|Jonathan Ellis Evans by Alex Service |
This centre played five matches for the Saints between January and February 1908. The St. Helens Newspaper gave Saints’ fans something to look out for in its edition of 24th January. Regular correspondent ‘The New Boy’ wrote the following: “With a weakened back division occasioned by the transferance of C. Creevey to Wigan, the St. Helens officials have been on the lookout for a smart back to fill the vacancy and through the instrumentality of Dai Harris, the Welsh international who recently played for St. Helens they have been successful in securing the signature of J. Ellis Evans, centre threequarter and captain of Cwmtwrch, a club figuring in the Swansea and district league. Evans, along with Phil Hill who last played against Hunslet for St. Helens will travel to St. Helens at once and take up their respective positions against Keighley at Knowsley Road”
As regards the visitors to Knowsley Road, they were, Keighley were ‘routed’. New Boy again: “Evans and Hill were the centre of attraction in the threequarter line and although they did nothing exceptionally great, they gave indication of being useful players in their class. Personally, I think we have better than Hill on the wing or than Evans in the centre for that matter. So far as the new men are concerned, Evans struck the onlookers as being the more promising of the two”.
So there was an element of doubt as to the ability of the latest captures. As for Evans, he went on to play against the All Blacks [Golds] when they came back to Knowsley Road, when he was left centre to Jack Manchester, who went on to score a try. Saints lost 10-21, with [tour organiser] Albert Baskiville making a surprise appearance for the New Zealanders in the threequarters.
After that marvellous occasion it was down to the reality of the Northern Union Challenge Cup and a visit to non-league Whitehaven. The Saints went down 8-13 and even though Evans’s winger, Jack Manchester scored another try, it was to be the last time that he wore the senior jersey of St. Helens RFC. We do not know the reasons why this was the Welshman’s final match, so if anyone can provide any further information, we would be grateful.
The man from Pontardawe seemingly returned to South Wales after his days with the Saints. In 1939 he was living in Craig Road in Pontardawe and working as a Steel Smelter. Jonathan died in West Glamorgan in March 1951 aged 71.
|Season (Official Matches)||Tries||Goals||DGoals||Matches|
|Season (Other Matches)||Tries||Goals||DGoals||Matches|
|25th Jan 1908||W||3||Keighley||L||1907~08||H||11||3||VIEW|
|1st Feb 1908||D||3||Widnes||L||1907~08||H||5||5||VIEW|
|15th Feb 1908||W||3||Ebbw Vale||L||1907~08||A||5||3||VIEW|
|22nd Feb 1908||L||3||New Zealand||Tour||1907~08||H||10||21||VIEW|
|29th Feb 1908||L||4||Whitehaven Recs||CC1||1907~08||A||8||13||VIEW|
|*Unofficial Match. **Non Playing Sub.|