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Joe Donegan by Adrian Lawrenson
Born 21st July 1940, Joe played for Blackbrook ARLFC and signed for Saints in April 1958. A tough, forceful second rower, in his first season he was rewarded with a Lancashire Combination Championship medal with team mates that included winger Trevor Simms [Lancashire County], centre or stand-off Brian McGinn, second rower Jimmy Measures [Great Britain and Lancashire] and front-rower Derek Brown.
In the autumn of 1960, Saints were in real need of some fresh forwards, following the retirement of hooker Tom McKinney, club captain Alan Prescott and the sale of second-rower Brian Briggs to Wakefield Trinity. In this transitional period, Joe got his chance in the pre-season friendly against Liverpool City on 6th August 1960 and backed it up with a league debut at Oldham in a 16-4 defeat a week later. This was followed by a further game in the Lancashire Cup first round at Widnes on 27th August. However, results were patchy and Saints addressed the problem by with the signature of Welshman Don Vines from Wakefield Trinity, which barred the way for Joe.
Towards the end of the 1960-61 season, with Saints pressing for a Wembley place, Joe played a couple more games and was included in the Wembley squad, although he was not selected for the final itself.
The following season, ironically as a result of the departure of Vines, Joe again played in the Liverpool pre-season game and added two more appearances, including a friendly cameo against the visiting American Servicemen in the form of SHAPE Indians, on 7th May 1962.
His claim to fame is that in 1962-63 he played in Saints’ first First Division match of the new era, at Wilderspool against Warrington in a 21-13 defeat on 6th October 1962. Wires must have seen something they liked because they signed him on!
He returned to Saints in 1965 and was a non-playing substitute against Whitehaven in a 16-3 win on 23rd January 1965. He was still at the club in the four cups season of 1965-66 when he again was anon-playing substitute in a bruising 15-4 defeat of Champions Halifax on 20th August 1965.
|Season (Official Matches)||Tries||Goals||DGoals||Matches|
|Season (Other Matches)||Tries||Goals||DGoals||Matches|
|6th Aug 1960||
|11||Liverpool City*||Fr Charity Cup||1960~61||H||34||10||1||VIEW|
|13th Aug 1960||
|27th Aug 1960||
|8th Apr 1961||
|25th Apr 1961||
|12th Aug 1961||
|12||Liverpool City*||Fr Charity Cup||1961~62||H||29||14||VIEW|
|2nd May 1962||
|7th May 1962||
|6th Oct 1962||
|23rd Jan 1965||
|20th Aug 1965||
|*Unofficial Match. **Non Playing Sub.|
|WINS : 9 | LOSSES : 2 | DRAWS :|
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