|Trevor West by SHS |
The Saints have had a strong tradition over the years for signing players from Wales. Some, like Kel Coslett, George Lewis and Steve Llewellyn, for example, proved themselves to be great players in their new code. This has not always been the case, however. Before the start of the 1913-14 season, the St. Helens club added two new players to their roster, both from the Cross Keys club. Trevor West was a winger, with his club mate George Barker signed as a centre. In the practice matches, both players did reasonably well, but there were some doubts, as revealed by Argus in the St. Helens Reporter [26-08-1913]: “Barker and West showed a complete understanding of one another and a very clever try was gained by their passing and re-passing through the opposition. It is questionable whether West is quite speedy enough.”
This particular aspect of Trevor’s play recurs over the next few months. Yet he was selected, with Barker, for the first game of the season against Runcorn. It was, apart from Jimmy Flanagan, a revised threequarter line: West, Barker, Flanagan and Roberts. And Trevor got a good write up too, from Argus: “of the new men, West was easily the most prominent. He it was who scored the try and I question whether any other wing man the Saints have on their books would have utilised the opportunity as he did. It was a narrow thing, but West put his head down and literally hurled himself over the line. Apart from scoring [one of the tries in a 10-5 victory] West got through the whole of his work neatly and in the manner a footballer should do”.
A miner, born in Risca [one of thirteen children] and in his early twenties, Trevor lost a bit of form after his early success. Indeed, the backs as a whole were getting panned by the critics for their perceived lack of success. An 11-22 loss to Warrington mentioned Trevor’s lack of speed and a 25-0 drubbing at the hands of Widnes had the Saints’ correspondent out for blood: “West and Barker were anything but a success”. Things perked up with the 37-7 defeat of Leigh at Knowsley Road, when Trevor picked up a brace of touchdowns. Yet there were still questions raised about his lack of pace. He did not feature for many months for the seniors, but re-appeared later in the campaign. His last match was on 18th March 1914, in a Challenge Cup second round [second] replay with Rochdale Hornets at Knowsley Road. Saints lost 0-10 and it is interesting to note that the St. Helens back line contained three Welshmen: West, Cheshire and Browning, together with local lad Jimmy Flanagan.
The trail goes cold there. If anyone has any further information please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.