|James ‘Jimmy’ Robinson by SHS |
The St. Helens Reporter on 26th September 1944 had some good rugby league news to purvey to its readers: “Next Saturday St. Helens play Halifax at home. I need hardly remind the football public that Halifax are first class visitors…St. Helens after their great win at Oldham are out to prove it was no flash in the pan and they’ll have Jimmy Robinson, English centre, playing for them”.
Yes indeed, it was quite a coup to have an international centre playing at Knowsley Road for the Saints, when players could ‘guest’ by permission, sometimes a result of where they had been posted in the Services. Jimmy was from Castleford and won his solitary England cap against Wales in 1944. In terms of his Castleford career, he played 184 times, from 1938-1953 and won the Yorkshire League with them in 1938-39.
For his senior match at Knowsley Road, Jimmy was in the left centre position with local lad Aubrey Gregory outside him. The great Stan Brogden was in the other centre berth. It was difficult for Jimmy to make too much of an impression during the match. He produced some nice touches, but couldn’t prevent the Saints going down by 21-7. Jimmy also played in a friendly fixture against Wigan in April 1945, with the Saints winning this time. He also guested for Wigan in 1944, scoring a try in his one-and-only appearance for the Riversiders. He died in Castleford in March 1992, aged 77.