Joe Dewsnip Passes Away

WE have received the sad news, from Players’ Association Secretary Geoff Pimblett, that former Saints’ wartime player Joe Dewsnip has died in Southport after a long illness.

Joe was well into his nineties [93] and considered to be the oldest surviving player with First Team experience.

Forceful and athletic, he could play in the centres or on the flanks with equal effectiveness and had a few games at loose forward. He made his debut for the Saints in the centre in the Wartime Emergency League, against Batley at Knowsley Road [12 February 1944] and scored a try in the home team’s 13-8 success. His next match was a 5-21 defeat against Wakefield Trinity, followed by his last game for the Red and Whites, when they were beaten 7-43 at Dewsbury, by Eddie Waring’s team of All Stars.

Originally an amateur player in Salford, Joe talked about the wartime situation at Knowsley Road and how difficult it was to get players. There was a general manpower shortage, with men being called up for service in the Armed Forces and twelve hour shifts were the norm for those who worked in industry.

Saints were so short of players before one game they actually announced over the tannoy system that if there were any rugby players in the ground, they would get a game!

Indeed, Joe also played a few more games for the Saints under various pseudonyms, such as A. Field or AN Other.

Joe remained an amateur player at Knowsley Road, but soon after he began to play regularly, he was called up into the Royal Army Medical Corps. He played Rugby Union in the Army [he was once introduced to Lord Montgomery] and later signed with Belle Vue Rangers before hanging up his boots at the age of 34.

We send our condolences to his family at this sad time.

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