|Pseudonym Jones by Alex Service |
During the Second World War, the Saints kept going by virtue of a crop of junior players, together with anyone from elsewhere who either did not have a club [disbanded] or was stationed nearby in the military. The local press usually gave the players’ names, but in some cases, they used pseudonyms. ‘Jones’ appeared on the wing on Christmas Day at Wigan as Saints lost 3-10 in a relatively tight contest. On Boxing Day 1943 the name ‘Jones’ was again included on the Saints’ team sheet to play Wigan in the return fixture at Knowsley Road, on the left wing. He featured prominently in the match report, simply because several chances fell to him and, for a variety of reasons, he failed to take them! The legendary reporter ‘Premier’ was there and described what happened: “Saints should have won their first victory of the season in the return match with Wigan at Knowsley Road. Three tries which could not have been prevented, except by accident, were lost, Wigan having little part in their frustration. Incredible though it may seem, all three should have been scored by an unknown wingman under the name of Jones, who was playing his first match for the team….the second [attempted score] came in the second half when Jones got away in his own half, with Belshaw out of position near midfield. From the moment Jones began to sprint, it was obvious he had Belshaw well beaten. The faster they went, the more it became clear that Belshaw had no chance of giving away the start. With the more open line at his mercy, Jones continued running, whilst watching and measuring Belshaw. Then, when the Saints crowd cheered him home, Jones stumbled and fell headlong. What a let off”.
Premier had got his facts slightly wrong, as the young Welshman did also play at Wigan on Christmas Day. So he had the unwanted label of Saints’ very own Devon Loch, the horse that stumbled just before the finish! It is clear, however, that he had pace and could give a seasoned international like Belshaw the runaround!
Jones made his final appearance for the club on New Year’s Day against Featherstone Rovers at Knowsley Road. This time, he was in the back row. Saints were really strapped for personnel and lost 0-30. But that was the vagary of War and its effect on team selection. What ever happened to him after that, we are not sure. If anyone can help us, please let us know.