|William Rankin by Dave Dooley: |
Saints added the experience of prop forward Bill Rankin to their ranks after the War and he was instrumental in guiding ex-Welsh rugby union hooker Reg Blakemore through his formative months in the 13-a-side game. Bill started his career with St.Helens Recs and played for Rochdale and Wigan Highfield before being called up. He finished his rugby career at Liverpool Stanley, helping out with the `A`team.
Bill made his debut against Liverpool Stanley on New Year`s Day 1947 but the celebrations were curtailed as Saints went down narrowly by 8 points to 7. In his next outing the Saints lost to Leeds by the same score but fortune smiled on Bill by the end of the month as winning pay came in the 11 points to 7 victory over Featherstone Rovers at Post Office Road. Incidentally this was `Porky` Davies` last match for the club. Bill did not play again until the following New Year`s Day 1948 when the Saints went down to Leigh by 8 points to 3. Two days later Bill featured in the final match of his first team career at the Saints, as Swinton were defeated by 6 points to 3 at Station Road.