12 VIEW
15th Aug 1970
D
6 Castleford CS 1970~71 A 19 19 VIEW
22nd Aug 1970
W
6 Bradford Northern L 1970~71 A 42 3 VIEW
25th Aug 1970
W
6 Batley L 1970~71 H 35 3 VIEW
29th Aug 1970
W
6 Huyton LC1 1970~71 A 30 3 1 VIEW
5th Sep 1970
W
14 Bramley L 1970~71 A 15 8 VIEW
10th Sep 1970
W
6 Halifax L 1970~71 A 27 4 VIEW
12th Sep 1970
W
6 Huddersfield L 1970~71 H 39 0 2 VIEW
15th Sep 1970
W
14 Halifax L 1970~71 H 22 7 VIEW
17th Sep 1970
W
6 Swinton LC2 1970~71 H 20 7 1 VIEW
19th Sep 1970
L
6 Swinton L 1970~71 A 8 22 VIEW
26th Sep 1970
W
6 Hull Kingston Rovers L 1970~71 H 38 3 VIEW
29th Sep 1970
W
6 Castleford FT1 1970~71 H 14 7 VIEW
3rd Oct 1970
W
6 Featherstone Rovers L 1970~71 A 27 18 1 VIEW
7th Oct 1970
W
14 Warrington L 1970~71 A 12 4 VIEW
10th Oct 1970
W
6 Wigan LCSF 1970~71 A 23 0 VIEW
13th Oct 1970
W
6 Warrington L 1970~71 H 37 6 VIEW
9th Nov 1970
W
6 Australia Tour 1970~71 H 37 10 VIEW
14th Nov 1970
L
6 Leigh L 1970~71 A 13 15 VIEW
20th Nov 1970
W
6 Salford L 1970~71 A 4 0 VIEW
28th Nov 1970
L
6 Leigh LCF 1970~71 N 4 7 VIEW
8th Dec 1970
D
3 Wigan FTSF 1970~71 A 7 7 VIEW
12th Dec 1970
W
3 Castleford L 1970~71 H 9 5 VIEW
13th Dec 1970
W
14 Wigan FTSF(rep) 1970~71 H 16 15 Y VIEW
15th Dec 1970
L
14 Leeds FTF 1970~71 A 5 9 Y VIEW
16th Jan 1971
L
6 Leeds L 1970~71 A 5 12 VIEW
23rd Jan 1971
W
15 Workington Town CC1 1970~71 A 8 6 Y VIEW
30th Jan 1971
W
14 Whitehaven L 1970~71 H 27 5 VIEW
6th Feb 1971
W
14 Salford L 1970~71 H 26 4 VIEW
13th Feb 1971
L
14 Castleford L 1970~71 A 6 12 Y VIEW
27th Feb 1971
W
3 Whitehaven L 1970~71 A 15 8 VIEW
13th Mar 1971
W
3 Hull Kingston Rovers L 1970~71 A 26 9 VIEW
*Unofficial Match. **Non Playing Sub.
WINS : 106 | LOSSES : 35 | DRAWS : 9

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