James Burke by SHS.
A local lad, from Eccleston Street, he was signed from legendary local junior team Unos Dabs and played two games in the seniors during the club's double season in 1931-32 [Inaugural League Champions and Lancashire League winners] as a loose forward. His debut was against Leigh at Knowsley Road, on 28th March 1932. The homesters had too much power for the visiting Leythers, winning 31-2 and James formed a back three with the likes of Jack Arkwright and Ben Halfpenny, both county and international players!
His second match was 24 hours later in the hubbub of Easter fixtures at Thrum Hall, Halifax. Saints won 13-3 with another international class second-rower drafted in, this time Albert Fildes, instead of Halfpenny. Walter Groves, the old scrum-half enjoyed an Indian Summer at loose forward, but James played a further 7 matches during the 1932-33 campaign, his last for the club [in the seniors, at any rate] being at home to Huddersfield at Knowsley Road, on 1st April 1933. This time, the back row had a different look about it, with Irishman Tom Griffin and Bill Fletcher in the second row.
It is not known why James's career ended when it did, although he played regularly in the A team when not needed for the seniors. By October 1933 he did request that the club might give him a free transfer. This was not granted, initially, although he did return to the amateur ranks and played for Unos Dabs once more, including a Challenge Cup tie against Halifax which the local lads lost 42-5. James worked for Pilkingtons at Sheet Works for most of his life. In 1939 he was living in Roland Avenue, St Helens. He died in his hometown in March 1977, aged 71.
|Season (Official Matches)||Tries||Goals||DGoals||Matches|
|Season (Other Matches)||Tries||Goals||DGoals||Matches|
|28th Mar 1932||
|29th Mar 1932||
|3rd Sep 1932||
|10th Sep 1932||
|17th Sep 1932||
|24th Sep 1932||
|29th Oct 1932||
|5th Nov 1932||
|1st Apr 1933||
|*Unofficial Match. **Non Playing Sub.|
|WINS : 7 | LOSSES : 2 | DRAWS :|
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