Ex-Saints’ big century

John Nolan
John Nolan

AN ex Saints player has celebrated his 100th birthday.

John Nolan, a Saints A team player in the 1930s, enjoyed a party at Parr Nursing Home to mark the big day before spending an evening at East Sutton Labour Club.

The grandfather of 11 and great-grandfather of 15 joined Saints from his local team, Sutton Commercial ARLFC, in January 1930.

A tall, athletic winger, he found first team opportunities virtually impossible to come by with the likes of Alf Ellaby around - but did play in several testimonial games.

Referring to all-time Saints great Alf Ellaby, Mr Nolan said: “There’s no-one better than him. He was the finest player I’ve ever seen. Mind you, there were some great players around at the time at Saints, like stand-off Les Fairclough and the Welsh centre George Lewis.”

Mr Nolan’s nephew, half-back Mike Nolan, also played for Saints in the mid 1970s.