|Ronnie Webb by Alex Service |
The St. Helens Reporter talked about a much-changed Saints team for the visit to Halifax on 5th December 1942. One such change was a new forward called Ronnie Webb. “He is six feet in height and weighs 14 stones,” claimed the match report in the Reporter, “about 22 and a local lad whose services have been sought by Wigan, but he has thrown in his lot with St. Helens.” Premier, in the St. Helens Newspaper gave us some more valuable background, when he told readers that he was a Rivington schoolboy player, who also played for the Town team. “Leaving school he drifted out of the game,” continued Premier. “But when drafted into the RAF, he drifted into the rugby union camp”.
Obviously he was not without ability and scored a try at Thrum Hall, during Saints’ 12-36 defeat, as described once again by Premier: “Caldwell turned the ball over to Webb. Webb took the ball in his stride and novice-like glanced right and left as if wondering what to do with it. It was so obvious that he intended to pass that Lockwood, who always has an eye for a gift, stepped in to make the interception just as Webb let go. Unfortunately for Lockwood, Webb didn’t let go, but presented Lockwood with a very complete dummy and went over for a try”.
It is sad to report that just over one month from the date Ronnie played his one game for the Saints, he was killed in action. Sergeant Ronald Webb, #1149761, died on the 24th of January, 1943. The son of Alfred and Lilian Webb of St Helens. He is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial. If anyone can help us with any further information about this player, particularly an image, we would like to hear from you.