|Vyles by Alex Service |
This name is a pseudonym. Things were particularly bad during the Second World War in terms of playing personnel, who could be posted anywhere in the country at a moment’s notice. Some had to travel large distances to play if they were fortunate enough to have a weekend pass. The Saints managed to continue during this time, however, yet one match at Featherstone, on 1st January 1944 proved to be problematical, as the famous local journalist Premier wrote in the St. Helens newspaper a week later: “Whereas there were enough players hanging round the clubhouse door to provide two teams against Wigan a week ago, there were less than half the number anxious for a game on New Year’s Day at Featherstone. At the last minute, three outsiders who have not assisted the team before made up the thirteen, two forwards and a wingman. The forwards weren’t bad. One of them used his head very effectively.”
Our man Vyles played on the wing that day. Alas, we shall never know his real name, but suffice to say we are grateful to this person for stepping into the breech in such circumstances. Incidentally, the score was Featherstone Rovers 30 St. Helens 0. Please note his date of birth is notional.