|Joseph Lavery by Alex Service |
Joseph Aloysius Lavery was one of the original All Golds from New Zealand who toured Britain in 1907-08. A railway worker, he began his rugby career with Temuka (1901) before moving to Christchurch Albion. It was there that he was to become a team-mate of Jum Turtill, who was later to become a Saint. A clever centre, Joseph went on to play representative football with Canterbury and South Island in 1903. During the All Golds tour, Joseph was mostly a member of the midweek XIII. He was one of several who received offers from English clubs and stayed in Britain, signing for the Leeds club. His signing for the Saints is, initially unclear, although it hoped that it will be rectified with more research. He did only play the one match, however, against Broughton Rangers. He remains the third member of the All Golds to have played for the club, with scrum-half Arthur Kelly and Turtill making up the triumvirate.
Leigh Historian Mike Latham also adds the following information on the man who was nick-named `Tracker`: He made 12 appearances for Leigh in 1908-09 and also played for Salford and Barrow. His cousin was Jim Lavery, an Irish cycling champion and to John Lavery, an Irish linen merchant and well-known sportsman himself. Joseph`s Leigh Heritage Number is 182.
Outside rugby Joe moved to the Ashton Under Lane area and in 1939 he was living in Minto Street in that time. He was a local character and well known in his occupation as Club Steward in Ashton Under Lane. Joe died in Aston Under Lane in September 1948 at the age of 68.