Former Saints’ hooker of the late 1940s, Les Dutton [Heritage Number #682], has passed away at the age of 91 after a short illness.
Born in Marshalls Cross and living in Manville Street, he joined the Saints from the UGB Junior Club, where he worked as a welder and signed for a £50 fee.
Les, who lived in Eccleston, made his senior debut on 12th March 1949 at Knowsley Road in the league match against Belle Vue Rangers in an 18-0 success. A reliable ball-winner from the scrums and lively in the loose, he formed a front row which also consisted of Walter Norris and Welshman Dickie Jones. The back row that day was Len Aston, George Parsons and Alan Prescott. Skipper and star centre Jimmy Stott scored a try and kicked three goals. His fellow centre, Duggie Greenall, notched a hat-trick of tries.
A regular member of a successful ‘A’ team, Les made three full appearances for the first team, his last during a 16-5 success in the home game against Barrow on 25th April 1949. He played at a time when the Saints were steadily building up momentum to become a member of the game’s elite later in the 1950s.
Competition was intense at Knowsley Road and Les moved on to Belle Vue Rangers and followed this with spells at Salford and Wigan, before retiring from the game in the late 1950s. He was a likable man, who regaled fellow patients with rugby league stories during his recent stay in hospital.
Everyone at Saints send their condolences to his son, Ian at this sad time.
The funeral of Les is at Christ Church, Eccleston at 1.00pm on Wednesday 11th September, followed by the Crematorium at 2.00pm and then on to Greenalls Club.