Ben Briers

OVERALL STATISTICS

BIRTHAGESIGNED ONFROMDEBUTLAST MATCHLEFT
01-02-1890
N/A
1915
Local
02-01-1911 v Hunslet
Widnes
1925-
CAREERAPPEARANCES (SUBS)TRIESGOALSDGOALSPTS
1919-1925
190 (0)
14
3
0
48

BIOGRAPHY

Benjamin Briers by SHS

As a result of some key research in March 2016, Benjamin [Ben] Briers’s career has had something of a make-over and a number of extra appearances have been added as a result! The younger brother of Saints’ legend Billy Briers, born in Thatto Heath, took over somewhat seamlessly from him in the autumn of 1910. The Saints were down on numbers in the forwards and Billy put on the boots once more, playing five matches, before Ben made his debut on the 2nd January 1911, against Hunslet at Knowsley Road. Saints won 24-2 and the youngster clearly impressed with a competent display. ‘Referee’ in the St. Helens Reporter wrote that: “A newcomer in Ben Briers, brother of the famous William, made a fine debut in first class company. He is a big fine lad as strong as a horse and twenty years of age….with ordinary luck he will maintain the Donkey Common [Thatto Heath] reputation for producing typical forwards”.

Such optimism was realised, as Ben cemented his place in the seniors and Billy watched him in the Grandstand, eventually to become a Life Member of the club. Fast forward to the Saints’ programme for the game with Wigan Highfield, on 4th October 1924, when Ben is featured in a series of player pen pictures. More detail about his earlier sporting life is revealed. By the mid 1920s, he was 34 years old and at the veteran stage of his career. He was just under six feet in height and weighed 15 and a half stones, which would put him in the ‘burly’ category. His extra weight was a big plus in the scrums and he remained reasonably mobile in the loose. He had captained the Saints on occasions and also had a good boot on him, although this was used sparingly.

The pen picture gives us an insight into Ben’s early sporting life, which began in Association Football, with St. Annes, in the Liverpool and District League, where he played as a left-back. Ben then represented Ravenhead St. Johns in the St. Helens and District Sunday League before switching to rugby, as a second-rower with the Thatto Heath club in 1907-08. Progress was rapid and Ben captained the team for three seasons before catching the eyes of the Saints’ Committee and he signed for the Knowsley Road club in 1909.

Although the Saints, in their unique blue and black hooped jerseys of the time failed to seriously challenge for major honours, Ben became a key member of the forward pack and one of his early highlights was to play for the club against the visiting Australians at Knowsley Road, on 14th October 1911. By then, he had become a Lancashire representative, just like his brother and featured that season in two matches for the Red Rose county: against Australia at Blackburn [12-25] and against Cumberland in the County Championship at Warrington [7-28]. He made three county appearances overall in his career.

Ben did not play for the Saints for the three remaining seasons before the outbreak of war. We do not know why this was the case. Was he injured? It is unlikely he would have played elsewhere, but he re-surfaced for some games during the War Emergency League during World War One and was there for the full resumption of Northern Union football in 1919-20, when he made 22 appearances. He continued to be a valued member of the pack for the next few years, playing 38 matches in 1924-25. Ben could play anywhere in the pack even hooker with success. His last game for the seniors was the opening fixture of 1925-26, against Widnes at Knowsley Road, when the Saints lost 6-23. He was getting on for 36 then and a fine career ended. The 1939 Census tells us that Ben had moved to Blackpool, where he passed away in 1954. If anyone can provide any further information, particularly about the ‘missing’ seasons, 1912-13, 1913-14 and 1914-15, we would like to hear from you.

SEASON STATISTICS

Season (Official Matches)TriesGoalsDGoalsMatches
1910~11 1 0 0 18
1911~12 5 0 0 35
1919~200 0 0 22
1920~21 1 0 0 30
1921~221 0 0 19
1922~231 0 0 14
1923~243 0 0 13
1924~252 3 0 38
1925~26 0 0 0 1
TOTALS:14 3 0 190
Season (Other Matches)TriesGoalsDGoalsMatches
1911~12 0001
1921~22 0001
1923~240001
TOTALS:0003

ALL MATCHES

DatePosOpponentsCompSeasonVenueFTFTOTGDGNPS**
2nd Jan 1911 W 12 Hunslet L 1910~11 H 24 2 V
7th Jan 1911 W 12 Swinton L 1910~11 H 11 10 V
11th Jan 1911 L 12 Wakefield Trinity L 1910~11 A 9 26 V
14th Jan 1911 W 12 Coventry L 1910~11 A 14 2 V
21st Jan 1911 L 12 Wakefield Trinity L 1910~11 H 8 18 V
28th Jan 1911 L 12 Broughton Rangers L 1910~11 A 7 14 V
4th Feb 1911 W 12 Coventry L 1910~11 H 26 15 V
11th Feb 1911 D 12 Barrow L 1910~11 H 8 8 V
18th Feb 1911 W 12 Bramley CC1 1910~11 H 26 7 V
4th Mar 1911 L 12 Leeds CC2 1910~11 H 6 11 V
11th Mar 1911 L 12 Hull K.R. L 1910~11 A 10 42 1 V
18th Mar 1911 W 12 Leigh L 1910~11 H 10 3 V
22nd Mar 1911 L 12 Salford L 1910~11 A 6 19 V
1st Apr 1911 L 12 Widnes L 1910~11 H 6 16 V
14th Apr 1911 L 12 Wigan L 1910~11 A 8 25 V
15th Apr 1911 L 12 Swinton L 1910~11 A 9 23 V
17th Apr 1911 L 12 Hull K.R. L 1910~11 H 3 20 V
22nd Apr 1911 L 12 Rochdale Hornets L 1910~11 A 2 17 V
2nd Sep 1911 W 8 Barrow L 1911~12 A 15 6 V
9th Sep 1911 W 8 Warrington L 1911~12 H 10 2 V
16th Sep 1911 W 8 Swinton L 1911~12 A 13 5 1 V
23rd Sep 1911 W 8 Runcorn L 1911~12 H 25 0 V
30th Sep 1911 L 8 Leigh L 1911~12 H 11 13 V
7th Oct 1911 L 8 Widnes L 1911~12 A 11 14 V
14th Oct 1911 L 8 Australia Tour 1911~12 H 5 16 V
21st Oct 1911 W 8 Salford LC1 1911~12 H 18 7 1 V
28th Oct 1911 L 8 Coventry L 1911~12 A 8 10 V
4th Nov 1911 L 8 Wigan LC2 1911~12 A 8 22 V
11th Nov 1911 L 8 Ebbw Vale L 1911~12 A 0 2 V
18th Nov 1911 W 8 Salford L 1911~12 A 15 13 V
25th Nov 1911 W 8 Rochdale Hornets L 1911~12 H 27 12 V
2nd Dec 1911 W 8 Broughton Rangers L 1911~12 H 10 5 V
7th Dec 1911 W 8 Oldham L 1911~12 H 21 11 V
9th Dec 1911 W 8 Warrington L 1911~12 A 17 2 V
16th Dec 1911 W 8 Coventry L 1911~12 H 31 2 V
23rd Dec 1911 W 8 Runcorn L 1911~12 A 9 0 V
25th Dec 1911 W 8 Widnes L 1911~12 H 9 4 V
26th Dec 1911 L 8 Wigan L 1911~12 H 3 16 1 V
30th Dec 1911 L 8 Oldham L 1911~12 A 5 35 1 V
1st Jan 1912 W 8 Hunslet L 1911~12 H 31 10 V
6th Jan 1912 L 8 Wakefield Trinity L 1911~12 A 5 14 V
27th Jan 1912 W 8 Rochdale Hornets L 1911~12 A 10 3 V
17th Feb 1912 L 8 Barrow CC1 1911~12 A 3 13 1 V
20th Feb 1912 L 8 Dewsbury L 1911~12 A 8 17 V
24th Feb 1912 W 8 Leigh L 1911~12 A 30 0 V
2nd Mar 1912 W 8 Runcorn * Fr 1911~12 27 8 V
9th Mar 1912 W 8 Swinton L 1911~12 H 20 5 V
16th Mar 1912 W 8 Salford L 1911~12 H 19 6 V
28th Mar 1912 W 8 Dewsbury L 1911~12 H 20 0 V
30th Mar 1912 W 8 Barrow L 1911~12 H 43 2 V
5th Apr 1912 L 8 Wigan L 1911~12 A 14 17 V
6th Apr 1912 L 8 Broughton Rangers L 1911~12 A 5 21 V
8th Apr 1912 W 8 Wakefield Trinity L 1911~12 H 41 2 V
13th Apr 1912 L 8 Hunslet L 1911~12 A 7 34 V
23rd Aug 1919 W 9 Broughton Rangers L 1919~20 H 28 2 V
30th Aug 1919 W 9 Leigh L 1919~20 A 10 8 V
6th Sep 1919 L 9 Oldham L 1919~20 H 3 12 V
4th Oct 1919 L 9 Widnes L 1919~20 A 0 13 V
25th Oct 1919 L 9 Oldham L 1919~20 A 3 26 V
8th Nov 1919 W 9 Hull K.R. L 1919~20 H 11 0 V
11th Nov 1919 L 9 Rochdale Hornets L 1919~20 A 5 6 V
22nd Nov 1919 L 9 Halifax L 1919~20 A 8 17 V
30th Nov 1919 L 9 Leigh L 1919~20 H 3 12 V
13th Dec 1919 W 9 Swinton L 1919~20 H 12 7 V
20th Dec 1919 W 9 Halifax L 1919~20 H 5 0 V
25th Dec 1919 L 9 St. Helens Recs L 1919~20 A 6 21 V
26th Dec 1919 W 9 Wigan L 1919~20 H 13 5 V
27th Dec 1919 L 9 Broughton Rangers L 1919~20 A 0 15 V
1st Jan 1920 W 9 St. Helens Recs L 1919~20 H 9 8 V
3rd Jan 1920 D 9 Wakefield Trinity L 1919~20 A 9 9 V
10th Jan 1920 L 9 Salford L 1919~20 H 6 13 V
17th Jan 1920 W 9 Hull K.R. L 1919~20 A 17 5 V
24th Jan 1920 W 9 Widnes L 1919~20 H 12 2 V
7th Feb 1920 L 9 Barrow L 1919~20 A 5 25 V
21st Feb 1920 D 9 Wakefield Trinity CC1 1919~20 H 2 2 V
24th Feb 1920 D 9 Wakefield Trinity CC1(rep) 1919~20 A 2 2 V
28th Aug 1920 L 9 Broughton Rangers L 1920~21 A 11 13 V
4th Sep 1920 W 9 Widnes L 1920~21 H 18 8 V
11th Sep 1920 L 9 Leigh L 1920~21 A 0 5 V
18th Sep 1920 W 9 Warrington L 1920~21 H 26 6 V
25th Sep 1920 W 9 Swinton L 1920~21 A 17 8 V
2nd Oct 1920 W 9 Bradford Northern L 1920~21 H 38 3 V
9th Oct 1920 W 9 Widnes L 1920~21 A 10 2 V
16th Oct 1920 W 9 Askam LC1 1920~21 H 26 2 V
23rd Oct 1920 L 9 Rochdale Hornets L 1920~21 A 8 15 V
30th Oct 1920 L 9 Broughton Rangers LC2 1920~21 A 2 6 V
6th Nov 1920 L 9 York L 1920~21 A 0 8 V
13th Nov 1920 W 9 Barrow L 1920~21 H 8 5 V
27th Nov 1920 W 9 Salford L 1920~21 H 14 5 V
4th Dec 1920 L 9 Swinton L 1920~21 H 2 6 V
18th Dec 1920 W 9 Bradford Northern L 1920~21 A 16 0 1 V
25th Dec 1920 L 9 St. Helens Recs L 1920~21 H 0 5 V
26th Dec 1920 L 9 Wigan L 1920~21 H 4 22 V
22nd Jan 1921 W 9 Hunslet L 1920~21 H 8 7 V
29th Jan 1921 L 9 Warrington L 1920~21 A 2 15 V
5th Feb 1921 L 9 Rochdale Hornets L 1920~21 H 0 10 V
12th Feb 1921 L 9 Keighley L 1920~21 A 0 9 V
19th Feb 1921 L 9 Barrow L 1920~21 A 5 25 V
26th Feb 1921 L 9 Bramley CC1 1920~21 H 0 7 V
5th Mar 1921 W 9 Oldham L 1920~21 H 11 3 V
19th Mar 1921 L 9 Hunslet L 1920~21 A 5 7 V
25th Mar 1921 L 9 Wigan L 1920~21 A 3 24 V
26th Mar 1921 L 9 Oldham L 1920~21 A 0 28 V
28th Mar 1921 W 9 Broughton Rangers L 1920~21 H 9 7 V
2nd Apr 1921 W 9 Salford L 1920~21 A 10 5 V
22nd Apr 1921 W 9 Leigh L 1920~21 H 15 8 V
3rd Aug 1921 L 8 Huddersfield L 1921~22 A 3 38 V
10th Aug 1921 W 8 Salford L 1921~22 H 16 6 V
27th Aug 1921 L 8 Oldham L 1921~22 H 3 10 V
1st Oct 1921 W 9 Broughton Rangers L 1921~22 A 5 2 V
8th Oct 1921 W 9 Barrow L 1921~22 H 31 8 V
22nd Oct 1921 L 9 Warrington L 1921~22 A 0 11 V
29th Oct 1921 L 9 Hull * Fr 1921~22 H 12 29 V
5th Nov 1921 L 9 Oldham LC1 1921~22 H 5 17 1 V
12th Nov 1921 L 9 Leigh L 1921~22 A 3 9 V
17th Nov 1921 W 9 Wakefield Trinity L 1921~22 H 6 5 V
18th Nov 1921 L 9 Bramley L 1921~22 A 4 8 V
25th Feb 1922 L 11 Broughton Rangers CC1 1921~22 A 0 13 V
4th Mar 1922 W 10 Broughton Rangers L 1921~22 H 14 9 V
11th Mar 1922 L 10 Wakefield Trinity L 1921~22 A 5 17 V
18th Mar 1922 W 10 York L 1921~22 H 17 8 V
25th Mar 1922 W 10 Featherstone Rovers L 1921~22 H 24 13 V
1st Apr 1922 L 10 Featherstone Rovers L 1921~22 A 4 11 V
8th Apr 1922 D 10 Warrington L 1921~22 H 5 5 V
14th Apr 1922 L 10 Wigan L 1921~22 A 5 8 V
16th Apr 1922 L 10 York L 1921~22 A 3 6 V
16th Sep 1922 W 10 Wigan Highfield L 1922~23 H 21 5 V
23rd Sep 1922 L 10 Hull L 1922~23 A 15 18 V
30th Sep 1922 W 10 Bramley L 1922~23 H 19 5 V
7th Oct 1922 L 10 Warrington L 1922~23 A 14 21 1 V
14th Oct 1922 W 10 Salford LC1 1922~23 H 25 8 V
21st Oct 1922 W 10 Broughton Rangers L 1922~23 H 24 10 V
28th Oct 1922 L 12 Warrington LC2 1922~23 H 4 17 V
10th Feb 1923 W 9 Keighley L 1922~23 A 8 3 V
24th Feb 1923 L 13 Salford L 1922~23 A 3 11 V
30th Mar 1923 L 9 Rochdale Hornets L 1922~23 A 5 22 V
2nd Apr 1923 L 8 Hull L 1922~23 H 8 23 V
7th Apr 1923 L 8 Wigan L 1922~23 A 10 41 V
14th Apr 1923 W 8 Oldham L 1922~23 H 17 12 V
21st Apr 1923 W 8 Salford L 1922~23 H 56 10 V
25th Aug 1923 W 9 Widnes L 1923~24 H 5 3 V
1st Sep 1923 L 9 Warrington L 1923~24 H 5 8 V
27th Oct 1923 D 9 Swinton LC2 1923~24 H 5 5 V
9th Feb 1924 L 10 Dewsbury L 1923~24 A 10 16 V
1st Mar 1924 L 10 Huddersfield CC2 1923~24 A 13 24 V
8th Mar 1924 W 10 Wigan Highfield L 1923~24 H 10 9 V
15th Mar 1924 W 10 Keighley L 1923~24 H 34 6 1 V
22nd Mar 1924 L 10 Oldham L 1923~24 A 10 48 V
29th Mar 1924 W 12 Bramley L 1923~24 H 13 8 V
5th Apr 1924 W 12 Rochdale Hornets L 1923~24 H 15 13 V
12th Apr 1924 L 12 St. Helens Recs* Fr 1923~24 H 8 10 V
18th Apr 1924 L 12 Wigan L 1923~24 H 3 14 V
19th Apr 1924 W 10 Broughton Rangers L 1923~24 H 21 6 1 V
26th Apr 1924 W 11 Salford L 1923~24 H 37 15 1 V
30th Aug 1924 W 11 Widnes L 1924~25 A 10 9 V
6th Sep 1924 L 11 Widnes L 1924~25 H 7 8 V
13th Sep 1924 L 11 Barrow L 1924~25 A 8 19 V
20th Sep 1924 W 11 Keighley L 1924~25 H 16 9 2 V
27th Sep 1924 W 11 Hull L 1924~25 A 9 0 1 V
4th Oct 1924 W 11 Wigan Highfield L 1924~25 H 15 5 V
11th Oct 1924 D 11 Widnes LC1 1924~25 A 7 7 V
15th Oct 1924 W 11 Widnes LC1(rep) 1924~25 H 19 5 1 V
18th Oct 1924 L 11 Wakefield Trinity L 1924~25 A 2 3 V
25th Oct 1924 W 11 Warrington LC2 1924~25 H 15 5 V
8th Nov 1924 L 11 Oldham LCSF 1924~25 H 9 16 V
13th Nov 1924 L 11 Swinton L 1924~25 H 6 20 V
15th Nov 1924 L 11 Salford L 1924~25 A 3 13 V
22nd Nov 1924 W 11 Broughton Rangers L 1924~25 H 12 2 V
29th Nov 1924 W 11 Keighley L 1924~25 A 5 4 V
6th Dec 1924 W 11 Dewsbury L 1924~25 H 21 2 V
13th Dec 1924 W 11 Leigh L 1924~25 H 21 3 V
20th Dec 1924 L 11 Rochdale Hornets L 1924~25 A 0 11 V
25th Dec 1924 W 11 St. Helens Recs L 1924~25 H 7 5 V
26th Dec 1924 L 11 Wigan L 1924~25 H 7 13 1 V
1st Jan 1925 D 11 St. Helens Recs L 1924~25 A 5 5 V
3rd Jan 1925 W 11 Wakefield Trinity L 1924~25 H 15 2 V
10th Jan 1925 L 11 Wigan Highfield L 1924~25 A 8 12 V
17th Jan 1925 L 11 Oldham L 1924~25 H 5 24 V
24th Jan 1925 L 11 Swinton L 1924~25 A 3 49 V
31st Jan 1925 W 11 Salford L OBJ 1924~25 H 14 0 V
2nd Feb 1925 W 11 Barrow L 1924~25 H 12 8 V
7th Feb 1925 L 8 Oldham L 1924~25 A 5 32 V
14th Feb 1925 L 8 Widnes CC1 1924~25 A 8 10 V
21st Feb 1925 W 8 Warrington L 1924~25 H 9 5 V
28th Feb 1925 W 8 Salford L 1924~25 H 17 0 V
7th Mar 1925 D 8 Halifax L 1924~25 A 11 11 V
14th Mar 1925 W 8 Halifax L 1924~25 H 10 2 V
21st Mar 1925 D 10 Broughton Rangers L 1924~25 A 10 10 V
28th Mar 1925 W 10 Rochdale Hornets L 1924~25 H 34 3 V
10th Apr 1925 L 8 Wigan L 1924~25 A 4 51 V
11th Apr 1925 L 8 Leigh L 1924~25 A 10 17 V
18th Apr 1925 W 12 Warrington L 1924~25 A 15 8 V
28th Aug 1925 L 11 Widnes L 1925~26 H 6 23 V
*Unofficial Match. **Non Playing Sub.
CALCULATED APPEARANCES : OFFICIAL 187 OTHER 3 = 190
ACTUAL APPEARANCES (inc 0 Subs) = 190

GALLERY


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