Little did I know that an invitation to play for Liverpool against Birkenhead Park in a mid week end of season fixture, would have such a dramatic influence on the rest of my life. The year was 1966. I was in my final year at Newton le Willows [Grammar School] and suddenly I am in the same team as England Internationals, Tommy Brophy and Ted Rudd. I couldn’t quite believe it but it certainly fired the imagination and ambition.
By the end of the season, I had played against Waterloo, Bath, Bristol and Coventry and with the exception of Coventry, winning all of those fixtures. In fact in beating Bristol away on Easter Monday, Liverpool were the only team to win at the Memorial ground all season. The Liverpool side of 1966 was top drawer.
The four years I played at Liverpool were the most enjoyable of my entire career. We always tried to be competitive and had great fun. I should have known what the humour was going to be like when the first person who spoke to me in the Birkenhead Park dressing room was Rod Irving – “are you a left footer” he enquired. How did he know I was a goal kicking prop!!!
A great deal has happened to the club in the last 40 years – the most important being the merger with St. Helens RUFC to form Liverpool St. Helens. Since the merger, the fortunes on and off the field have varied but in our last season the trend chart is again pointing upwards.
A great deal of credit must go to Ray French and his team of helpers, but most importantly, well done to the players.
Have a great season. Enjoy your rugby and by the way, Happy 150th!