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Saints’ Heritage Society Newsletter - Winter 2010

Saints’ Heritage Society Newsletter – Winter 2010

The Last Post for Knowsley Road

This is, of course, the final season at the Knowsley Road ground, our home since 1890. This time next year, the old place will no longer exist and the team faces a period, apparently, of ‘on the road’ football, for an indeterminate spell. It is important for us all to savour this last opportunity of watching rugby league at our own Theatre of Dreams and I’m sure that the club will endeavour to make sure that the last twelve months will be memorable for everyone. It is too early at this stage to talk about particular events, although a timeline will be announced in the coming weeks, together with the new stadium forums in February.

It is also very much a time of transition at Knowsley Road, having said farewell to the likes of Sean Long, Willie Talau, Lee Gilmour and Jason Cayless. We wish them every success with their new clubs and look forward to seeing Longy back once more with Hull in the first game of the season. A sensational start if ever there was one.

The Gerrard Archive

We plan to release further archive footage from this marvellous archive, with two Saints v Wigan clashes in glorious technicolour. The first features the 1953 Lancashire Cup final against Wigan at Swinton; the other league action from Central Park in the late 1950s in front of a record crowd. Once again we must thank Graham Gerrard for permission to use the footage from his collection.

Tony Atherton Archive

This promising young footballer’s career was halted after a terrible head injury in March 1974, which left him close to death at one stage. Tony’s scrapbook, which is featured on our website with his full permission, recalls those trying times, but is also a fine record of happier days in the junior teams at Knowsley Road.

You can view the scrapbook by clicking here


Saints in Print

The major Saints-related publication has, of course, been the Sean Long autobiography, which has sold extremely well, despite the ‘adult’ nature of many of the tales contained within. Longy, Booze, Brawls, Sex and Scandal – the Autobiography of the Wild Man of Rugby League was written in conjunction with Nick Appleyard and published by John Blake, price £17-99.

In the New Year, we look forward to Club President Kel Coslett’s long-awaited book of his rugby career, written in conjunction with Mike Appleton, entitled A Welsh Saint. Few players have achieved so much in their careers and it should be a fascinating read.

Mike Bennett starts his Testimonial in 2010 and there are few players more deserving than the former Golborne junior. His brochure has been done in a slightly different style and the production by Colourplan in St.Helens is first class. It will be sold at all his events, including his Testimonial Match against Barrow on 17th January. The title is Unsung Hero, which suits him to a tee. When you read about the bad luck he has had with injuries, plus the determination to return from every set-back, you will appreciate just how much he has deserved the award of his Testimonial. The booklet costs £4.

Stephen Prescott MBE

If there is one thing sure to unite the Rugby League Community, it has been the award of the MBE to Stephen Prescott for his untiring charity work. He really has been an inspiration to us all and the award has already done much to lift the profile of the Greatest Game. Saints Heritage Society sends congratulations to Stephen and his family. Great news indeed. You can read an extended biography of Stephen under his player profile on the site – what a guy!
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