It is sad to report that Edwin McCully, formerly the oldest surviving Saints player, has passed away just two months short of his 100th birthday. He lived in Street, Somerset at the time of his death.
Heritage Number #627
Edwin was the last surviving player from the dark days of the War Emergency League when the Saints struggled to field anything like a settled team. In the 1944-45 campaign, the team played 23 matches, winning four drawing one and losing the rest. There were no less than 50 players used during the season, many playing as ‘guests’ from other clubs.
A former pupil of Rivington Road school and signed on at the end of February from the Junior Leagues, Edwin made his sole appearance for the first team against Wakefield Trinity at Belle Vue, on 3rd March 1945. After a spirited performance, the visitors were defeated 7-36. He played on the left wing, with Bill Horton as his centre. The three quarter line was completed by Aubrey Gregory on the other flank, who was partnered by England international Jackie Waring.
Fast forward to 2020 and his nephew Steven told Saints Heritage Society that Edwin was so grateful to receive his Player Heritage Certificate. There’s a lovely family link too. His great-nephew, Mark McCully [#1106] also made a first team appearance for Saints against Whitehaven in the Challenge Cup on 25th February 2001.
Edwin, who was born in Grafton Street and lived in McFarlane Avenue when he signed for the Saints was pre-deceased by his wife, Helen and he worked at BICC, Pilkingtons and was a Prison Officer at Walton for many years. On retirement, he lived in Anglesey and later moved to Street in Somerset, to be close to his youngest daughter Pamela.
We are grateful to Edwin’s nephew, Steven, for providing us with these details and everyone at St.Helens R.F.C. send their condolences to his family, including son Alan and daughters Jennifer and Pamela at this sad time.