Ray French

OVERALL STATISTICS

BIRTHAGESIGNED ONFROMDEBUTLAST MATCHLEFT
23-12-1939
N/A
Date unknown.
St. Helens RU
30-08-1961 v Wakefield Trinity
Wakefield Trinity
1967- Widnes
CAREERAPPEARANCES (SUBS)TRIESGOALSDGOALSPTS
1961-1967
204 (3)
10
0
0
30

BIOGRAPHY

Ray French by Dave Dooley:
It must be a great feeling to play rugby league for your hometown club! Ray was signed from St Helens RUFC in the summer of 1961. By then French had already represented England at the fifteen a side code. He was an uncompromising second row forward and a belligerent tackler whose running style was characterised by a high knees gallop. Ray was a cornerstone of a new pack of forwards that was to be rebuilt following the break-up of the six that had steered saints to a Lancashire Cup and Challenge Cup double in the 1960/61 season. Little did Ray realise as he embarked on the steep learning curve of the 13 a man game, that this knowledge and understanding would eventually lead to his inheritance of the mantle of BBC TV match commentator from the late, great Eddie Waring. Ray has remained a life-long native and resident of the glass town - very much a case of "local lad done well."

In the disappointing 1961-62 season Ray collected a winners medal in the 25 points to 9 Lancashire Cup Final victory over Swinton. Ray would never describe himself as a prolific try-scorer, he was more a workhorse characterised by storming runs and crunching tackles. His first try for the club and the only one in his first campaign came in the 31 points to 7 home victory over Liverpool City on March 13th, 1962. Remarkably Ray did not cross the tryline again until the 1963/4 season when he registered a career best haul of four touchdowns for the Saints. In that season Ray won his second Lancashire Cup winners medal as Saints defeated Leigh bi 15 points to 4. At the end of the campaign he was on hand to score a crucial try in the 10 points to 7 victory over Swinton in the Western Divisional Championship Final.

The 1964/5 season saw the introduction of substitutes in matches. Ray French was the first ever Saints substitute to enter the field in a league game in the away fixture at Leigh. As Saints finished the campaign on top of the league and winners of the Lancashire League Championship they boasted a set of forwards that was the best ever assembled at Knowsley Road. Ray's contemporaries included John Warlow, Bob Dagnall, Bill Sayer, Albert Halsall, Cliff Watson, John Mantle, Mervyn Hicks, Brian Hogan, Doug Laughton and Kel Coslett. French was used only three times as a substitute in his Saints career. A statistic that indicates Ray's importance to the Saints' starting line-up!

The four trophy season of 1965/66 was a pinnacle for Ray and the Saints. He turned in a barnstorming display in the 1966 Challenge Cup Final against Wigan and completed an equally strong performance in the 35 points to 12 demolition of Halifax in the Championship Final. At the end of that campaign Ray had manage to harvest a full set of winners' medals.

With the club on top of the world, all hell broke out in the summer break of 1966 over the future of Alex Murphy. At the start of the following season Alex had turned down a golden opportunity to play in Australia and was staying away from Knowsley Road. Ray stepped into the breach and became captain of his hometown club. The introduction of the four-tackle rule reduced the effectiveness of the Saints' pack in wearing down the opposition. French led the Saints to a third successive Lancashire League Championship and were runners up in the Championship Final against Wakefield Trinity. At the start of the 1967/8 season Ray played his final match against Wakefield Trinity. Saints won by 13 points to 11 and Ray crossed the line for his tenth and last try for the club. French relates how he was painting the front of his house when he heard that he being part-exchanged for Frank Myler, the Widnes and Great Britain stand-off half.

Ray gained three Lancashire caps in his time at Knowsley Road but had to wait until he was wearing the black and white of the 'Chemics' before he gained full international honours. His work off the field has been nothing short of prolific having been a writer for the Rugby Leaguer for decades, a match commentator on both Radio Merseyside and BBC TV and an author of many books on our great game. Ray is still a familiar face around Knowsley Road where he is currently the Chairman of the Past Players Association.

SEASON STATISTICS

Season (Official Matches)TriesGoalsDGoalsMatches
1961~621 0 0 35
1962~630 0 0 25
1963~644 0 0 43
1964~65 2 0 0 39
1965~66 2 0 0 33
1966~670 0 0 38
1967~681 0 0 3
TOTALS:10 0 0 216
Season (Other Matches)TriesGoalsDGoalsMatches
1962~630001
1964~650001
1965~66 0001
TOTALS:0003

ALL MATCHES

DatePosOpponentsCompSeasonVenueFTFTOTGDGNPS**
30th Aug 1961 W 11 Wakefield Trinity L 1961~62 H 10 5 V
2nd Sep 1961 W 11 Leigh LC1 1961~62 H 43 8 V
9th Sep 1961 W 11 Salford L 1961~62 A 24 7 V
12th Sep 1961 W 11 Rochdale Hornets L 1961~62 A 14 2 V
16th Sep 1961 W 11 Whitehaven L 1961~62 H 44 0 V
23rd Sep 1961 W 11 Barrow L 1961~62 A 34 2 V
30th Sep 1961 L 11 Hull L 1961~62 H 22 25 V
2nd Oct 1961 W 11 Oldham LC2 1961~62 H 30 7 V
7th Oct 1961 W 11 Whitehaven L 1961~62 A 10 3 V
10th Oct 1961 W 11 Salford LCSF 1961~62 H 21 2 V
14th Oct 1961 W 11 New Zealand Tour 1961~62 H 25 10 V
28th Oct 1961 L 11 Warrington L 1961~62 A 7 11 V
11th Nov 1961 W 11 Swinton LCF 1961~62 N 25 9 V
18th Nov 1961 L 11 Widnes L 1961~62 A 12 13 V
9th Dec 1961 L 11 Wakefield Trinity L 1961~62 A 10 12 V
16th Dec 1961 L 11 Oldham L 1961~62 H 8 9 V
3rd Feb 1962 W 12 Huddersfield L 1961~62 H 36 5 V
10th Feb 1962 W 12 Salford CC1 1961~62 A 15 2 V
17th Feb 1962 W 12 Salford L 1961~62 H 17 12 V
24th Feb 1962 L 12 Leigh L 1961~62 A 6 7 V
3rd Mar 1962 L 12 Huddersfield CC2 1961~62 H 2 13 V
10th Mar 1962 W 12 Rochdale Hornets L 1961~62 H 16 5 V
13th Mar 1962 W 11 Liverpool City L 1961~62 H 31 7 1 V
17th Mar 1962 L 11 Oldham L 1961~62 A 7 10 V
24th Mar 1962 W 11 Widnes L 1961~62 H 13 8 V
31st Mar 1962 W 11 Swinton L 1961~62 H 5 2 V
3rd Apr 1962 W 11 Hull K.R. L 1961~62 H 27 2 V
7th Apr 1962 W 11 Hull L 1961~62 A 12 8 V
9th Apr 1962 W 11 Leigh L 1961~62 H 42 4 V
14th Apr 1962 W 11 Blackpool Borough L 1961~62 A 15 2 V
20th Apr 1962 L 11 Wigan L 1961~62 H 16 18 V
21st Apr 1962 W 11 Liverpool City L 1961~62 A 14 2 V
23rd Apr 1962 W 11 Blackpool Borough L 1961~62 H 37 5 V
28th Apr 1962 L 11 Wigan L 1961~62 A 3 12 V
2nd May 1962 W 11 Huddersfield L 1961~62 A 16 9 V
10th Aug 1962 W 11 Liverpool City* Fr Charity Cup 1962~63 H 33 2 V
18th Aug 1962 W 11 Salford WDC 1962~63 A 35 24 V
22nd Aug 1962 W 11 Leigh WDC 1962~63 H 21 3 V
25th Aug 1962 W 11 Blackpool Borough WDC 1962~63 H 21 12 V
30th Aug 1962 W 11 Liverpool City WDC 1962~63 A 16 9 V
1st Sep 1962 W 11 Salford WDC 1962~63 H 59 0 V
8th Sep 1962 W 11 Liverpool City LC1 1962~63 H 22 0 V
10th Nov 1962 L 12 Warrington L 1962~63 H 2 4 V
17th Nov 1962 W 12 Castleford L 1962~63 A 8 7 V
24th Nov 1962 W 12 Huddersfield L 1962~63 H 36 3 V
1st Dec 1962 L 12 Workington Town L 1962~63 A 5 8 V
8th Dec 1962 W 12 Leeds L 1962~63 H 13 6 V
15th Dec 1962 L 12 Wakefield Trinity L 1962~63 A 7 10 V
22nd Dec 1962 W 11 Hull L 1962~63 H 27 14 V
23rd Mar 1963 W 11 Bramley L 1962~63 H 38 0 V
26th Mar 1963 W 11 Wigan L 1962~63 H 20 11 V
1st Apr 1963 W 11 Workington Town L 1962~63 H 29 0 V
6th Apr 1963 W 11 Halifax L 1962~63 H 33 3 V
12th Apr 1963 W 11 Wigan L 1962~63 A 24 4 V
13th Apr 1963 L 11 Swinton L 1962~63 A 8 9 V
15th Apr 1963 L 11 Swinton L 1962~63 H 9 24 V
20th Apr 1963 W 11 Featherstone Rovers L 1962~63 H 18 5 V
27th Apr 1963 L 11 Hull L 1962~63 A 7 15 V
29th Apr 1963 L 11 Wakefield Trinity L 1962~63 H 15 16 V
4th May 1963 W 11 Widnes L 1962~63 A 25 2 V
13th May 1963 W 11 Widnes L 1962~63 H 14 6 V
24th Aug 1963 L 12 Huddersfield L 1963~64 H 7 10 V
28th Aug 1963 W 12 Castleford L 1963~64 H 20 11 V
31st Aug 1963 W 12 Keighley L 1963~64 A 18 6 V
2nd Sep 1963 W 12 Hunslet L 1963~64 A 15 7 V
7th Sep 1963 W 11 Swinton LC1 1963~64 A 12 2 V
14th Sep 1963 W 11 Hull K.R. L 1963~64 H 40 5 V
16th Sep 1963 W 11 Workington Town LC2 1963~64 H 28 4 V
21st Sep 1963 L 11 Halifax L 1963~64 A 5 13 V
23rd Sep 1963 W 11 Warrington LCSF 1963~64 A 21 14 V
28th Sep 1963 L 11 Australia Tour 1963~64 H 2 8 V
5th Oct 1963 W 11 Barrow WDC 1963~64 H 19 15 V
12th Oct 1963 W 11 Leeds L 1963~64 A 10 2 V
19th Oct 1963 W 11 Hull L 1963~64 H 11 10 V
26th Oct 1963 W 11 Leigh LCF 1963~64 N 15 4 V
2nd Nov 1963 W 11 Warrington L 1963~64 H 19 8 V
16th Nov 1963 D 11 Featherstone Rovers L 1963~64 H 11 11 1 V
30th Nov 1963 W 11 Liverpool City WDC 1963~64 H 16 0 V
7th Dec 1963 W 11 Wakefield Trinity L 1963~64 A 8 7 V
14th Dec 1963 L 11 Halifax L 1963~64 H 12 13 V
28th Dec 1963 W 11 Workington Town L 1963~64 A 5 0 V
1st Jan 1964 L 11 Swinton L 1963~64 H 6 8 V
4th Jan 1964 W 11 Salford WDC 1963~64 A 15 5 V
11th Jan 1964 L 11 Hunslet L 1963~64 H 10 12 V
25th Jan 1964 W 11 Keighley L 1963~64 H 28 3 V
1st Feb 1964 W 10 Hull K.R. L 1963~64 A 9 5 V
8th Feb 1964 L 10 Castleford CC1 1963~64 H 6 13 V
15th Feb 1964 W 11 Barrow WDC 1963~64 A 14 10 V
22nd Feb 1964 L 11 Leeds L 1963~64 H 6 14 V
7th Mar 1964 W 11 Huddersfield L 1963~64 A 16 11 V
14th Mar 1964 W 11 Workington Town L 1963~64 H 14 8 V
21st Mar 1964 W 11 Whitehaven WDC 1963~64 H 50 7 V
27th Mar 1964 W 11 Wigan L 1963~64 H 11 5 V
28th Mar 1964 W 11 Salford WDC 1963~64 H 24 13 V
30th Mar 1964 W 11 Swinton L 1963~64 A 10 7 V
4th Apr 1964 L 11 Widnes L 1963~64 H 6 10 V
8th Apr 1964 L 11 Featherstone Rovers L 1963~64 A 12 19 1 V
11th Apr 1964 W 11 Wakefield Trinity L 1963~64 H 24 10 1 V
18th Apr 1964 W 11 Liverpool City WDC 1963~64 A 32 7 V
22nd Apr 1964 W 11 Wigan L 1963~64 A 22 13 V
25th Apr 1964 W 11 Widnes L 1963~64 A 19 8 V
1st May 1964 W 11 Oldham WDCSF 1963~64 H 22 11 V
6th May 1964 W 11 Hull L 1963~64 A 17 9 V
16th May 1964 W 11 Swinton WDCF 1963~64 N 10 7 1 V
22nd Aug 1964 W 15 Leigh L 1964~65 A 19 6 V
24th Aug 1964 W 12 Rochdale Hornets L 1964~65 H 28 4 V
29th Aug 1964 W 11 Widnes L 1964~65 H 29 6 V
31st Aug 1964 W 11 Whitehaven L 1964~65 A 15 5 V
5th Sep 1964 W 11 Liverpool City LC1 1964~65 A 41 11 V
12th Sep 1964 W 11 Blackpool Borough L 1964~65 H 37 5 V
14th Sep 1964 W 11 Barrow LC2 1964~65 A 22 11 V
29th Sep 1964 W 12 Warrington LCSF 1964~65 A 10 8 V
3rd Oct 1964 W 11 Workington Town L 1964~65 H 32 6 V
17th Oct 1964 W 11 Featherstone Rovers L 1964~65 H 25 12 V
24th Oct 1964 W 11 Swinton LCF 1964~65 N 12 4 V
31st Oct 1964 W 11 Oldham L 1964~65 H 22 6 V
7th Nov 1964 W 15 Warrington L 1964~65 H 26 10 Y V
14th Nov 1964 W 12 Hull K.R. L 1964~65 A 25 12 V
21st Nov 1964 W 11 Barrow L 1964~65 H 37 3 V
19th Dec 1964 W 11 Leigh L 1964~65 H 10 7 1 V
1st Jan 1965 W 11 Swinton L 1964~65 A 11 5 V
16th Jan 1965 L 11 Warrington L 1964~65 A 4 6 V
23rd Jan 1965 W 11 Whitehaven L 1964~65 H 16 3 V
27th Jan 1965 W 15 Other Nationalities* Fr Opening of Floodl 1964~65 H 19 2 V
6th Feb 1965 W 15 Castleford CC1 1964~65 H 22 9 Y V
13th Feb 1965 L 12 Workington Town L 1964~65 A 3 4 V
16th Feb 1965 W 11 Salford L 1964~65 H 12 6 V
20th Feb 1965 W 12 Huddersfield L 1964~65 H 28 6 V
27th Feb 1965 L 11 Wigan CC2 1964~65 A 2 7 V
13th Mar 1965 W 11 Oldham L 1964~65 A 15 9 V
16th Mar 1965 L 11 Wakefield Trinity L 1964~65 H 2 9 V
20th Mar 1965 L 11 Wakefield Trinity L 1964~65 A 4 5 V
23rd Mar 1965 L 15 Wigan L 1964~65 H 6 10 Y V
27th Mar 1965 L 15 Salford L 1964~65 A 8 11 V
30th Mar 1965 W 10 Hull K.R. L 1964~65 H 8 2 V
5th Apr 1965 W 12 Barrow L 1964~65 A 21 14 V
16th Apr 1965 W 14 Wigan L 1964~65 A 16 8 Y V
17th Apr 1965 W 11 Widnes L 1964~65 A 14 2 V
19th Apr 1965 W 15 Swinton L 1964~65 H 16 5 Y V
21st Apr 1965 W 10 Huddersfield L 1964~65 A 20 6 V
24th Apr 1965 W 15 Barrow Ch1 1964~65 H 23 7 Y V
30th Apr 1965 W 11 Hull K.R. Ch2 1964~65 H 24 6 1 V
15th May 1965 W 11 Wakefield Trinity ChSF 1964~65 H 10 5 V
22nd May 1965 L 11 Halifax ChF 1964~65 N 7 15 V
14th Aug 1965 L 10 Swinton * Fr Gallie Cup 1965~66 A 9 11 V
16th Oct 1965 W 15 Salford L 1965~66 A 15 11 Y V
23rd Oct 1965 W 15 Workington Town L 1965~66 H 43 4 Y V
30th Oct 1965 W 10 Barrow L 1965~66 A 15 10 V
9th Nov 1965 W 15 Huddersfield L 1965~66 H 11 4 Y V
13th Nov 1965 W 15 Workington Town L 1965~66 A 7 3 V
16th Nov 1965 W 8 Leeds FT2 1965~66 H 21 9 V
19th Nov 1965 W 8 Rochdale Hornets L 1965~66 H 19 7 V
27th Nov 1965 D 11 Wakefield Trinity L 1965~66 H 9 9 V
4th Dec 1965 W 11 Whitehaven L 1965~66 A 4 2 V
7th Dec 1965 W 8 Swinton FTSF 1965~66 H 9 5 V
14th Dec 1965 L 8 Castleford FTF 1965~66 H 0 4 V
17th Dec 1965 W 11 Blackpool Borough L 1965~66 H 21 9 V
1st Jan 1966 W 11 Salford L 1965~66 H 16 3 1 V
8th Jan 1966 L 10 Oldham L 1965~66 A 9 13 V
29th Jan 1966 W 11 Halifax L 1965~66 A 5 2 V
1st Feb 1966 W 11 Widnes L 1965~66 H 9 4 V
5th Feb 1966 W 12 Blackpool Borough L 1965~66 A 25 11 V
26th Feb 1966 W 11 Wakefield Trinity CC1 1965~66 A 10 0 V
1st Mar 1966 W 11 Warrington L 1965~66 H 22 6 V
8th Mar 1966 W 11 Liverpool City L 1965~66 H 16 2 V
12th Mar 1966 W 11 Huddersfield L 1965~66 A 8 7 V
19th Mar 1966 W 11 Swinton CC2 1965~66 H 16 4 V
23rd Mar 1966 W 11 Leigh L 1965~66 A 6 5 V
26th Mar 1966 L 12 Wigan L 1965~66 A 8 17 V
2nd Apr 1966 W 11 Hull K.R. CC3 1965~66 H 12 10 V
8th Apr 1966 W 11 Wigan L 1965~66 H 17 10 V
11th Apr 1966 L 11 Swinton L 1965~66 A 6 20 V
16th Apr 1966 W 11 Dewsbury CCSF 1965~66 N 12 5 V
22nd Apr 1966 L 11 Swinton L 1965~66 H 10 15 V
7th May 1966 W 12 Oldham Ch2 1965~66 H 15 10 1 V
14th May 1966 W 12 Hull K.R. ChSF 1965~66 H 14 6 V
21st May 1966 W 11 Wigan CCF 1965~66 N 21 2 V
28th May 1966 W 11 Halifax ChF 1965~66 N 35 12 V
19th Aug 1966 D 11 Widnes L 1966~67 A 10 10 V
23rd Aug 1966 L 11 Warrington L 1966~67 H 6 10 V
27th Aug 1966 W 11 Salford L 1966~67 H 42 7 V
10th Sep 1966 W 11 Liverpool City L 1966~67 A 35 12 V
12th Sep 1966 W 11 Barrow L 1966~67 A 15 9 V
14th Sep 1966 L 11 Wigan LC2 1966~67 A 9 11 V
17th Sep 1966 W 11 Blackpool Borough L 1966~67 A 23 14 V
24th Sep 1966 D 11 Rochdale Hornets L 1966~67 A 17 17 V
26th Sep 1966 W 11 Salford FTP(2) 1966~67 H 40 5 V
30th Sep 1966 W 11 Whitehaven L 1966~67 H 35 12 V
7th Oct 1966 W 11 Blackpool Borough L 1966~67 H 25 6 V
14th Oct 1966 W 11 Wakefield Trinity L 1966~67 H 18 15 V
18th Oct 1966 W 11 Swinton FT1 1966~67 H 11 9 V
22nd Oct 1966 W 11 Salford L 1966~67 A 30 3 V
28th Oct 1966 W 11 Leeds L 1966~67 H 16 3 V
1st Nov 1966 D 11 Barrow FT2 1966~67 A 11 11 V
2nd Nov 1966 L 11 Leigh L 1966~67 A 5 29 V
11th Nov 1966 W 11 Castleford L 1966~67 H 13 2 V
18th Nov 1966 W 11 Barrow L 1966~67 H 16 11 V
26th Nov 1966 W 11 Huddersfield L 1966~67 A 15 10 V
2nd Dec 1966 L 15 Castleford L 1966~67 A 7 25 Y V
9th Dec 1966 W 11 Leigh L 1966~67 H 4 0 V
17th Dec 1966 W 11 Workington Town L 1966~67 A 16 9 V
26th Dec 1966 W 11 Wigan L 1966~67 H 8 3 V
27th Dec 1966 W 12 Warrington L 1966~67 A 9 8 V
21st Jan 1967 L 11 Workington Town L 1966~67 H 5 6 V
27th Jan 1967 W 11 Oldham L 1966~67 H 25 7 V
3rd Feb 1967 D 11 Salford CC1 1966~67 A 5 5 V
7th Feb 1967 L 11 Salford CC1(rep) 1966~67 H 3 8 V
11th Feb 1967 W 15 Liverpool City L 1966~67 H 23 6 Y V
18th Mar 1967 W 12 Huddersfield L 1966~67 H 11 4 V
24th Mar 1967 W 11 Wigan L 1966~67 A 21 7 V
25th Mar 1967 L 10 Whitehaven L 1966~67 A 3 4 V
14th Apr 1967 W 11 Leigh Ch1 1966~67 H 37 12 V
22nd Apr 1967 W 11 Bradford Northern Ch2 1966~67 H 15 8 V
29th Apr 1967 W 11 Castleford ChSF 1966~67 H 14 3 V
6th May 1967 D 11 Wakefield Trinity ChF 1966~67 N 7 7 V
10th May 1967 L 11 Wakefield Trinity ChF(rep) 1966~67 N 9 21 V
23rd Aug 1967 W 11 Leeds L 1967~68 A 13 12 V
26th Aug 1967 W 15 Hull K.R. L 1967~68 H 13 8 Y V
28th Aug 1967 W 11 Wakefield Trinity L 1967~68 H 13 11 1 V
*Unofficial Match. **Non Playing Sub.
CALCULATED APPEARANCES : OFFICIAL 201 OTHER 3 = 216
ACTUAL APPEARANCES (inc 3 Subs) = 204

GALLERY


THIS PAGE LINK : http://saints.org.uk/home/player.php?num=15348