|Bill Shiels played in the front and second rows for the Saints in the mid-late 1950s. A former Rivington pupil, signed from the St. Helens B team, Bill was essentially a member of the A team at Knowsley Road, but still played in six matches for the seniors. Indeed Bill made his debut on 16th April 1956, at home to Whitehaven. The Saints were due to face Halifax in a Championship semi-final at Thrum Hall seven days later and rested several members of their squad. The ‘weakened’ team won 22-7 and Bill formed a partnership with fellow front-rower Abe Terry and hooker Wilf O’Mara. Another significant aspect of that game was the debut of a young scrum-half called Alex Murphy. |
A contemporary of players such as Josh Gaskell, Austin Rhodes, Arthur Pimblett and Roy Robinson, Bill’s final match was on 23rd November 1957, against Workington Town at Knowsley Road. Saints won 29-6 and Bill was once again ensconced in the front-row with Abe Terry and legendary hooker Tom McKinney making up the engine room. It was also a game when Tom van Vollenhoven scored two tries. Despite playing relatively few matches at First Team level, he certainly had some famous names as team-mates! Bill went to Liverpool City after leaving Knowsley Road.
Bill also had a major input into the amateur game, when he coached Pilkington Recs in the early 1960s, together with one of his former team-mates John ‘Todder’ Dickinson. Bill passed away on Christmas Day, 2015, aged 82.
|Season (Official Matches)||Tries||Goals||DGoals||Matches|
|Season (Other Matches)||Tries||Goals||DGoals||Matches|
|16th Apr 1956||
|21st Sep 1957||
|5th Oct 1957||
|12th Oct 1957||
|2nd Nov 1957||
|23rd Nov 1957||
|*Unofficial Match. **Non Playing Sub.|
|WINS : 6 | LOSSES : | DRAWS :|
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