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Bill Derbyshire by SHS
Bill Derbyshire was an open-side prop who played one match for the Saints against Halifax in October 1948. He was actually on trial from Liverpool Stanley at the time. Tall, weighing about 13 and a half stones, he was 22 when he came albeit briefly to Knowsley Road. In 1939 he was living in Croppers Hill, St Helens and was still at school. It is presumed he returned to Stanley, but any further information regarding this player would be welcome. Bill died in St Helens in November 1989, aged 65.
JA Derbyshire by Adrian Lawrenson
There is no confirmed first name as yet for this player. However the Liverpool Echo for 30th October 1948 gave us a clue: “JA Derbyshire Stanley’s 15 stone signing from Clock Face has been given permission to play trials with St Helens.” This was followed by reference to the St Helens Reporter dated 26th October 1948 as follows: “A trialist prop forward played and scored a try in the A team game against Wigan A at Knowsley Road. The prop has some rugby league experience. He has played trials elsewhere but being a local lad wants to play for St Helens.”
The St Helens Reporter on 29th October 1948 prior to James or Jimmy making his debut against Halifax in an 8-5 win on 30th October 1948 commented that Saints had recently put prop forward Jonty Pilkington on the transfer list and were looking for a replacement.
The Reporter went on to tell us that the trialist was on the books of Liverpool Stanley and was 22 or 23 years of age and not over 14 stones nor with any lengthy experience. The game in question was a closely fought affair. Before the game the teams were presented to the Club President, Lord Derby, so the occasion had a particular significance for the young debutant. Alas, he wasn’t signed on by the club. The correspondent known as Recorder stated that “He is quite an active player and he stood up to the scrum gruelling. I think the Directors will have to look for a larger more experienced prop.”
This they duly did and signed RWT Soldier Jones, a Welsh international prop from Swinton and James returned Liverpool Stanley where he was mentioned in dispatches in the Stanley programme on the opening of their new ground against Saints in August 1950 and it should also be noted that our subject played in both Stanley games against Saints in the 1959-50 season.
|Season (Official Matches)||Tries||Goals||DGoals||Matches|
|Season (Other Matches)||Tries||Goals||DGoals||Matches|
|30th Oct 1948||
|*Unofficial Match. **Non Playing Sub.|
|WINS : 1 | LOSSES : | DRAWS :|
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