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Isiah Harris by Alex Service
The Saints team by the second half of the 1908-09 season was in need of some reinforcement. The Committee made the bold move of bringing in three new faces for one match for the game against Broughton Rangers. They were all forwards, Purslow from Warrington, Bradley from Keighley and Bedworth from Castleford. The reason for winger Isiah Harris coming to the Knowsley Road was primarily as cover for regular choice Jimmy Flanagan, who had been injured. Harris was a product of the Castleford Half Acre junior club and was recommended to the Saints by new signing Bedworth, who was from the same district and reckoned Harris was a really good player.
Born in 1888, Isiah was a coal miner, who lived with his widowed mother in Regent Street, Half Acre, according to the 1911 Census returns. He made his debut for St. Helens at Rochdale Hornets, which ended in a 3-3 draw and garnered good review in the local press. As for Isiah, things were quite positive. The New Boy, the correspondent of the St. Helens Newspaper was quite positive about the debut of his namesake: 'He showed good form. He is speedy and can field a ball well, while I like his method of always taking the ball on the run for his opponents goal. It was only very clever tackling which prevented him making his mark on the list of try-getters at the first time of asking and taken all round his debut must be consdiered very satisfactory indeed. '
His best game for the club was undoubtedly the 8-5 victory over rivals Wigan at Central Park on 9 April 1909. Playing on the left wing, with the great Jimmy Greenwood as his centre, Isiah ran in for a crucial try that helped the Saints to come away with two valauble points. Billy Briers scored the other three-pointer, with full-back Fred Lilley banging over a goal. Harris played his last game at the start of the 1909-10 season, at Broughton Rangers, where Saints lost 7-10. This time Harry Greenwood was his centre. Teddy Toole partnered Jimmy Flanagan on the other flank.
Isiah seemed to have remained in the Castleford area for the rest of his life and passed away on 15 February 1963 at Lower Oxford Street. He played relatively few matches for the Saints, but it was clear he had lots of ability and pace to burn, as the match reports suggest.
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|Season (Official Matches)||Tries||Goals||DGoals||Matches|
|Season (Other Matches)||Tries||Goals||DGoals||Matches|
|16th Jan 1909||
|23rd Jan 1909||
|30th Jan 1909||
|6th Feb 1909||
|10th Feb 1909||
|13th Feb 1909||
|6th Mar 1909||
|20th Mar 1909||
|9th Apr 1909||
|10th Apr 1909||
|2nd Sep 1909||
|2||Hull Kingston Rovers||L||1909~10||A||7||30||VIEW|
|4th Sep 1909||
|*Unofficial Match. **Non Playing Sub.|
|WINS : 6 | LOSSES : 4 | DRAWS : 2|
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