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Brian Rowley by Adrian Lawrenson
Brian Rowley was a genuine A team player between 1968 and 1974. He played five times [twice as substitute] for the first team and those are the bald facts of his Saints career. However, for those with a sense for the ridiculous, Brian was involved in two substitutions which bear recounting.
Assuming Brian was a product of Saints Colts, he got his big chance against Barrow in the Floodlit Cup second leg game on 2 September 1968, when he was selected as a loose forward. It was a filthy night as Saints entered the field in their home colours of white jerseys with a red vee, white shorts and white socks with a red top. Barrow followed and not wearing their club colours of blue jerseys with a white vee but white jerseys with a blue vee, white shorts and socks. Cue confusion in the mud and rain for 40 minutes. It was an effort to pick out which player was for which team. In the second half, common sense prevailed and Saints turned out in their all blue jerseys.
Brian’s next call to arms came on 16 December 1973 against Whitehaven when he played prop and scored. Again, this hides a multitude of sins because a wonderful start to the season was hit by a crippling injury list, with Stephens, James, Mantle, Murphy, Chisnall and Coslett all laid low. A team stalwarts like Dennis Lyon, Gordon Egerton and Brian Rowley, together with loanees Bob Goulding and Peter Birchall were asked to fill the bench.
Brian’s last stand was at Post Office Road on 22 December 1973. However, he was due two more substitute appearances at Wigan and Wakefield on 26 and 29 December and thereby hangs a tale. A short-handed Saints had re-signed John Warlow and for the trip to Central Park turned out the following pack, Warlow, Karalius, Murphy, Mantle, Wills and Nicholls, with Brian as one of the substitutes. John Warlow, by no means in the first flush of youth, had a great game, doing all the tackling organisation and taking the ball up. With ten minutes remaining and play situated in the Kop and Douglas side of Central Park, John was substituted and made his way towards the dugout to a raptuous welcome from the visiting fans. Brian went onto the field swinging his arms to get loose and into the ensuing scrum. The scrum broke up and left Brian in a heap, to be replaced by the weary John Warlow, to record possibly the shortest appearance on the field of any Saints player.
Brian was, of course, made of sterner stuff and turned out as substitute three days later at Belle Vue against Wakefield trinity for his final appearance for the club.
|Season (Official Matches)||Tries||Goals||DGoals||Matches|
|Season (Other Matches)||Tries||Goals||DGoals||Matches|
|10th Sep 1968||
|16th Dec 1973||
|22nd Dec 1973||
|26th Dec 1973||
|29th Dec 1973||
|*Unofficial Match. **Non Playing Sub.|
|WINS : 3 | LOSSES : 1 | DRAWS : 1|
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