Ernie Critchley by Dave Dooley and SHS
Ernie was a lively scrum half who played nine matches for the Saints in the late fifties, who could also turn out in the centres if need be. He originated from rugby union circles, with Sale RFC and he never played in a losing team for the Saints at senior level. Ernie was born and bred in St.Helens and worked in the local pits and at Pilkingtons before national service, playing for Sale RU and then joining Saints.
Ernie was also a star performer in the Saints A team which won the Lancashire League title in 1958-59, but opportunities were limited, with Alex Murphy well-entrenched in the number 7 jersey at Knowsley Road.
He must have impressed the Halifax Directors after his performance against them because they signed him up soon after. Ernie went on to play 60 games for the Thrum Hallers, scoring 15 tries, essentially as a stand-off.
Ernie joined Salford in a transfer deal from Halifax in 1962, where Hugh Duffy transferred to Halifax in exchange for Ernie plus £600. He made his Salford debut versus Workington Town at home on 27, August, 1962. He played for Salford 125 times and scored 14 tries For the Red Devils.
Ernie remained at Salford in various roles for the next thirty years. He was A team coach for Salford when they were runners up in the Challenge Cup in 1969. He continued to coach at Salford and became Manager of the very successful Willows Variety Centre where he remained active until 2001. Ernie later retired to spend his days in the warmer climes of Southern Europe.
Many thanks to Ernie’s son, Gary Critchley, for updating us with further playing and personal details.
|Season (Official Matches)||Tries||Goals||DGoals||Matches|
|Season (Other Matches)||Tries||Goals||DGoals||Matches|
|19th Aug 1958||
|23rd Aug 1958||
|25th Aug 1958||
|30th Aug 1958||
|8th Sep 1958||
|13th Sep 1958||
|4th Oct 1958||
|4th Apr 1959||
|5th Sep 1959||
|*Unofficial Match. **Non Playing Sub.|
|WINS : 9 | LOSSES : | DRAWS :|
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