Bill Sheils Passes

It is sad to hear that Bill Shiels, who played in the front and second row for the Saints in the mid-late 1950s, has passed away aged 83, writes Alex Service.

A former Rivington pupil, signed from the St. Helens B team, Bill was essentially a member of the A team at Knowsley Road, but still played in six matches for the seniors.

Indeed he made his debut on April 16 1956, at home to Whitehaven. The Saints were due to face Halifax in a Championship semi-final at Thrum Hall seven days later and rested several members of their squad. The ‘weakened’ team won 22-7 and Bill formed a partnership with fellow front-rower Abe Terry and hooker Wilf O’Mara. Another significant aspect of that game was the debut of a young scrum-half called Alex Murphy.

A contemporary of players such as Josh Gaskell, Austin Rhodes, Arthur Pimblett and Roy Robinson, Bill’s final match was on November 23 1957, against Workington Town at Knowsley Road. Saints won 29-6 and Bill was once again ensconced in the front-row with Abe Terry and legendary hooker Tom McKinney making up the engine room. It was also a game when Tom van Vollenhoven scored two tries. Despite playing relatively few matches at First Team level, he certainly had some famous names as team-mates! Bill went to Liverpool City after leaving Knowsley Road.

Bill also had a major input into the amateur game, when he coached Pilkington Recs in the early 1960s, together with one of his former team-mates John ‘Todder’ Dickinson.

We send our condolences to Bill’s family at this sad time.


Principal Club Partners

LWC Logo

Platinum Club Partners

Kinaxia Logistics logo
Elcons Logo
Astar Recruitment logo

Associate Club Partners

St Helens College logo

Official Club Partners

Box Holders