|William Stafford by SHS |
William Stafford was an up-and-coming winger in the A team when he got the call to play for the seniors against Widnes on the right flank. His centre was Welshman Ossie Jones. The game itself was much in the news because the Saints had signed a new forward from Wales, Emlyn Hughes, who perhaps took a bit of pressure away from Bill�s debut. It was against Widnes and the Saints won 2-0. According to �The Tramp� in the St. Helens Newspaper, the pack was much improved and as for Hughes: �We�ve found no dud�! But what about the new guy on the wing? The Tramp gave us his opinions once again: �Stafford, playing with the seniors for the first time, played his part as would be expected. When he did gain possession, he showed good sense, although, of course, he never had a real chance. He is a lad that may come on in the right way with careful coaching in the A team�.
Alas, we know little about William from that point. It was his one and only match for the seniors. Presumably, he returned to A Team rugby, but we are not sure. We know that when he made his debut, he was living in Gaskell Street, in Parr. He died in St Helens in December 1954, aged 44. A big thank you to the grandson of William, Matt Stafford, for supplying this image of William Stafford.