Farewell Frank Davies

It is sad to report the passing at the age of 82, of one of the unsung characters connected with the Club who is best remembered as the Official Timekeeper for all Senior, Reserve and Academy games at the former Knowsley Road ground.

Born: St Helens 15th May 1940
Died St Helens 21st December 2022

Originally from Booth Street in Nutgrove, Frank Davies attended the famous St Austin’s School, where two of Saints’ greatest-ever players, Alex Murphy and Austin Rhodes were also pupils at one stage. Austin was also Frank’s cousin.

Frank had a varied working life when he was not watching his favourite rugby league team. He began as a driver’s assistant at Suttons and worked down the pit for a spell. He then spent 17 years with St Helens Water Board, initially as a labourer, before graduating to an Inspector, dealing with various leakages around the Borough amongst his other responsibilities.

He married his wife, Lesley in March 1970 and there were further changes of circumstances in his working life. Frank bought his own heavy goods wagon and worked for himself before giving it up and becoming a self-employed plumber. His links with the Saints began when [coach] Bill Boycott recommended him for his plumbing skills and he helped the club in that capacity for many years. He was also close friends with two club Secretaries over the years, Basil Lowe and Geoff Sutcliffe and he became the timekeeper for the infamous ‘sin bin’ when players had to return to the Pavilion for their allotted spell off the field of play.

When Cliff Middlehurst retired, Frank became the Saints’ official timekeeper. Both clubs provided them on matchdays and it was a task he undertook diligently until the early Noughties. Frank was co-opted for other games too, including various representative games and internationals.

A cheerful and friendly character around the Knowsley Road scene, he particularly enjoyed undertaking a trip to Australia in 1988 when he followed the fortunes of the Great Britain team. “He would help out the club any way he could,” says Lesley. “One Saturday he went to watch the A team at Knowsley Road and one touch judge failed to turn up, so [Chairman] Harry Cook asked him to run the line, otherwise the game had to be postponed, which he did. One lovely touch happened at Cardiff during the 2004 Challenge Cup final,” she also recalls. “It was Frank’s birthday and the RFL put his name up on the big screen at the interval. A lovely moment for us all.”

Everyone at St.Helens R.L.F.C. sends their condolences to Lesley, together with sons Glyn and Philip and grandchildren Coco, Tiger and Leo at this sad time. Frank’s funeral service is at St Helens Crematorium on Thursday 19th January at 11-30 am.

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