Walter Delves

OVERALL STATISTICS

BIRTHAGESIGNED ONFROMDEBUTLAST MATCHLEFT
22-10-1933
N/A
27-12-1951
United Services/ St. Helens B
14-08-1954 v Widnes
Whitehaven
1958- Barrow
CAREERAPPEARANCES (SUBS)TRIESGOALSDGOALSPTS
1954-1958
102 (0)
22
0
0
66

BIOGRAPHY

Walter Delves by Dave Dooley:

Walter Delves was a stalwart for the club playing over 100 matches mostly in the second row position. He was signed from St Helens B on 27th. December 1951. After a long spell in the reserve team he made his debut against Widnes on the 14th. August, 1954 in the first match of that season. It was a winning start for Walter as Saints beat their local rivals by 31 points to 3. Although his debut was in the number 13 jersey, he was most recognisable as a hard running and tough tackling second row forward who added great steel to the Saints pack at the time. In 102 matches for the Saints Walter scored 22 tries, kicked no goals for a total points aggregate of 66 points. Walters first try for the Saints was in his third match came at Blackpool Borough as Saints cruised to a 34 points to two victory.

Walter must have felt heartbroken as he was injured shortly before Saints won their first Challenge Cup against Halifax in the 1956 Final at Wembley. His place was taken by the young Roy Robinson. Walter also missed out when the Australian Touring side were put to the sword in November, 1956. The same season saw Walter in a try scoring mood as he scored braces of three-pointers against Halifax, Leeds and Blackpool Borough.

His final match for the Club was at Whitehaven on the 29th. November, 1958 as Saints were gearing up for another Championship. Poor old Walter missed out again as he was transferred to Barrow and made 45 appearances [4 tries] from 1958-61.

Denis Whittle provided the following obituary when Walter passed away.

Walter Delves Passes

Former Saints’ loose forward Walter ‘Digger’ Delves passed away on Tuesday 27th of April in Wellington, New Zealand at the age of 75 after a battle with cancer. Walter joined the Knowsley Road club from the United Services junior club on 27th December 1951 at the same time as a lad from Widnes called Vince Karalius. Both got a £200 signing-on fee. Delves was 6 feet 2 inches and rarely above 13 and a half stones, but, according to journalist Denis Whittle he had much to offer the team: “His was a mixture of devastating tackling and skilled ball-handling which saw him top the forwards’ try-scoring list during one memorable season.”

He was a versatile player, who could play anywhere in the pack and made his debut in the number 13 jersey on 14th August 1954 at home to Widnes. The pack that day was: Ayles, Lannon, Parr, Parsons, Bretherton and Delves. The home team won 31-3 before a crowd of over 16,000.

‘Digger’ was born in Westfield Street and one of his most recognisable claims to fame is that he featured in a photograph which won the prestigious Encyclopaedia Britannica Sports Picture of the Year award. It was against Featherstone Rovers, the day the new Best Side stand was opened and Walter can be seen gleefully diving over the line for a brilliant individual try in Saints’ 32-9 victory against their Yorkshire rivals. He scored 22 during his Saints’ career overall.

Walter’s final game for the club was on 29th November 1958, when he appeared at prop against Whitehaven, with the Saints making light of a potentially difficult assignment by winning 25-2. The pack that day featured the likes of Ab Terry, Rose, Delves, Dennis Karalius, Huddart and Vince Karalius. Shortly after this, his 102nd appearance for the club, he was transferred to Barrow, together with team-mate Roy Robinson, for a combined fee of £2,260.

He ran a pub virtually next door to the Barrow club for a spell, before taking up a new life in New Zealand, where he remained for the rest of his life, barring several visits back to blighty and Thatto Heath in particular. ‘Digger’ had ten children and numerous grand and great-grandchildren and it is to wife Doreen and his extended family that we send our deepest sympathy. According to his nephew, Andrew Knowles, ‘Wally’ as he was also known, remained a keen Saints supporter until his death. A hard man on the field and a true gentleman off it, he will be sadly missed.

SEASON STATISTICS

Season (Official Matches)TriesGoalsDGoalsMatches
1954~555 0 0 21
1955~56 4 0 0 27
1956~578 0 0 16
1957~583 0 0 21
1958~592 0 0 17
TOTALS:22 0 0 102
Season (Other Matches)TriesGoalsDGoalsMatches
1954~552002
1956~570001
1957~582001
1958~590001
TOTALS:4005

ALL MATCHES

DatePosOpponentsCompSeasonVenueFTFTOTGDGNPS**
7th Aug 1954 L 13 Barrow* Fr Ward Cup 1954~55 A 17 31 V
14th Aug 1954 W 13 Widnes L 1954~55 H 31 3 V
18th Aug 1954 W 13 Belle Vue Rangers L 1954~55 A 20 11 V
21st Aug 1954 W 13 Blackpool Borough L 1954~55 A 34 2 1 V
28th Aug 1954 L 13 Oldham L 1954~55 H 16 23 V
13th Nov 1954 W 13 Barrow L 1954~55 H 11 4 V
20th Nov 1954 W 13 Leeds L 1954~55 A 21 10 V
27th Nov 1954 D 13 Warrington L 1954~55 H 8 8 V
11th Dec 1954 W 13 Workington Town L 1954~55 H 16 2 V
18th Dec 1954 W 13 Rochdale Hornets L 1954~55 A 20 9 V
25th Dec 1954 L 13 Leigh L 1954~55 A 13 14 1 V
27th Dec 1954 W 13 Wigan L 1954~55 H 19 7 V
1st Jan 1955 W 13 Leigh L 1954~55 H 27 3 V
8th Jan 1955 L 12 Warrington L 1954~55 A 14 18 V
5th Feb 1955 W 11 Whitehaven L 1954~55 A 8 0 V
21st Mar 1955 W 11 Rochdale Hornets L 1954~55 H 23 3 1 V
26th Mar 1955 W 11 Salford L 1954~55 H 16 8 1 V
2nd Apr 1955 W 12 Belle Vue Rangers L 1954~55 H 31 0 1 V
8th Apr 1955 L 12 Wigan L 1954~55 A 12 16 V
9th Apr 1955 W 11 Halifax L 1954~55 H 14 8 V
11th Apr 1955 L 11 Huddersfield L 1954~55 A 11 35 V
18th Apr 1955 L 13 Barrow L 1954~55 A 3 26 V
7th May 1955 W 13 Leigh* Fr 1954~55 H 40 16 2 V
20th Aug 1955 W 11 Widnes L 1955~56 A 35 18 V
27th Aug 1955 L 11 Barrow LC1 1955~56 A 12 18 V
31st Aug 1955 L 12 Salford L 1955~56 A 10 11 V
3rd Sep 1955 W 12 York L 1955~56 H 26 18 V
10th Sep 1955 W 12 Keighley L 1955~56 H 52 23 1 V
24th Sep 1955 W 12 Barrow L 1955~56 H 66 15 V
1st Oct 1955 W 11 Blackpool Borough L 1955~56 H 53 19 1 V
8th Oct 1955 W 11 Keighley L 1955~56 A 21 6 V
15th Oct 1955 W 13 Liverpool City L 1955~56 H 32 4 V
22nd Oct 1955 W 12 Blackpool Borough L 1955~56 A 36 4 V
29th Oct 1955 W 11 Rochdale Hornets L 1955~56 H 8 7 V
5th Nov 1955 W 12 Swinton L 1955~56 A 4 0 V
12th Nov 1955 W 13 Halifax L 1955~56 H 13 8 V
26th Nov 1955 W 13 Workington Town L 1955~56 H 36 3 1 V
3rd Dec 1955 W 13 Whitehaven L 1955~56 A 20 12 V
26th Dec 1955 L 13 Leigh L 1955~56 H 9 18 V
27th Dec 1955 L 11 Wigan L 1955~56 A 0 8 V
18th Feb 1956 W 11 Dewsbury L 1955~56 H 36 0 V
25th Feb 1956 W 13 Swinton L 1955~56 H 27 10 V
14th Mar 1956 L 13 Halifax L 1955~56 A 0 12 V
17th Mar 1956 W 12 York L 1955~56 A 13 6 V
24th Mar 1956 W 12 Bradford Northern CC3 1955~56 H 53 6 1 V
30th Mar 1956 W 12 Wigan L 1955~56 H 29 7 V
31st Mar 1956 L 12 Warrington L 1955~56 H 7 13 V
7th Apr 1956 D 12 Barrow CCSF 1955~56 N 5 5 V
12th Apr 1956 W 11 Workington Town L 1955~56 A 12 9 V
14th Apr 1956 L 11 Oldham L 1955~56 A 8 40 V
11th Aug 1956 L 12 Barrow* Fr Ward Cup 1956~57 H 22 24 V
18th Aug 1956 W 12 Widnes L 1956~57 H 29 0 V
20th Aug 1956 W 12 Liverpool City L 1956~57 A 56 5 V
25th Aug 1956 W 12 Bradford Northern L 1956~57 A 34 7 V
29th Aug 1956 W 12 Salford L 1956~57 H 40 0 1 V
1st Sep 1956 W 12 Swinton LC1 1956~57 H 27 7 V
8th Sep 1956 L 12 Oldham L 1956~57 H 16 25 V
15th Sep 1956 L 12 Hull L 1956~57 A 6 17 V
6th Oct 1956 W 9 Liverpool City L 1956~57 H 25 5 V
13th Oct 1956 W 13 Salford L 1956~57 A 27 11 1 V
10th Nov 1956 W 12 Featherstone Rovers L 1956~57 H 21 16 V
2nd Mar 1957 W 13 Halifax L 1956~57 H 31 7 2 V
9th Mar 1957 L 13 Wigan L 1956~57 H 11 20 V
16th Mar 1957 W 12 Bradford Northern L 1956~57 H 23 6 V
6th Apr 1957 W 13 Leeds L 1956~57 H 44 3 2 V
15th Apr 1957 L 13 Barrow L 1956~57 A 8 11 V
22nd Apr 1957 W 12 Blackpool Borough L 1956~57 H 48 10 2 V
10th Aug 1957 W 12 Barrow* Fr Ward Cup 1957~58 H 79 13 2 V
17th Aug 1957 W 12 Widnes L 1957~58 A 22 13 1 V
21st Aug 1957 W 12 Huddersfield L 1957~58 H 28 8 V
26th Aug 1957 W 12 Oldham L 1957~58 A 21 7 V
7th Sep 1957 L 12 Leeds L 1957~58 A 5 23 V
21st Sep 1957 W 13 Swinton L 1957~58 A 16 14 1 V
28th Sep 1957 W 13 Warrington L 1957~58 H 14 2 V
2nd Oct 1957 L 12 Oldham LCSF 1957~58 H 9 29 V
5th Oct 1957 W 13 Huddersfield L 1957~58 A 35 13 V
12th Oct 1957 W 13 Whitehaven L 1957~58 H 26 9 V
19th Oct 1957 W 9 Liverpool City L 1957~58 A 28 4 V
26th Oct 1957 W 12 Leeds L 1957~58 H 36 7 V
2nd Nov 1957 W 13 Whitehaven L 1957~58 A 15 7 V
9th Nov 1957 W 13 Swinton L 1957~58 H 43 11 1 V
16th Nov 1957 W 13 Barrow L 1957~58 A 18 12 V
23rd Nov 1957 W 13 Workington Town L 1957~58 H 29 6 V
30th Nov 1957 W 13 Warrington L 1957~58 A 13 11 V
4th Apr 1958 W 12 Wigan L 1957~58 H 32 7 V
7th Apr 1958 W 12 Halifax L 1957~58 A 18 2 V
14th Apr 1958 W 12 Salford L 1957~58 H 42 8 V
19th Apr 1958 W 13 Halifax L 1957~58 H 31 4 V
3rd May 1958 L 11 Workington Town ChSF 1957~58 H 13 14 V
9th Aug 1958 L 13 Barrow* Fr Ward Cup 1958~59 A 10 14 V
19th Aug 1958 W 13 Rochdale Hornets L 1958~59 A 15 5 V
23rd Aug 1958 W 13 Featherstone Rovers L 1958~59 H 32 9 1 V
25th Aug 1958 W 13 Warrington L 1958~59 H 15 7 1 V
30th Aug 1958 W 13 Rochdale Hornets LC1 1958~59 A 20 15 V
6th Sep 1958 W 13 Wakefield Trinity L 1958~59 A 24 14 V
8th Sep 1958 W 12 Leigh LC2 1958~59 A 12 2 V
13th Sep 1958 W 12 Halifax L 1958~59 H 45 20 V
17th Sep 1958 W 12 Barrow LCSF 1958~59 H 18 6 V
20th Sep 1958 W 13 Warrington L 1958~59 A 29 15 V
27th Sep 1958 W 13 Hunslet L 1958~59 H 31 15 V
4th Oct 1958 W 12 Blackpool Borough L 1958~59 A 26 19 V
11th Oct 1958 W 12 Wakefield Trinity L 1958~59 H 15 8 V
18th Oct 1958 D 12 Workington Town L 1958~59 A 10 10 V
25th Oct 1958 L 12 Oldham LCF 1958~59 N 2 12 V
1st Nov 1958 W 9 Salford L 1958~59 A 28 12 V
8th Nov 1958 W 9 Rochdale Hornets L 1958~59 H 42 12 V
29th Nov 1958 W 10 Whitehaven L 1958~59 A 25 2 V
*Unofficial Match. **Non Playing Sub.
CALCULATED APPEARANCES : OFFICIAL 97 OTHER 5 = 102
ACTUAL APPEARANCES (inc 0 Subs) = 102

GALLERY


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