|Levi Douthwaite by Alex Service |
Some mystery surrounded the origins of this player. His name was often spelled differently in various sources, such as the local newspaper and the Minutes of the Saints Committee. His full name is Levi Baines Douthwaite and he was born and lived in Lancaster. The first we get to hear of him is in the Minutes of the Saints Committee on 9th August 1905, when “J.H. Houghton was requested to go and see Messrs Dowthwaite (sic) and Humphreys,” who both played for the Lancaster club. Several weeks later, the two men, both forwards, had taken part in one of the pre-season practice matches at Knowsley Road. The St. Helens Newspaper of the time declared that “both shaped well for the short time they were on the field but had to leave early in order to get back to Lancaster.”
It appears that Humphreys did not make the cut. As for Levi Baines Douthwaite, he made his Saints debut at home to Millom in the first match of the season. There were just 1,500 spectators present to see the home side win easily by 34-3, with Tom Barton, Charlie Creevey and William Hunter each scoring a brace of tries. A week later it was another Saints home victory, against Morecambe, to the tune of 26-6. Yet the match report contained in the St. Helens Newspaper (12th September) was hardly flattering to Levi Douthwaite: “And now there is a matter which I think is open to the consideration of the club. Dowthwaite (sic) the new forward travels from Lancaster each week to play for the Saints and it is questionable whether his abilities are worth the trouble and more especially the expense of bringing him down. Personally I don’t think they are for we have some good forwards at home who are waiting patiently for a chance to assist their team.”
The power of the media certainly seemed to carry some influence, even in those far off days. Levi had played his last match for the Saints. The Minutes of the Saints Committee for 16th October reveal that: “L Douthwaite applied for transfer if his services were not required – this was granted.” We do not know what happened to Levi after leaving St. Helens RFC. Perhaps he re-signed for the Lancaster club. If anyone does have any further information about him, we would like to hear from you. According to Census information, he lived initially in Sterling Road, Lancaster.
In 1911 he was back living in Sterling Road, Lancaster working as a linoleum fitter. Levi was married with 2 children. Sadly he died in a tragic accident, being hit by a train whilst working on the railway lines just outside Castle (Lancaster) station on 9th October 1920.
Thanks to Sue Clark, the great, great niece of Levi for information on his post rugby life in Lancaster.
|Season (Official Matches)||Tries||Goals||DGoals||Matches|
|Season (Other Matches)||Tries||Goals||DGoals||Matches|
|2nd Sep 1905||W||14||Millom||L||1905~06||H||34||3||VIEW|
|9th Sep 1905||W||14||Morecambe||L||1905~06||H||26||6||VIEW|
|*Unofficial Match. **Non Playing Sub.|