|Laurence Swire by Alex Service |
Another in the pantheon of Saints players who could claim a solitary First Team appearance, Laurence lived in Denton’s Green and signed on at Knowsley Road for three consecutive seasons from 1925-26 to 1927-28. He was a forceful forward, who took Lou Houghton’s place in the front row for the game against Salford on 25th February 1928 at the Willows. The ‘engine room’ that afternoon also included prodigious hooker Harold Smith and the redoubtable Bob Atkin. Bert Turner also played his third match, in the second row.
Unfortunately Saints went down by 5-14 and Lawrence was later destined to continue his A team career. The Reporter correspondent talked about “A Puerile Show at Salford” and stated that “both Swire and Turner played very whole-heartedly but some of their efforts in the loose were very crude. They had not the experience or craft that should go hand in hand with first class rugby warfare.” The report did manage to find some positives, however, about the front-row debutant: “Swire’s weight made an improvement in the front row, and nobody could grumble at the way in which the front string got the ball from the scrummages.” Amen to that.
Laurence was a Master Plumber and established a well known business in the town. in 1939 he was living in Dentons Green Lane, St Helens. He died in his hometown in March 1997, aged 93. If anyone can provide any further information about this player, we would like to hear from you.