Charlie Reynolds was a guest player from Widnes RLFC who played four matches for the Saints during World War Two. He was a skilful half back. Charlie played two matches against Wigan at Christmas 1943 and two other games against Halifax. He kicked a goal for the club in one of the Wigan matches. Charlie also played for the St Helens Recs before the outbreak of war. Charlie worked as a General Labourer and in 1939 he was living in Alfred Street, Widnes. He died in April 2001, aged 82 and his death was registered in Knowsley.
This appreciation of Charlie appeared in the Recs’ history They Bled Red Amber and Black.
Charlie Reynolds was the black-haired Widnes junior from Tarrant Street who made such an impression in the ‘Possibles v Probables’ trial match at City Road, before the start of the 1938-39 campaign. According to The Colonel in the St. Helens Reporter, Reynolds “didn’t need an opening as wide as a barn door to go through. He simply wove patterns through the defence.” As a result of his brilliant display in the trials, he made his debut in the first home match of the season, against Leigh at City Road. He was not the first to apply boot to ball, however. Former Recs’ winger Jimmy Owen, “who wore grey flannels, a smile and a tanned face” performed the kick off. He had been living in New Zealand and was back visiting his mother in Blighty.
The Colonel was happy with the new man’s performance, but, true to form, offered some wise advice: “Reynolds, playing in his first senior match, greatly pleased the crowd. He cut through the defence like a knife through butter. A sparkling run by him sent Pimblett over for a try and it was also from Reynolds’ smart gathering in the loose and crisp pass to Eli Dixon that gave Dixon a try. Reynolds also had a hand in several other moments that brought tries as a reward. At times, however, he was rather too individualistic and his kicking was not always judicious. Often he kicked into the air, the ball travelling too far to be of use, when instead he ought to have employed the little snicking kick through along the ground and the quick chase after the ball.”
Charlie was unfortunate to begin his career with a club that, although infused with much fighting spirit, was struggling financially and the lifeline afforded by Pilkington Brothers was withdrawn with inevitable consequences at the end of the season. Then, the Second World War would take his best years too, like so many. Yet Charlie went on to much success post-war and was a member of the Widnes team that got to Wembley in 1949-50 only to be defeated 19-0 by their deadly rivals Warrington. Charlie, playing loose forward that day, had relatively few opportunities to shine, as Warrington dominated from the outset.
|Season (Official Matches)||Tries||Goals||DGoals||Matches|
|Season (Other Matches)||Tries||Goals||DGoals||Matches|
|19th Sep 1942||
|25th Dec 1943||
|27th Dec 1943||
|19th Feb 1944||
|*Unofficial Match. **Non Playing Sub.|
|WINS : | LOSSES : 4 | DRAWS :|
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