|Bob Harrison by Alex Service |
A local-born loose forward, Bob Harrison had a relatively short career at St.Helens, as a result of picking up an injury in a Testimonial match for St.Helens Recs forward Frank Bowen. Yet he was able to take part in what was truly a golden age of football at Knowsley Road. It was the Saints Team of All the Talents, with the likes of Les Fairclough and Alf Ellaby who looked more than capable of picking up major honours in the 1929-30 season. Yet for a variety of reasons, the bumper harvest of trophies never materialised, with defeat against an unfancied Widnes side in the club’s first-ever Wembley appearance. It was not only the last match for loose forward Bob Harrison, but for full-back Charlie Crooks and front-rower Bill Clarey. Bob, known universally by the nickname ‘Slosher’ was a strong, mobile back-rower, who could certainly cope with the demands of top class football. Ironically, he had two spells at Knowsley Road, the first being in August 1925, although he was struck off the Players Register the following February and he later re-signed for the club.
Bob made his debut in the last match of the 1927-28 season away against Rochdale Hornets. The Saints lost 5-15 on the day, but Bob was to continue to make appearances in the First Team thereafter. Yet the 1929-30 campaign saw his most concentrated run of selection and he took part in the famous defeat of Wigan in the Challenge Cup semi-final replay which ended in a 22-10 triumph and took the Saints to Wembley. April in particular was a gruelling month for Bob and the team, with no less than 11 matches in four weeks. No wonder they were exhausted physically and mentally before Wembley. Bob carried the legacy of his bad knee injury until he died in 1979 aged 75.