League
Challenge Cup World Club

Alan Gwilliam

OVERALL STATISTICS

BIRTHAGESIGNED ONFROM
24-02-1950
N/A
28-09-1971
Blackbrook ARL
DEBUTLAST MATCHLEFT
25-10-1971 v Batley
Australia
1975- Warrington
CAREERAPPEARANCES (SUBS)
1971-1975
47 (15)
TRIESGOALSDGOALSPTS
7
0
0
21

BIOGRAPHY


Alan Gwilliam, whose first name was Joseph, was a pupil at St Anselms School and a product of the famous nursery at Blackbrook ARLFC. He turned professional with the Saints on 28th September 1971, when the club had just celebrated their second consecutive Championship success. He made his debut soon afterwards, when he came off the bench against Batley, in a 35-5 victory at Knowsley Road on 25th October.

Although Alan was essentially a scrum-half, he could fill in at centre, as well as in the halves and he was utilised off the bench on 15 occasions during his 47 appearances for the seniors. A really tough customer, his best season was in 1973-74, when he made 25 appearances and scored 6 tries. He became a valuable squad member, especially when scrum-half Ken Kelly was transferred to Bradford Northern in 1973.

One particular highlight was playing in the number 7 jersey in a marvellous 11-7 success against the visiting Kangaroos at Knowsley Road on 13th November 1973, when he was partnered at stand-off by Dave Eckersley. Five days later, he scored a hat-trick of tries against reigning Champions Dewsbury, as Saints cruised to a 35-3 win. This time, his half-back partner on that occasion was the redoubtable Geoff Pimblett.

Alan was selected for one major final, the Merit Competition clash against Warrington, at Central Park, Wigan on 18th May 1974, but was a non-playing substitute as Saints lost 12-13. Jeff Heaton was at scrum-half that day, with Alex Murphy the Warrington captain.

Alan was joined by his elder brother Ken at the start of the 1974-75 campaign and both were in the ‘15’ when Ken made his debut against Warrington on 23rd August 1974. They played a number of games together in the first team over the next few seasons. Alan’s final game for the Saints was against the visiting Australians on 12th October 1975, when the Green and Golds triumphed by 7-32. Ironically, Alan’s stand-off partner was an Australian – Les Mara, from Balmain.

Alan then joined Warrington, where he made 136 appearances in six years, scoring 18 tries. He played in the 1977 Premiership final for the Wires against the Saints and had a ‘disagreement’ with Harry Pinner resulting in an early bath for both players! It was a key loss for the Wires on the day, as Alan was playing the proverbial ‘blinder’! There was one more amazing Australian link too, when he played scrum-half against the visiting 1978 Kangaroos at Wilderspool when Warrington beat them in a memorable 15-12 victory and Man of the Match Alan scored the winning try. Former Saint Billy Benyon was the captain of Warrington that night, with hooker Tommy Cunningham another signed from the St Helens club. Not many have the honour of beating a touring team twice in their career! “It was an unforgettable experience for me,” remembers Alan’s wife, Margaret. “The day after I was due in hospital to give birth to Ann Marie and because of the celebrations, we only got home at about 2 o’clock!”

After a brief spell coaching at Wilderspool, Alan then served the amateur game with distinction, in a coaching capacity at Parkside and Blackbrook, the latter with Steve Peters. James Roby and James Graham were two who benefitted from his undoubted expertise and experience at the Blackbrook club. His sons, David and Ian were also signed by the Saints from Blackbrook, which made him very proud indeed.

He was a straight-talking guy, but Alan was really caring and had a heart of gold. Tony Atherton, who suffered a life-changing injury while playing for the A team at Knowsley Road remembers him as a great friend who helped him during his recovery: “I started at Saints when I was 15 and learned a lot just from training with him. Alan was scrum-half and I was stand-off in the A Team for a couple of years and he was such a good player, with so much variety in his game and so difficult for the opposition to deal with. Later when he went to Warrington, he would take me to watch the matches and really looked after me. We remained close friends ever since.”

A former bricklayer by trade, Alan went into the licensed trade initially at the Nags Head at Irlam and the Nelson’s Quarterdeck in Birchwood before he moved on to the Sportsmans [Talbot Hotel] in Duke Street. Then it was to the NALGO club before becoming the popular steward at Greenalls Club in Alder Hey Road.

Alan passed away on the 7th of May, 2021.

SEASON STATISTICS

Season (Official Matches)TriesGoalsDGoalsMatches
1971~72 0 0 0 3
1972~73 1 0 0 15
1973~74 6 0 0 25
1974~75 0 0 0 14
1975~76 0 0 0 5
TOTALS:7 0 0 62
Season (Other Matches)TriesGoalsDGoalsMatches
1973~74 0001
1974~75 0001
TOTALS:0002

ALL MATCHES

DatePosOpponentsCompSeasonVenueFTFTOTGDGNPS**
25th Oct 1971
W
14 Batley L 1971~72 H 35 5 VIEW
16th Apr 1972
W
7 Batley L 1971~72 A 14 7 VIEW
28th Apr 1972
W
14 Rochdale Hornets Ch2 1971~72 H 17 5 Y VIEW
20th Aug 1972
W
14 Rochdale Hornets L 1972~73 A 21 3 VIEW
2nd Mar 1973
W
14 Blackpool Borough L 1972~73 H 29 0 Y VIEW
7th Mar 1973
L
14 Swinton L 1972~73 A 7 11 Y VIEW
11th Mar 1973
L
14 Whitehaven L 1972~73 A 7 9 VIEW
16th Mar 1973
W
7 Salford L 1972~73 H 21 4 VIEW
25th Mar 1973
W
7 Leigh L 1972~73 A 11 7 VIEW
27th Mar 1973
W
14 Leeds L 1972~73 H 19 12 Y VIEW
30th Mar 1973
W
7 Whitehaven L 1972~73 H 15 9 VIEW
6th Apr 1973
W
7 Barrow L 1972~73 A 6 5 VIEW
17th Apr 1973
W
6 Bradford Northern L 1972~73 A 24 8 VIEW
20th Apr 1973
L
6 Wigan L 1972~73 A 2 12 VIEW
23rd Apr 1973
W
7 Widnes L 1972~73 H 15 5 1 VIEW
27th Apr 1973
W
6 Leigh Ch1 1972~73 H 29 14 VIEW
2nd May 1973
W
7 Wakefield Trinity Ch2 1972~73 H 28 0 VIEW
6th May 1973
L
7 Leeds ChSF 1972~73 A 2 7 VIEW
10th Aug 1973
L
7 Salford * Fr Gallie Cup 1973~74 H 15 18 VIEW
17th Aug 1973
W
7 Whitehaven L 1973~74 H 26 19 1 VIEW
20th Aug 1973
W
7 Barrow FTP(1) 1973~74 A 12 6 VIEW
24th Aug 1973
W
7 Leigh L 1973~74 A 23 2 VIEW
2nd Sep 1973
L
7 Workington Town LC1 1973~74 A 5 11 VIEW
30th Sep 1973
W
14 Dewsbury L 1973~74 A 21 8 Y VIEW
16th Oct 1973
W
7 Whitehaven FT1 1973~74 H 35 5 1 VIEW
19th Oct 1973
W
7 Warrington L 1973~74 H 24 6 VIEW
28th Oct 1973
W
7 Castleford L 1973~74 A 17 7 VIEW
6th Nov 1973
W
7 Rochdale Hornets FT2 1973~74 H 15 7 VIEW
11th Nov 1973
W
7 Warrington L 1973~74 A 11 5 VIEW
13th Nov 1973
W
7 Australia Tour 1973~74 H 11 7 VIEW
18th Nov 1973
W
7 Dewsbury L 1973~74 H 35 3 3 VIEW
25th Nov 1973
W
7 Hull Kingston Rovers L 1973~74 A 14 9 VIEW
4th Dec 1973
L
7 Bramley FTSF 1973~74 A 12 13 VIEW
8th Dec 1973
L
7 Oldham L 1973~74 A 11 12 VIEW
12th Jan 1974
L
14 Warrington JPSF 1973~74 A 9 20 Y VIEW
20th Jan 1974
L
4 Rochdale Hornets L 1973~74 A 7 11 VIEW
17th Feb 1974
W
14 Rochdale Hornets L 1973~74 H 38 5 Y VIEW
24th Feb 1974
W
14 Bramley CC2 1973~74 H 10 5 Y VIEW
10th Apr 1974
W
7 Wakefield Trinity L 1973~74 A 15 2 1 VIEW
15th Apr 1974
L
14 Widnes L 1973~74 A 9 12 VIEW
17th Apr 1974
W
14 Bramley L 1973~74 H 19 13 VIEW
20th Apr 1974
W
14 Workington Town MCC1 1973~74 H 24 7 VIEW
3rd May 1974
W
14 Leeds MCCSF 1973~74 A 23 10 Y VIEW
18th May 1974
L
14 Warrington MCCF 1973~74 N 12 13 Y VIEW
16th Aug 1974
W
17 Blackpool Borough * Fr Charity 1974~75 H 30 8 VIEW
23rd Aug 1974
W
14 Warrington L 1974~75 A 16 10 Y VIEW
30th Aug 1974
L
14 Workington Town LC1 1974~75 H 11 13 Y VIEW
24th Sep 1974
L
7 Wakefield Trinity FTP(2) 1974~75 A 15 18 VIEW
29th Sep 1974
L
14 Swinton JP1 1974~75 A 6 7 VIEW
6th Oct 1974
W
14 Featherstone Rovers L 1974~75 A 22 8 Y VIEW
11th Oct 1974
W
7 Keighley L 1974~75 H 33 7 VIEW
15th Oct 1974
W
14 Leeds FT1 1974~75 H 30 2 Y VIEW
20th Oct 1974
W
14 Halifax L 1974~75 A 47 15 VIEW
29th Nov 1974
W
14 Castleford L 1974~75 H 17 5 Y VIEW
21st Dec 1974
D
15 Castleford L 1974~75 A 10 10 VIEW
5th Jan 1975
W
14 Halifax L 1974~75 H 19 3 VIEW
14th Mar 1975
W
14 Rochdale Hornets L 1974~75 A 4 2 Y VIEW
23rd Mar 1975
W
14 Bradford Northern L 1974~75 A 26 15 VIEW
28th Mar 1975
W
14 Wigan L 1974~75 A 21 2 VIEW
16th Sep 1975
W
14 Leeds L 1975~76 H 24 2 VIEW
28th Sep 1975
W
7 Blackpool Borough JP1 1975~76 A 36 11 VIEW
5th Oct 1975
L
14 Featherstone Rovers L 1975~76 A 15 29 VIEW
8th Oct 1975
W
14 Rochdale Hornets FTP 1975~76 A 15 7 Y VIEW
12th Oct 1975
L
7 Australia Tour 1975~76 H 7 32 VIEW
*Unofficial Match. **Non Playing Sub.
WINS : 46 | LOSSES : 17 | DRAWS : 1

GALLERY






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