Thomas Warner


Local rugby union
12-11-1904 v Wakefield Trinity
Wakefield Trinity
18 (0)


Thomas Warner by Alex Service

The big attraction for spectators when Saints A Team played at home to Oldham A in early November 1904 was a new signing. According to the St. Helens Newspaper: “The A Team were without a match on Saturday but St. Helens have got an excellent A Team this season and as there was an additional attraction because the Committee were trying a new man at full back, a large number of spectators assembled. The unknown full-back turned out to be Warner, a well-known rugby union player from the Castleford district and from his opening display he should be an acquisition for the First Team.” The Saints second string won 25-0 and the crowd were quite satisfied with what they had seen from the new man.

So who was Warner? It was stated in the press that he was born and bred in Castleford, a fact confirmed by a search on ‘Ancestry’ which revealed that he was called Thomas, like his father and he was a coal hewer. Thomas was aged 19 in the 1901 Census and his mother had the endearing first name of ‘Comfort.’

Thomas made his debut against Wakefield Trinity at Knowsley Road. The St. Helens Newspaper contained the following notes by the correspondent Rugbyite after the game: “Warner was, of course, the object of all eyes and it is to his credit that he pleased the spectators, for the Saints supporters are pretty critical. His display in the first half was grand, touch kicking being the strong point. Once or twice in the second portion he misfielded but was always on the alert and recovered himself before any damage was done.”

After one or two impressive displays, especially at Hunslet, things started to go wrong for Warner. He was criticised for making errors at Swinton, Wigan and Salford. When the First Round of the Challenge Cup came along, Saints played non-league Rochdale Rangers and once again, the critics were hardly complimentary. As Rugbyite wrote in the St. Helens Newspaper: “I wish someone would instil into Warner the fact that full backs occasionally are supposed to beat their opponents. I have never seen Warner beat a man by dodging or running yet; otherwise his touch kicking is fine.”

Alas, Warner played in the next match at Wakefield Trinity and was never seen in a Saints jersey again. Perhaps the volume of criticism had become too much, together with the long journeys by train from Castleford every week and he had called it a day. There is no record of the Saints releasing him, as such, but he was offered to Wakefield Trinity in September 1905, for the sum of £15. It is interesting that Saints legendary full-back Tommy Foulkes had not played since the first match of the season, against Oldham at Knowsley Road and Warner was seen as an obvious replacement, but it was not to be. It was Foulkes who eventually resumed at full-back, after the Wakefield game, presumably having regained full fitness. He lived in David Street, Castleford in 1939 and the miner die s in his hometown two years later at the age of 60.

If anyone has any further details about Thomas Warner, we would like to hear from you.


Season (Official Matches)TriesGoalsDGoalsMatches
1904~05 0 0 0 18
TOTALS:0 0 0 18
Season (Other Matches)TriesGoalsDGoalsMatches


12th Nov 1904 W 1 Wakefield Trinity L 1904~05 H 5 0 VIEW
19th Nov 1904 L 1 Leigh L 1904~05 A 5 14 VIEW
3rd Dec 1904 L 1 Hull L 1904~05 A 0 14 VIEW
10th Dec 1904 L 1 Bradford L 1904~05 H 8 18 VIEW
17th Dec 1904 L 1 Leeds L 1904~05 A 2 17 VIEW
26th Dec 1904 D 1 Warrington L 1904~05 H 0 0 VIEW
31st Dec 1904 L 1 Oldham L 1904~05 A 3 13 VIEW
7th Jan 1905 L 1 Wigan L 1904~05 A 3 15 VIEW
11th Jan 1905 W 1 Halifax L 1904~05 H 14 5 VIEW
14th Jan 1905 W 1 Swinton L 1904~05 H 5 3 VIEW
21st Jan 1905 L 1 Broughton Rangers L 1904~05 H 6 8 VIEW
28th Jan 1905 L 1 Hull K.R. L 1904~05 A 3 6 VIEW
4th Feb 1905 W 1 Batley L 1904~05 H 4 0 VIEW
11th Feb 1905 L 1 Hunslet L 1904~05 A 5 16 VIEW
18th Feb 1905 L 1 Widnes L 1904~05 H 5 7 VIEW
25th Feb 1905 L 1 Salford L 1904~05 A 2 19 VIEW
4th Mar 1905 W 1 Rochdale Rangers CC1 1904~05 H 9 2 VIEW
11th Mar 1905 L 1 Wakefield Trinity L 1904~05 A 0 21 VIEW
*Unofficial Match. **Non Playing Sub.