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Kevin Taylor by Adrian Lawrenson
“Don’t panic, sign a hooker!” was the cry. Saints have done it throughout their history. There was Albert Simm in 1924; Vincent Dilorenzo in 1946 and Gary Ainsworth in 1985 who spring to mind. The facts of the matter were that following Graham Liptrot’s broken jaw against Featherstone Rovers on 27 November 1980, Dennis Nulty [essentially a prop forward] and Colin Whittle, a young hooker from the A team had struggled to get Saints enough ball in any game thereafter. A four match losing run was halted by the skin of their teeth on Boxing Day 1980 in an unconvincing 11-10 victory against Oldham and there were genuine fears that Saints could well face a future relegation battle.
The question must have been raised in the Boardroom after the match because the outcome was that the Oldham veteran hooker Kevin Taylor was signed in time to make his debut on New Years Day 1981 in the narrow [but respectable] 11-8 reversal against Widnes at Naughton Park and followed that with three straight wins including a superb two points at Hull KR.
Kevin made three more appearances in the red vee, his best game being on 16 August 1981 at Blackpool Borough in a 28-0 win. Job done. Taylor had played for Oldham for many years and, in fact, as a youngster had played alongside Saints Bob Prosser in an England U24 game at Watersheddings. He later turned up to put a potential spanner in the works of Saints’ impressive start to their 1965-66 league campaign, when, on 8th January 1966 he was Oldham’s hooker in their 13-9 victory over the boys in the red vee, our first defeat of the season. He had a similar hooking style to a young Colin Clarke when he was coming through the ranks himself. Kevin’s value to the Saints’ cause in those dark days of 1981 cannot be understated. Kevin passed away in March 2020 at the age of 73.
|Season (Official Matches)||Tries||Goals||DGoals||Matches|
|Season (Other Matches)||Tries||Goals||DGoals||Matches|
|1st Jan 1981||
|4th Jan 1981||
|11th Jan 1981||
|9||Hull Kingston Rovers||L||1980~81||A||12||10||VIEW|
|18th Jan 1981||
|25th Jan 1981||
|29th Mar 1981||
|9th Aug 1981||
|9||Oldham*||Fr Ward Cup||1981~82||A||8||12||VIEW|
|16th Aug 1981||
|*Unofficial Match. **Non Playing Sub.|
|WINS : 4 | LOSSES : 4 | DRAWS :|
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