Oldest Living Players

In Archive, Liverpool, St Helens by Vicki CarenLeave a Comment

When the LSH project committee met to discuss arrangements for the official exhibition launch a list of invitees was drawn up. This list included the names of former players David Boult and Graham Twist. At the time it was revealed that these men were the oldest surviving players from the Liverpool and St Helens teams respectively.

This set me thinking; as these men were surely contemporaries, had they played rugby together? As I was cataloguing match programmes and team photographs I became aware that both Liverpool and St Helens had both fielded a number of players selected to represent their county, Lancashire.

While the archive contains photographs of Boult and Twist in their respective teams, sadly, there are no photographs of them together. However, I was able to uncover four programmes featuring both men.

On 27 January 1951 both Boult and Twist represented Lancashire in a match against Yorkshire in the Northern Counties Championship, second replay. This match was held at Waterloo Football Club in Blundellsands. We also know the result as this has been written on the programme – Lancashire 11 Yorkshire 22.

Several years later, on 29 April 1954, Boult was selected for R. H. Guest’s XV v St Helens, the latter featured Twist. The programme records that this was the last match of the 1953-54 season, and had been an annual fixture arranged by Guest for some years. The Notes of Interest in the programme also highlight: “We must not, of course, forget that two members of the St Helens team – Graham Twist and Alan Ashcroft – have acquitted themselves well in the second row of the County pack this season …”

In this programme I also spotted the name of J. Tandy; is this the same J. Tandy who is secretary of our LSH project committee?

R. H. Guest v St Helen’s featuring Boult and Twist on opposing teams

That same year, on 1 May 1954, Liverpool and St Helens took part in the 22nd Seven-a-side Rugby Football Competition at Manchester Football Club, Kersal. Boult was a reserve for Liverpool and the programme shows their first match was against Leigh Technical College. Twist was one of the forwards for St Helens and their first match was against the winner of Fylde v Heaton Moor. It is not known how the teams progressed, or who the outright winner of this charity competition was.

The final programme dates from 21 April 1954 and is for another R. H. Guest’s XV v St Helens match. “Dennis Regan and David Boult have played in these games before and will make their presence felt again.” The Club Notes on the reverse of the programme also record “Players whose names have been prominent this season include Graham Twist, who had the honour and pleasure of being in the Lancashire side which won the title of Champion County at Twickenham recently …”

It is also interesting to read about the ground development at Moss Lane “… the Nissen Hut is to be demolished to make way for the new pavilion.” It was hoped that this pavilion would boost club activities and the fundraising activities by the Ladies Section of the club.

Vicki Caren, Project Archivist

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