|Percy Coldrick by Alex Service |
Born in Caerleon, Wales, Coldrick played for a number of different teams during his early career in rugby union before being selected by Newport in 1909. He was a Monmouth county representative, who gained his first international cap in a game against England as part of the 1911 Five Nations Championship. Wales won the game 15-11. Coldrick played in the next game against Scotland, but failed to appear in the inaugural match in Paris. Coldrick was back for the final game in a Championship decider between Wales and Ireland. When the Welsh won the match Coldrick became a Grand Slam and Triple Crown winning international. He played three more times for Wales before joining the powerful Wigan club in 1912. He went on to win several major honours with Wigan and was captain of the side during the 1921-22 Championship season at Central Park. Coldrick made 280 appearances in cherry and white, scoring 79 tries, a measure of his great mobility as a back-rower. Percy went on to become a dual code international with Wales and went on tour with the famous 1914 British Lions to Australia and New Zealand. He also played for Other Nationalities. Percy was signed by the Saints towards the end of his career and he played in 17 matches during the 1925-26 campaign, when the club were on the verge of success. He played mostly in the second-row and his partner was a fellow Welshman by the name of Fred Roffey, who captained the team. Perhaps Roffey, another ex-Wigan forward himself, was instrumental in getting his former team-mate to Knowsley Road. The following year, with flying winger Alf Ellaby in their ranks, the Saints lifted the Lancashire Cup by beating deadly rivals St.Helens Recs, who themselves had a former team-mate of Coldrick’s in their line-up, Richard Ramsdale, who had also gone on the 1914 Australian Tour.
It is presumed that Percy retired after his brief flirtation with St.Helens and went back to Wales, although we cannot be certain. It is interesting to note that in 1919 Coldrick approached the Welsh Rugby Union to have his amateur status re-instated, though his application was refused.
The Saints acquired the services of Albert ‘Percy’ Coldrick somewhat late in his rugby career. He played 17 matches during the 1925-26 campaign, before eventually retiring. It is interesting to learn that he is the Uncle of another St. Helens player, Don Gullick, who came up north in the early 1950s. The SHS is also indebted to Sian Howard for providing us with a press cutting from the Wigan Observer (undated) of Percy’s obituary. It can be seen that he was certainly highly regarded in rugby circles of both codes.
A GREAT WIGAN R.L. FORWARD
ECHO OF RORKE’S DRIFT GAME
A former Wigan RL club forward, Mr. Albert Percival Coldrick, of Spring Villas, Marlborough Avenue, Spring View, died on Boxing Day, aged 65. he had been in failing health for nine months.
Mr. Coldrick, who was considered one of the finest second row forwards to come north from Wales joined Wigan from Newport in the 1911-12 season. Before coming to Wigan he had played in seven Welsh international matches. In the 1911-12 season he was selected for all four of the Principality’s internationals, but missed one owing to an industrial dispute. Coldrick made his debut for Wigan in the opening match of the 1912-13 season at Hunslet. Although he did not reveal form to fully justify reports of his abilities, it was soon found that Wigan had secured one of the finest forwards ever to come from Wlaes. Standing 6ft 1in with a weight of 14st 2lbs he was a perfect specimen of an athlete. He was a brainy forward and was so good in handling and running that when the club, owing to injuries, required a centre to play against Salford at Weaste, he took that position, though much against his will. He was one of the four Wigan players chosen for the 1914 tour of Australia and he played in all the Tests there, including that known as “Rorke’s Drift” when Great Britain, although left with only ten players owing to injury, gained a remarkable victory.
When he came to Wigan, Mr. Coldrick and his family resided in Pemberton but later moved to Marlborough Avenue where they have been lived for the last twenty six years. He was employed as a foreman railway platelayer. His chief hobby was cycling and he had toured most parts of the country. Mr. Coldrick leaves a wife, one son and two daughters.
The funeral was on Tuesday, cremation taking place at Anfield.
Anfield cemetery is, of course, where the remains of the Founder of the St. Helens Club, William Douglas Herman, are found. Although at the tail end of his career, Percy was a valuable addition to the Saints squad in 1925-26, the season before the club would win its first major honour in the game. His good friend Fred Roffey was also at Knowsley Road and, like Percy, also joined the Knowsley Road club from Wigan and captained the club too.
|Season (Official Matches)||Tries||Goals||DGoals||Matches|
|Season (Other Matches)||Tries||Goals||DGoals||Matches|
|17th Oct 1925||L||8||Oldham||L||1925~26||H||3||16||VIEW|
|24th Oct 1925||W||11||Hunslet||L||1925~26||A||14||5||VIEW|
|14th Nov 1925||L||10||Dewsbury||L||1925~26||A||0||10||VIEW|
|19th Dec 1925||L||12||Swinton||L||1925~26||H||9||10||VIEW|
|25th Dec 1925||D||12||St. Helens Recs||L||1925~26||A||3||3||VIEW|
|26th Dec 1925||L||12||Wigan||L||1925~26||H||5||10||VIEW|
|1st Jan 1926||W||12||St. Helens Recs||L||1925~26||H||4||2||VIEW|
|9th Jan 1926||W||12||Wigan Highfield||L||1925~26||H||16||6||VIEW|
|16th Jan 1926||L||12||Warrington||L||1925~26||A||7||9||VIEW|
|13th Feb 1926||W||12||Widnes||CC1||1925~26||A||10||7||VIEW|
|27th Feb 1926||L||12||Hull||CC2||1925~26||H||7||10||VIEW|
|6th Mar 1926||W||12||Wigan Highfield||L||1925~26||A||15||10||VIEW|
|15th Mar 1926||W||12||Hunslet||L||1925~26||H||16||8||VIEW|
|20th Mar 1926||L||12||Barrow||L||1925~26||A||2||9||VIEW|
|3rd Apr 1926||W||10||Bradford Northern||L||1925~26||H||41||8||VIEW|
|6th Apr 1926||W||12||Keighley||L||1925~26||A||12||2||VIEW|
|26th Apr 1926||W||10||Salford||L||1925~26||H||23||0||1||VIEW|
|*Unofficial Match. **Non Playing Sub.|