John Arkwright by Adrian Lawrenson
In the aftermath of the disappointing 1961-62 season, when Saints let half a cup-winning pack of forwards leave the club, namely Terry, Vines and Karalius and replacements Knowles and Leyland had been tried without lasting results, recruitment was on the agenda.
John Arkwright, son of the iconic pre-war star Jack [and father of future Saints’ Captain Chris] was brought in from Warrington. John had previously played against Saints in the 1959 Lancashire Cup final for Warrington and signed for the Saints in August 1962.
It was announced in the St Helens v Blackpool Borough programme as follows:
“Jack Arkwright to many St Helens fans means more than the young man we have just signed. Jack Arkwright senior played many great games for the Saints but probably the most memorable was when for twenty minutes he resisted all the might of Huddersfield to win the league play-off in 1932. If he had played at Wembley against Widnes  the course of history might have been changed.”
Young Jack has earned a reputation for himself while at Warrington. His fellow players did not want him to leave and if he can maintain the spirit of his new comrades he will be welcome at Knowsley Road. When assessing his value to the team, one point can be remembered – his father was older than him when he first joined the Saints.”
Unfortunately after the big build up things did not work out as planned. John made his debut on Thursday 30 August 1962 and played in the next 14 games. He was a fiery character and his penultimate game for the club was the 1962 Lancashire Cup final against Swinton on 27 October 1962, at Central Park, Wigan. It was a filthy day with heavy rain and a strong wind was blowing towards the Kop end. Swinton won the toss and chose to play against the wind and turned round 0-7 down at half-time. Saints spent the second half hemmed in as a result of the conditions and got home 7-4.
However, John and Ron Morgan, Swinton’s Welsh second row forward had a right set to and were dismissed under the shadow of the Saints’ posts. They made the long walk to the dressing room side by side as far as the half-way line and it duly kicked off again and they had to be separated.
Unfortunately, it didn’t end there. The following week John got into more trouble at Headingley against Leeds and was dismissed again. He received a lengthy ban as a result. This was his last match for the Saints and it appears that he just drifted away from the game.
Prior to playing rugby league he used the Arkwright physique, tall and upstanding, to good use by playing in goal for Liverpool and Wigan Athletic.
John passed away in St Helens on 13 June 2003, aged 70.
|Season (Official Matches)||Tries||Goals||DGoals||Matches|
|Season (Other Matches)||Tries||Goals||DGoals||Matches|
|30th Aug 1962||
|1st Sep 1962||
|8th Sep 1962||
|15th Sep 1962||
|18th Sep 1962||
|22nd Sep 1962||
|29th Sep 1962||
|2nd Oct 1962||
|6th Oct 1962||
|9th Oct 1962||
|13th Oct 1962||
|20th Oct 1962||
|27th Oct 1962||
|3rd Nov 1962||
|*Unofficial Match. **Non Playing Sub.|
|WINS : 9 | LOSSES : 3 | DRAWS : 2|
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