Heritage Numbers Announced

Saints Heritage Society have completed more than 40 years of research to allow the Saints to issue all its players past and present with unique heritage numbers.

Jack Leyland, Curtis Johnstone, Vernon Roby, Adrian Lawrenson, Paul Cotham, Bill Bates, Dave Dooley, Paul Cunliffe and Alex Service have all played their part in the process which is a staggering culmination of hard work and endeavour.

Heritage numbers begin with Tom Foulkes in 1895, right up to Jack Welsby in 2018 and, of course, there will be new incumbents in 2019 and beyond.

Whether they came onto the field for half a game, played as a trialist, or turned out in more than 500 competitive games, they are all considered equal and can justifiably feel proud to be part of this great club.

Alex Service says: “This has been a fantastic project to work on and everyone at Saints Heritage Society is proud of the result and the fact we can now release the numbers in conjunction with the club.

“The research to identify every player who has played for the club has been very in-depth and we’ve found very interesting stories and facts about people and their backgrounds we never knew.

“Library research has played a huge part as has poring over hundreds of match reports and programme collections, together with personal accounts and interviews with past players. Most information has been by design; some by pure accident!

“Bill Bates did much to collate the statistics into a manageable single document, especially in the formative years. From essentially ‘hard copy’ data, the launch of the Saints’ Heritage Society website in 2002 provided a much-needed platform for further development and the promotion of Saints’ statistical history into the wider public domain.

“Special thanks to Webmaster Paul Cunliffe in this respect, who remains a vital member of our society.

“There has also been the opportunity for wider research, led by Dave Dooley, on players before World War Two, including family make-up, employment characteristics and the geographical movement of individuals throughout Britain and the wider world.”

Saints Chairman Eamonn McManus added: “The Saints Heritage Society have been unstinting in their efforts over the years and have produced this phenomenal piece of work of which they can all be rightfully proud.

“The history and heritage of The Saints and its players is one of the richest in world sport and this project produces an appropriate and continuing record which befits that status. We should be very grateful indeed to all involved.”

To celebrate the launch of the numbers, Jack Welsby – the latest Saints player to make his debut (Heritage number 1245) presented Jimmy Goodier – the earliest living player to make hid debut (Heritage number 607), with a shirt emblazzonded with his number.

Jimmy was a hooker who made his Saints debut in 1944!

Saints Heritage Society, the club and its Community Development Foundation will recognise the numbers over the coming months and years as it celebrates the fascinating heritage of those who have donned the famous colours.

Each player (past and present) will receive a special, one of a kind certificate recognising their number. Certificates will be given out in due course.

In addition to this, current players in the first team squad will have their heritage number applied to their first-team playing kit. Both home and away shirts will include the player’s heritage number which will be embroidered in gold stitching.

You can view the Heritage number list here.

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