Tommy Bishop

OVERALL STATISTICS

BIRTHAGESIGNED ONFROMDEBUTLAST MATCHLEFT
15-10-1940
N/A
01-1966
Barrow
29-01-1966 v Halifax
Castleford
1969- Cronulla- Aus
CAREERAPPEARANCES (SUBS)TRIESGOALSDGOALSPTS
1965-1968
135 (0)
47
17
0
175

BIOGRAPHY

In a remarkable three and a half seasons at Knowsley Road, Bishop won a total of 15 Caps for Britain and was appointed Captain for the French Tests in 1968/69 - a season in which he also skippered his Club and County. The capture of Tommy Bishop from Barrow for `5,500 completed the pieces in the Saints team-building jigsaw before the 1966 Challenge Cup-ties began. A small, tough scrum half who never shirked a tackle regardless of the size of an opponent, 26 year old Bishop had starred with Blackpool Borough and Barrow before joining his home town team.

"I was never allowed to influence transfers," recalls Joe Coan, "but this lad Bishop was the exception. I said at the time that he was the best in the league and could do a job for us. He always wanted to play. The best players are those who play the most matches."

The arrival of the `mighty atom` caused some controversy regarding Alex Murphy`s position in the team. Peter Harvey was established as stand off and with Bob Prosser also available Coan had no hesitation in asking Murphy to turn out in the centre. Although unhappy in his new role, the Skipper did a fine job alongside his co-centre 21 year old Billy Benyon - the `Babe` of the team.

"A lot of rubbish was talked at the time about what was best for the team," explains Coan. "Murphy was the best player we had in any position - the greatest player you will ever see in your lifetime. Of course there was Vollenhoven - but he was a specialist. Alex was the complete footballer, a fine athlete and a tremendous trainer. "

Tommy had an immediate effect on the team. He was inspirational and could switch effortlessly from being the creator to the motivator. His individual brilliance was best demonstrated in the 1966 Challenge Cup Final against Wigan when Cliff Watson barged to a central position just 12 yards from the Wigan tryline. Tommy Bishop at acting half back tried one of his trademark grubber kicks. The ball bounced off the Wigan full-back Ray Ashby and right into the little maestro`s hands. Bishop dived beneath the Wigan posts to take the Saints out of sight in the contest by 17 points to 2 with a conversion to come. A week later Tommy seemed content to feed his classy backs and the rampant Albert Halsall as destroyed Halifax in the Championship Final by 35 points to 12.

With Saints winning the Lancashire League title in 1965/6 and 1966/7 Tommy just needed a Lancashire Cup winner`s medal to complete a full collection. He did not have to wait very long as Saints waltzed off with that particular trophy in December 1967 with a hard fought 13 points to 10 victory over Warrington. Tommy was appointed captain of the club with the retirement of Tom Van Vollenhoven for the 1968/9 campaign and in October 1968 Bishop lifted his first trophy with the Saints as they retained the Lancashire Cup with a stunning record 30 points to 2 win over Oldham. For good measure Tommy chipped in with a try against his own name. Indeed the `Mighty Atom` was a regular feature on the score-sheet during his time at Knowsley Road with 47 tries in 147 appearances.

His last season at the Saints was a transitional one for the side and despite winning the Lancashire Cup and Lancashire League again it could have been an even better farewell for Tommy. Saints had only lost three league games up to the away Good Friday fixture against Wigan and were neck and neck with Leeds at the top of the league. Saints crashed against Wigan that day and lost one further fixture at home to Workington Town. One wouldn`t be that surprised to learn that Tommy did not play in those two fixtures. He was a great captain and an inspirational leader on the pitch.

In the summer of 1969, St. Helens Supporters mourned the departure of the man who was expected to lead the Club into anew decade of success as Tommy Bishop became the latest big name `Saint` to be lured by the Australian scene. Tough, cheeky and skilful, the `Mighty Atom` captured the hearts of the sporting public `Down Under` with some exhilarating displays during the 1966 Great Britain Tour and had become quite a celebrity. Like Ken Killeen before him, `Bish` had achieved all that he could in England and relished the challenge offered to him by the Cronulla Sutherland Club. Under Tommy`s tremendous influence, the Sharks rose from being the `whipping boys` of the Sydney Competition to Grand Final participants in 1973. Opponents Manly won an exciting game 10-7, but for many in the crowd, Bishop`s side were the heroes! Former Saints prop Cliff Watson was also a Cronulla player by this time.

By Alex Service and Dave Dooley
The Era of the Biff website has a GREAT article on Tommy, please visit them here.

SEASON STATISTICS

Season (Official Matches)TriesGoalsDGoalsMatches
1965~66 9 0 0 21
1966~67 9 10 0 36
1967~6810 6 0 36
1968~6919 1 0 42
TOTALS:47 17 0 135
Season (Other Matches)TriesGoalsDGoalsMatches
1967~68 0001
TOTALS:0001

ALL MATCHES

DatePosOpponentsCompSeasonVenueFTFTOTGDGNPS**
29th Jan 1966 W 6 Halifax L 1965~66 A 5 2 V
1st Feb 1966 W 6 Widnes L 1965~66 H 9 4 V
5th Feb 1966 W 6 Blackpool Borough L 1965~66 A 25 11 1 V
14th Feb 1966 W 6 Leigh L 1965~66 H 17 2 1 V
19th Feb 1966 L 6 Wakefield Trinity L 1965~66 A 12 20 V
26th Feb 1966 W 7 Wakefield Trinity CC1 1965~66 A 10 0 1 V
1st Mar 1966 W 7 Warrington L 1965~66 H 22 6 V
8th Mar 1966 W 7 Liverpool City L 1965~66 H 16 2 2 V
12th Mar 1966 W 7 Huddersfield L 1965~66 A 8 7 V
19th Mar 1966 W 7 Swinton CC2 1965~66 H 16 4 1 V
26th Mar 1966 L 7 Wigan L 1965~66 A 8 17 V
2nd Apr 1966 W 7 Hull K.R. CC3 1965~66 H 12 10 V
8th Apr 1966 W 7 Wigan L 1965~66 H 17 10 V
16th Apr 1966 W 7 Dewsbury CCSF 1965~66 N 12 5 V
22nd Apr 1966 L 7 Swinton L 1965~66 H 10 15 V
25th Apr 1966 W 7 Liverpool City L 1965~66 A 28 3 1 V
30th Apr 1966 W 7 Warrington Ch1 1965~66 H 35 7 1 V
7th May 1966 W 7 Oldham Ch2 1965~66 H 15 10 V
14th May 1966 W 7 Hull K.R. ChSF 1965~66 H 14 6 V
21st May 1966 W 7 Wigan CCF 1965~66 N 21 2 1 V
28th May 1966 W 7 Halifax ChF 1965~66 N 35 12 V
27th Aug 1966 W 6 Salford L 1966~67 H 42 7 1 V
3rd Sep 1966 W 7 Rochdale Hornets LC1 1966~67 A 18 16 1 V
7th Sep 1966 W 7 Salford FTP(1) 1966~67 A 19 10 V
10th Sep 1966 W 7 Liverpool City L 1966~67 A 35 12 V
12th Sep 1966 W 7 Barrow L 1966~67 A 15 9 1 V
14th Sep 1966 L 7 Wigan LC2 1966~67 A 9 11 V
17th Sep 1966 W 7 Blackpool Borough L 1966~67 A 23 14 V
26th Sep 1966 W 7 Salford FTP(2) 1966~67 H 40 5 V
14th Oct 1966 W 7 Wakefield Trinity L 1966~67 H 18 15 V
18th Oct 1966 W 7 Swinton FT1 1966~67 H 11 9 V
22nd Oct 1966 W 7 Salford L 1966~67 A 30 3 1 V
28th Oct 1966 W 7 Leeds L 1966~67 H 16 3 V
1st Nov 1966 D 7 Barrow FT2 1966~67 A 11 11 V
11th Nov 1966 W 7 Castleford L 1966~67 H 13 2 1 V
18th Nov 1966 W 7 Barrow L 1966~67 H 16 11 1 1 V
26th Nov 1966 W 7 Huddersfield L 1966~67 A 15 10 1 V
9th Dec 1966 W 7 Leigh L 1966~67 H 4 0 V
26th Dec 1966 W 7 Wigan L 1966~67 H 8 3 V
27th Dec 1966 W 7 Warrington L 1966~67 A 9 8 V
21st Jan 1967 L 7 Workington Town L 1966~67 H 5 6 V
27th Jan 1967 W 7 Oldham L 1966~67 H 25 7 1 V
3rd Feb 1967 D 7 Salford CC1 1966~67 A 5 5 V
7th Feb 1967 L 7 Salford CC1(rep) 1966~67 H 3 8 V
11th Feb 1967 W 7 Liverpool City L 1966~67 H 23 6 V
17th Feb 1967 L 7 Oldham L 1966~67 A 7 8 V
4th Mar 1967 L 7 Leeds L 1966~67 A 20 26 1 V
10th Mar 1967 W 7 Rochdale Hornets L 1966~67 H 17 2 1 V
18th Mar 1967 W 7 Huddersfield L 1966~67 H 11 4 V
24th Mar 1967 W 7 Wigan L 1966~67 A 21 7 1 V
27th Mar 1967 L 7 Swinton L 1966~67 H 5 12 V
7th Apr 1967 W 7 Widnes L 1966~67 H 25 10 1 1 V
14th Apr 1967 W 7 Leigh Ch1 1966~67 H 37 12 2 1 V
22nd Apr 1967 W 7 Bradford Northern Ch2 1966~67 H 15 8 1 V
29th Apr 1967 W 7 Castleford ChSF 1966~67 H 14 3 V
6th May 1967 D 7 Wakefield Trinity ChF 1966~67 N 7 7 V
10th May 1967 L 7 Wakefield Trinity ChF(rep) 1966~67 N 9 21 1 V
11th Aug 1967 W 14 Swinton * Fr Gallie Cup 1967~68 A 9 7 V
18th Aug 1967 W 7 Rochdale Hornets LC1 1967~68 H 7 4 V
23rd Aug 1967 W 7 Leeds L 1967~68 A 13 12 V
26th Aug 1967 W 7 Hull K.R. L 1967~68 H 13 8 V
1st Sep 1967 W 7 Salford L 1967~68 A 15 3 V
9th Sep 1967 W 7 Liverpool City L 1967~68 A 32 5 V
15th Sep 1967 W 7 Leigh L 1967~68 H 22 0 V
19th Sep 1967 W 7 Swinton LCSF 1967~68 A 12 8 1 1 V
23rd Sep 1967 W 7 Rochdale Hornets L 1967~68 A 8 2 V
7th Oct 1967 D 7 Warrington LCF 1967~68 N 2 2 V
14th Oct 1967 W 7 Liverpool City L 1967~68 H 15 7 V
24th Oct 1967 W 7 Australia Tour 1967~68 H 8 4 2 V
27th Oct 1967 W 7 Rochdale Hornets L 1967~68 H 14 7 V
7th Nov 1967 W 7 Oldham FT1 1967~68 H 14 0 2 V
11th Nov 1967 W 7 Blackpool Borough L 1967~68 H 17 3 1 V
18th Nov 1967 W 7 Leigh L 1967~68 A 7 4 V
22nd Nov 1967 L 7 Wigan FT2 1967~68 H 11 22 1 V
2nd Dec 1967 W 7 Warrington LCF(rep) 1967~68 N 13 10 V
16th Dec 1967 W 7 Oldham L 1967~68 H 10 2 V
26th Dec 1967 W 7 Wigan L 1967~68 A 16 10 V
30th Dec 1967 D 7 Batley L 1967~68 H 9 9 V
5th Jan 1968 L 7 Barrow L 1967~68 A 7 17 1 V
15th Jan 1968 W 7 Barrow L 1967~68 H 6 2 1 V
20th Jan 1968 W 7 Oldham L 1967~68 A 26 14 V
22nd Jan 1968 L 7 Swinton L 1967~68 H 10 17 V
27th Jan 1968 L 7 Workington Town L 1967~68 A 5 14 V
3rd Feb 1968 L 7 Huddersfield CC1 1967~68 H 0 5 V
17th Feb 1968 W 7 Batley L 1967~68 A 18 12 V
23rd Feb 1968 L 7 Hull K.R. L 1967~68 A 10 12 1 V
26th Feb 1968 W 7 Whitehaven L 1967~68 H 31 8 1 3 V
30th Mar 1968 W 7 Workington Town L 1967~68 H 18 11 V
12th Apr 1968 W 7 Wigan L 1967~68 H 24 13 V
13th Apr 1968 L 7 Widnes L 1967~68 A 7 24 V
15th Apr 1968 W 7 Swinton L 1967~68 A 19 16 V
19th Apr 1968 W 7 Halifax Ch1 1967~68 H 31 2 1 V
24th Apr 1968 W 7 Warrington Ch2 1967~68 H 20 0 V
27th Apr 1968 L 7 Hull K.R. ChSF 1967~68 A 10 23 V
14th Aug 1968 W 7 Wakefield Trinity L 1968~69 A 5 0 V
20th Aug 1968 W 7 Whitehaven L 1968~69 H 28 9 V
24th Aug 1968 L 7 Leeds L 1968~69 A 13 20 V
28th Aug 1968 W 7 Wakefield Trinity L 1968~69 H 24 8 1 V
31st Aug 1968 W 7 Widnes L 1968~69 H 24 9 1 V
2nd Sep 1968 W 7 Barrow L 1968~69 A 17 2 V
7th Sep 1968 W 7 Wigan LC1 1968~69 H 19 16 1 V
10th Sep 1968 W 7 Barrow FTP(1) 1968~69 H 21 5 1 V
14th Sep 1968 W 7 Leigh L 1968~69 H 27 2 V
18th Sep 1968 W 7 Widnes LC2 1968~69 A 20 17 1 V
20th Sep 1968 W 7 Huyton L 1968~69 H 11 10 V
27th Sep 1968 W 7 Warrington L 1968~69 H 24 11 1 V
4th Oct 1968 D 7 Salford L 1968~69 A 10 10 V
7th Oct 1968 W 7 Leigh LCSF 1968~69 A 17 6 V
12th Oct 1968 W 7 Leeds L 1968~69 H 28 3 V
14th Oct 1968 W 7 Swinton FT1 1968~69 H 12 10 1 V
25th Oct 1968 W 7 Oldham LCF 1968~69 N 30 2 1 V
30th Oct 1968 L 7 Rochdale Hornets L 1968~69 A 2 13 V
9th Nov 1968 W 7 Doncaster L 1968~69 A 22 8 V
23rd Nov 1968 W 7 Warrington L 1968~69 A 20 5 1 V
26th Nov 1968 W 7 Hull FT2 1968~69 H 14 10 1 V
4th Dec 1968 W 6 Blackpool Borough L 1968~69 H 13 10 V
10th Dec 1968 W 7 Warrington FTSF 1968~69 H 29 6 2 V
17th Dec 1968 L 7 Wigan FTF 1968~69 A 4 7 V
26th Dec 1968 W 7 Wigan L AB 1968~69 H 11 3 V
1st Jan 1969 W 7 Swinton L 1968~69 A 15 5 V
6th Jan 1969 W 7 Hull K.R. L 1968~69 A 16 5 1 1 V
11th Jan 1969 W 7 Whitehaven L 1968~69 A 9 7 1 V
14th Jan 1969 W 7 Wigan L 1968~69 H 13 3 V
18th Jan 1969 W 7 Rochdale Hornets L 1968~69 H 17 7 V
25th Jan 1969 W 7 Hull CC1 1968~69 A 13 3 1 V
25th Feb 1969 W 7 Oldham CC2 1968~69 A 15 6 V
1st Mar 1969 L 7 Warrington CC3 1968~69 A 2 4 V
6th Mar 1969 W 7 Huyton L 1968~69 H 37 6 1 V
11th Mar 1969 W 7 Barrow L 1968~69 H 32 7 1 V
15th Mar 1969 L 7 Leigh L 1968~69 A 10 12 V
21st Mar 1969 W 7 Widnes L 1968~69 A 18 4 V
24th Mar 1969 W 7 Blackpool Borough L 1968~69 H 43 12 1 V
28th Mar 1969 W 7 Oldham L 1968~69 H 19 4 V
26th Apr 1969 W 7 Keighley Ch1 1968~69 H 25 7 V
3rd May 1969 W 7 Featherstone Rovers Ch2 1968~69 H 47 4 1 V
10th May 1969 L 7 Castleford ChSF 1968~69 H 6 18 V
*Unofficial Match. **Non Playing Sub.
CALCULATED APPEARANCES : OFFICIAL 134 OTHER 1 = 135
ACTUAL APPEARANCES (inc 0 Subs) = 135

GALLERY


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