|Amateur Jones by SHS |
During the Second World War, the number of guests and triallist players reached, quite understandably, epidemic proportions, given the nature of the terrible conflict, when men were, for various reasons, displaced. The game against Huddersfield at Knowsley Road on 04-03-1944 showed the Saints essentially struggling for players and although they lost, it was not for want of lack of effort on their part. Amongst the team was a man with a pseudonym: Jones, although not the Welsh threequarter who had played in the recent Holiday matches at Christmas and New Year. The St. Helens Newspaper, featuring the usual forensic match report from Tom Reynolds [Premier], gave a full description of the new player and his ability: “Another local boy who came into the team to help them out of their difficulties played under the name of Jones. Considering everything, considering how difficult it is for a junior player to adjust himself to first-class rugby league football and up against first-class centres, ‘Jones’ showed plenty of promise. He is a bit on the light side about the legs, but for that matter, so was Dai Davies and Gus Hayes and Jimmy Honey [Senr] and a few others when they first began. ‘Jones’ showed evidence of real football constructive ability and if he fancies the game and fills out he will probably make a first-class player”.
The St. Helens Reporter also waxed lyrical about the young centre: “Saints’ other centre, ‘Jones’ hides the identity of a clever trial boy whose name will be divulged if he is signed on. He is an amateur, but has had a clear career up to now. He is not over big for this game and still quite young and he started off with a run that took him brilliantly through half the Huddersfield team. The day was not one to which a young new centre could shine. He is cut out for attack rather than the grim defence forced on them by the overpowering of their forwards and backs. I liked the new boy, but of course, saw him under the worst possible circumstances. Built like Clough, he has quick brains and is nippy and elusive.”
There were no other examples during the war years of any more players named Jones. So, at this moment in time, we do not know who this player was, apart from the fact that he perhaps came from the Saints’ junior league outfit and even whether he signed for the club and became a member of the senior team. Research is on-going! Please note that at present his date of birth is notional.