Walter Delves

OVERALL STATISTICS

BIRTHAGESIGNED ONFROM
22-10-1933
N/A
27-12-1951
United Services/ St. Helens B
DEBUTLAST MATCHLEFT
14-08-1954 v Widnes
Whitehaven
1958- Barrow
CAREERAPPEARANCES (SUBS)
1954-1958
102 (0)
TRIESGOALSDGOALSPTS
22
0
0
66

BIOGRAPHY

Walter Delves by Dave Dooley:

Walter Delves was a stalwart for the club playing over 100 matches mostly in the second row position. He was signed from St Helens B on 27th. December 1951. After a long spell in the reserve team he made his debut against Widnes on the 14th. August, 1954 in the first match of that season. It was a winning start for Walter as Saints beat their local rivals by 31 points to 3. Although his debut was in the number 13 jersey, he was most recognisable as a hard running and tough tackling second row forward who added great steel to the Saints pack at the time. In 102 matches for the Saints Walter scored 22 tries, kicked no goals for a total points aggregate of 66 points. Walters first try for the Saints was in his third match came at Blackpool Borough as Saints cruised to a 34 points to two victory.

Walter must have felt heartbroken as he was injured shortly before Saints won their first Challenge Cup against Halifax in the 1956 Final at Wembley. His place was taken by the young Roy Robinson. Walter also missed out when the Australian Touring side were put to the sword in November, 1956. The same season saw Walter in a try scoring mood as he scored braces of three-pointers against Halifax, Leeds and Blackpool Borough.

His final match for the Club was at Whitehaven on the 29th. November, 1958 as Saints were gearing up for another Championship. Poor old Walter missed out again as he was transferred to Barrow and made 45 appearances [4 tries] from 1958-65.

Denis Whittle provided the following obituary when Walter passed away.

Walter Delves Passes

Former Saints’ loose forward Walter ‘Digger’ Delves passed away on Tuesday 27th of April, 2008 in Wellington, New Zealand at the age of 75 after a battle with cancer. Walter joined the Knowsley Road club from the United Services junior club on 27th December 1951 at the same time as a lad from Widnes called Vince Karalius. Both got a £200 signing-on fee. Delves was 6 feet 2 inches and rarely above 13 and a half stones, but, according to journalist Denis Whittle he had much to offer the team: “His was a mixture of devastating tackling and skilled ball-handling which saw him top the forwards’ try-scoring list during one memorable season.”

He was a versatile player, who could play anywhere in the pack and made his debut in the number 13 jersey on 14th August 1954 at home to Widnes. The pack that day was: Ayles, Lannon, Parr, Parsons, Bretherton and Delves. The home team won 31-3 before a crowd of over 16,000.

‘Digger’ was born in Westfield Street and one of his most recognisable claims to fame is that he featured in a photograph which won the prestigious Encyclopaedia Britannica Sports Picture of the Year award. It was against Featherstone Rovers, the day the new Best Side stand was opened and Walter can be seen gleefully diving over the line for a brilliant individual try in Saints’ 32-9 victory against their Yorkshire rivals. He scored 22 during his Saints’ career overall.

Walter’s final game for the club was on 29th November 1958, when he appeared at prop against Whitehaven, with the Saints making light of a potentially difficult assignment by winning 25-2. The pack that day featured the likes of Ab Terry, Rose, Delves, Dennis Karalius, Huddart and Vince Karalius. Shortly after this, his 102nd appearance for the club, he was transferred to Barrow, together with team-mate Roy Robinson, for a combined fee of £2,260.

He ran a pub virtually next door to the Barrow club for a spell, before taking up a new life in Wellington, New Zealand, where he remained for the rest of his life, barring several visits back to blighty and Thatto Heath in particular. ‘Digger’ had ten children and numerous grand and great-grandchildren and it is to wife Doreen and his extended family that we send our deepest sympathy. According to his nephew, Andrew Knowles, ‘Wally’ as he was also known, remained a keen Saints supporter until his death. A hard man on the field and a true gentleman off it, he will be sadly missed.

SEASON STATISTICS

Season (Official Matches)TriesGoalsDGoalsMatches
1954~555 0 0 21
1955~56 4 0 0 27
1956~578 0 0 16
1957~583 0 0 21
1958~59 2 0 0 17
TOTALS:22 0 0 102
Season (Other Matches)TriesGoalsDGoalsMatches
1954~552002
1956~570001
1957~582001
1958~590001
TOTALS:4005

ALL MATCHES

DatePosOpponentsCompSeasonVenueFTFTOTGDGNPS**
7th Aug 1954 L 13 Barrow* Fr Ward Cup 1954~55 A 17 31 VIEW
14th Aug 1954 W 13 Widnes L 1954~55 H 31 3 VIEW
18th Aug 1954 W 13 Belle Vue Rangers L 1954~55 A 20 11 VIEW
21st Aug 1954 W 13 Blackpool Borough L 1954~55 A 34 2 1 VIEW
28th Aug 1954 L 13 Oldham L 1954~55 H 16 23 VIEW
13th Nov 1954 W 13 Barrow L 1954~55 H 11 4 VIEW
20th Nov 1954 W 13 Leeds L 1954~55 A 21 10 VIEW
27th Nov 1954 D 13 Warrington L 1954~55 H 8 8 VIEW
11th Dec 1954 W 13 Workington Town L 1954~55 H 16 2 VIEW
18th Dec 1954 W 13 Rochdale Hornets L 1954~55 A 20 9 VIEW
25th Dec 1954 L 13 Leigh L 1954~55 A 13 14 1 VIEW
27th Dec 1954 W 13 Wigan L 1954~55 H 19 7 VIEW
1st Jan 1955 W 13 Leigh L 1954~55 H 27 3 VIEW
8th Jan 1955 L 12 Warrington L 1954~55 A 14 18 VIEW
5th Feb 1955 W 11 Whitehaven L 1954~55 A 8 0 VIEW
21st Mar 1955 W 11 Rochdale Hornets L 1954~55 H 23 3 1 VIEW
26th Mar 1955 W 11 Salford L 1954~55 H 16 8 1 VIEW
2nd Apr 1955 W 12 Belle Vue Rangers L 1954~55 H 31 0 1 VIEW
8th Apr 1955 L 12 Wigan L 1954~55 A 12 16 VIEW
9th Apr 1955 W 11 Halifax L 1954~55 H 14 8 VIEW
11th Apr 1955 L 11 Huddersfield L 1954~55 A 11 35 VIEW
18th Apr 1955 L 13 Barrow L 1954~55 A 3 26 VIEW
7th May 1955 W 13 Leigh* Fr 1954~55 H 40 16 2 VIEW
20th Aug 1955 W 11 Widnes L 1955~56 A 35 18 VIEW
27th Aug 1955 L 11 Barrow LC1 1955~56 A 12 18 VIEW
31st Aug 1955 L 12 Salford L 1955~56 A 10 11 VIEW
3rd Sep 1955 W 12 York L 1955~56 H 26 18 VIEW
10th Sep 1955 W 12 Keighley L 1955~56 H 52 23 1 VIEW
24th Sep 1955 W 12 Barrow L 1955~56 H 66 15 VIEW
1st Oct 1955 W 11 Blackpool Borough L 1955~56 H 53 19 1 VIEW
8th Oct 1955 W 11 Keighley L 1955~56 A 21 6 VIEW
15th Oct 1955 W 13 Liverpool City L 1955~56 H 32 4 VIEW
22nd Oct 1955 W 12 Blackpool Borough L 1955~56 A 36 4 VIEW
29th Oct 1955 W 11 Rochdale Hornets L 1955~56 H 8 7 VIEW
5th Nov 1955 W 12 Swinton L 1955~56 A 4 0 VIEW
12th Nov 1955 W 13 Halifax L 1955~56 H 13 8 VIEW
26th Nov 1955 W 13 Workington Town L 1955~56 H 36 3 1 VIEW
3rd Dec 1955 W 13 Whitehaven L 1955~56 A 20 12 VIEW
26th Dec 1955 L 13 Leigh L 1955~56 H 9 18 VIEW
27th Dec 1955 L 11 Wigan L 1955~56 A 0 8 VIEW
18th Feb 1956 W 11 Dewsbury L 1955~56 H 36 0 VIEW
25th Feb 1956 W 13 Swinton L 1955~56 H 27 10 VIEW
14th Mar 1956 L 13 Halifax L 1955~56 A 0 12 VIEW
17th Mar 1956 W 12 York L 1955~56 A 13 6 VIEW
24th Mar 1956 W 12 Bradford Northern CC3 1955~56 H 53 6 1 VIEW
30th Mar 1956 W 12 Wigan L 1955~56 H 29 7 VIEW
31st Mar 1956 L 12 Warrington L 1955~56 H 7 13 VIEW
7th Apr 1956 D 12 Barrow CCSF 1955~56 N 5 5 VIEW
12th Apr 1956 W 11 Workington Town L 1955~56 A 12 9 VIEW
14th Apr 1956 L 11 Oldham L 1955~56 A 8 40 VIEW
11th Aug 1956 L 12 Barrow* Fr Ward Cup 1956~57 H 22 24 VIEW
18th Aug 1956 W 12 Widnes L 1956~57 H 29 0 VIEW
20th Aug 1956 W 12 Liverpool City L 1956~57 A 56 5 VIEW
25th Aug 1956 W 12 Bradford Northern L 1956~57 A 34 7 VIEW
29th Aug 1956 W 12 Salford L 1956~57 H 40 0 1 VIEW
1st Sep 1956 W 12 Swinton LC1 1956~57 H 27 7 VIEW
8th Sep 1956 L 12 Oldham L 1956~57 H 16 25 VIEW
15th Sep 1956 L 12 Hull L 1956~57 A 6 17 VIEW
6th Oct 1956 W 9 Liverpool City L 1956~57 H 25 5 VIEW
13th Oct 1956 W 13 Salford L 1956~57 A 27 11 1 VIEW
10th Nov 1956 W 12 Featherstone Rovers L 1956~57 H 21 16 VIEW
2nd Mar 1957 W 13 Halifax L 1956~57 H 31 7 2 VIEW
9th Mar 1957 L 13 Wigan L 1956~57 H 11 20 VIEW
16th Mar 1957 W 12 Bradford Northern L 1956~57 H 23 6 VIEW
6th Apr 1957 W 13 Leeds L 1956~57 H 44 3 2 VIEW
15th Apr 1957 L 13 Barrow L 1956~57 A 8 11 VIEW
22nd Apr 1957 W 12 Blackpool Borough L 1956~57 H 48 10 2 VIEW
10th Aug 1957 W 12 Barrow* Fr Ward Cup 1957~58 H 79 13 2 VIEW
17th Aug 1957 W 12 Widnes L 1957~58 A 22 13 1 VIEW
21st Aug 1957 W 12 Huddersfield L 1957~58 H 28 8 VIEW
26th Aug 1957 W 12 Oldham L 1957~58 A 21 7 VIEW
7th Sep 1957 L 12 Leeds L 1957~58 A 5 23 VIEW
21st Sep 1957 W 13 Swinton L 1957~58 A 16 14 1 VIEW
28th Sep 1957 W 13 Warrington L 1957~58 H 14 2 VIEW
2nd Oct 1957 L 12 Oldham LCSF 1957~58 H 9 29 VIEW
5th Oct 1957 W 13 Huddersfield L 1957~58 A 35 13 VIEW
12th Oct 1957 W 13 Whitehaven L 1957~58 H 26 9 VIEW
19th Oct 1957 W 9 Liverpool City L 1957~58 A 28 4 VIEW
26th Oct 1957 W 12 Leeds L 1957~58 H 36 7 VIEW
2nd Nov 1957 W 13 Whitehaven L 1957~58 A 15 7 VIEW
9th Nov 1957 W 13 Swinton L 1957~58 H 43 11 1 VIEW
16th Nov 1957 W 13 Barrow L 1957~58 A 18 12 VIEW
23rd Nov 1957 W 13 Workington Town L 1957~58 H 29 6 VIEW
30th Nov 1957 W 13 Warrington L 1957~58 A 13 11 VIEW
4th Apr 1958 W 12 Wigan L 1957~58 H 32 7 VIEW
7th Apr 1958 W 12 Halifax L 1957~58 A 18 2 VIEW
14th Apr 1958 W 12 Salford L 1957~58 H 42 8 VIEW
19th Apr 1958 W 13 Halifax L 1957~58 H 31 4 VIEW
3rd May 1958 L 11 Workington Town ChSF 1957~58 H 13 14 VIEW
9th Aug 1958 L 13 Barrow* Fr Ward Cup 1958~59 A 10 14 VIEW
19th Aug 1958 W 13 Rochdale Hornets L 1958~59 A 15 5 VIEW
23rd Aug 1958 W 13 Featherstone Rovers L 1958~59 H 32 9 1 VIEW
25th Aug 1958 W 13 Warrington L 1958~59 H 15 7 1 VIEW
30th Aug 1958 W 13 Rochdale Hornets LC1 1958~59 A 20 15 VIEW
6th Sep 1958 W 13 Wakefield Trinity L 1958~59 A 24 14 VIEW
8th Sep 1958 W 12 Leigh LC2 1958~59 A 12 2 VIEW
13th Sep 1958 W 12 Halifax L 1958~59 H 45 20 VIEW
17th Sep 1958 W 12 Barrow LCSF 1958~59 H 18 6 VIEW
20th Sep 1958 W 13 Warrington L 1958~59 A 29 15 VIEW
27th Sep 1958 W 13 Hunslet L 1958~59 H 31 15 VIEW
4th Oct 1958 W 12 Blackpool Borough L 1958~59 A 26 19 VIEW
11th Oct 1958 W 12 Wakefield Trinity L 1958~59 H 15 8 VIEW
18th Oct 1958 D 12 Workington Town L 1958~59 A 10 10 VIEW
25th Oct 1958 L 12 Oldham LCF 1958~59 N 2 12 VIEW
1st Nov 1958 W 9 Salford L 1958~59 A 28 12 VIEW
8th Nov 1958 W 9 Rochdale Hornets L 1958~59 H 42 12 VIEW
29th Nov 1958 W 10 Whitehaven L 1958~59 A 25 2 VIEW
*Unofficial Match. **Non Playing Sub.

GALLERY


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