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| 1935-6 |
His debut was on 21.9.35 against an away league game at Barrow. Played 10 games in his first season 6 at number 6 the stand off position and 3 at 7 Scrum Half and one at No 4 centre position. His first try was scored in a 12-0 home league win against Broughton Rangers. He scored once more that season in the 34-0 home defeat of Keighley. A career highlight would have been playing in the championship final at the end of that season against Hull which we unfortunately lost, (I presume he got a losers medal).
The following season he played 37 games and scored 8 tries including two tries in the first round 39-2 cup defeat of amateur side Higginshaw. Widnes went onto win the cup at Wembley that season against Keighley with Alan in the number 5 shirt. He must have been one of the first utility players ever as he played a number of games in each of the following shirts 2, 4, 5, 6 and 7. Peter Topping a very fine player of the time played every game in the No 3 jersey or no doubt he would have played in that as well.
This season he again played in the 4, 5, 6, and 7 shirts a total of 31 times scoring 6 tries.
Alan started off the season well with tries in the opening two games, both league fixtures against unusually St Helens at home and St Helens Recs. away He finally got to wear the number 3 shirt making a set from 2 to 7 for his career. He didn't play between 26.11.38 and 10.4.39 so he may have an injury that season.
This was a season when Widnes played in the Lancashire competition playing 16 games and scoring 3 tries Widnes closed down in May 1940 for the duration of the war.
He played 6 games scoring one try. Alan's final appearance was on 28.9.46 against Keighley at home in the No 4 centre position. The final try was scored on 7.9.46 against Barrow in the home leg of a first round Lancashire Cup tie.
It appears from his initial selections in the half back shirts that was his main positions, Alan was unfortunate that the number 7 shirt was worn by Tommy McCue a Widnes hall of fame member, arguably the best British pre-war scrum half and the best scrum half Widnes ever had. The Stand off was Tommy Shannon, again an excellent player and the best stand off Widnes had up to Frank Myler and recent teams. Shannon and McCue were the terrible twins and went together like egg and bacon. In fact to have got the games he did in the half back shirts Alan must have been a very very good player. With the war robbing Alan of his prime there is no doubt he would have played in many more games and scored many more tries.
Write up courtesy of Alan's Grandaughter, Karen Orr.