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George James by Alex Service
The Saints signed threequarter George James from Wigan on 8th December 1920. He had played 8 matches for the Cherry and Whites in the 1919-20 campaign, ostensibly as a wing threequarter, but could not secure a regular place as a result of the likes of fellow-Welshmen Hurcombe and Howley in the team. He was 23 years old and described as a fast and clever player in the St.Helens Newspaper and 'thought in Wales as a player of international standard. It should be hoped that he will be another Jimmy Greenwood for the club could do with one.'
The St.Helens Reporter scrutinised his debut against Keighley on 11th December 1920 and was totally supportive of the new signing, brushing aside the potential doubters. After all, he had come from our arch enemy: 'What did his appearance amount to? Briefly this. The confusion of some unholy pessimists who couldnt see any good in anything that came from Wigan and who, in fact, would have been in seventh heaven of delight had there been any evidence to support their contention that the Committee had once again bought a pig in a poke. Have you met the man? He says 'I told you so,' with sickening emphasis and perhaps he leers. And yet no-one backs him."
George was born in Barry, South Wales and his first club was Barry Parade RUFC. There is no question that he had ability. He would not have attracted the attention of Wigan otherwise. The Reporter carried on in a most supportive fashion: 'Any man who fits into his position so naturally as James did on Saturday deserves credit for a show in which the game is not so much a trial as the atmosphere of sharpness and the sense of being an enlightened partner in a friendly business. That James has brains is evident, that he has enthusiasm is also evident and any man who can spot an opening, swerve either way with equal facility, take and give a pass and tackle is good enough for St.Helens and hang where he came from and for how much.'
Supportive words indeed for the former Wigan import. In fact, he was carried off injured in his first game. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, George never quite made it at St.Helens. He played just 7 games, his last being at Knowsley Road against Rochdale Hornets on 5th February 1921, when a youngster called Les Fairclough made his debut. Perhaps not quite the player the Reporter had hoped he would be, George could well have suffered from injury that hindered his progress at Knowsley Road. He was certainly re-signed for the 1921-22 campaign, according to the Rugby League Registers. We know that he worked variously as a Blacksmith and as a Heavy Lorry driver in an Ordnance Factory. In 1939 he was living in Water Street, Ogmore and Gawr, Glamorgan, Wales. His death is registered in Bridgend in December 1954 when he was aged 54. If you have any further information regarding this player, please do not hesitate to contact us.
|Season (Official Matches)||Tries||Goals||DGoals||Matches|
|Season (Other Matches)||Tries||Goals||DGoals||Matches|
|11th Dec 1920||
|18th Dec 1920||
|25th Dec 1920||
|4||St. Helens Recs||L||1920~21||H||0||5||VIEW|
|26th Dec 1920||
|8th Jan 1921||
|29th Jan 1921||
|5th Feb 1921||
|*Unofficial Match. **Non Playing Sub.|
|WINS : 2 | LOSSES : 5 | DRAWS :|
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