|George Godfrey by Alex Service |
Although major honours continued to evade the, the Saints’ Committee were extremely proactive with their signings in the first decade of the twentieth century. They had the best intentions of the club at heart and, with a bit more luck, could well have assembled a first-rate side. The pre-season Practice matches in the Autumn of 1908 provided a new face, from the London Irish RUFC, called George Godfrey. The St.Helens Newspaper waxed lyrical about his ability and past achievements: “Much interest centred in the appearance of Godfrey, a forward from Ireland who has, I understand, played for his country against England. He is a young man of splendid build and the game had not been in progress long before he showed that he knew his work. He reminded one of the New Zealand type of scrummager and he used his strength when in possession of the ball with judgement, while, like the All Black, he is never tackled in possession of the leather and endeavours to keep the game towards the centre of the field. Such a good judge as Tom Foulkes was much taken up with the play of Godfrey and he is of the opinion that Saints have got hold of a really good player.”
There was only one problem with this story, in that Godfrey does not figure in any statistics for the National team in international rugby. Yet he did impress and was pressed straight into First Team action for the opening day of the season at home to Oldham at Knowsley Road. Unfortunately the Saints received an almighty hiding to the tune of 38-0. Godfrey retained his place for the next four matches before going off the radar. The promising second-rower did not figure again for the St.Helens club. If anyone has any information about this player and what happened to him, we would like to hear from you.