SPENT most of the weekend engrossed in a new book which I recommend to any sports-loving fan living in St Helens, or whose roots are firmly implanted in the town.
“Balls, Gloves and Glory” tells the story of the remarkable Chisnall family of Havelock Street, St Helens, who scaled many heights at both rugby league and professional boxing.
Three of the brothers won Challenge Cup honours beneath the twin towers of Wembley and two represented Great Britain on demanding Lions’ tours of Australia.
Eric has spent more than four decades at Saints as a player and now forms part of the coaching staff where he helped to oversee the development of such modern-day super stars like James Graham, James Roby and Jonny Lomax.
Dave, who sadly died the morning after the manuscript for the book had been completed, was best known for his heroics at Warrington and Leigh and also became the youngest Great Britain international to tour Down Under as a member of the 1970 Ashes-winning team.
Les also experienced Wembley glory as a player at Leigh when the club, inspired by legendary player-coach, Alex Murphy, toppled odds-on favourites Leeds 24-7 in 1971.
John, on the other hand, was a professional boxer who developed a reputation as a
tough pugilist and later coached many successful athletes in the sport at his St Helens gymnasium.
He, too, is no longer with us, but like the rest of the family his sporting legacy is still influential today.
The book, published by Vertical Editions and written by Erc Chisnall and dyed-in-the-wool Saints’ fan Andrew Quirke, costs £11.99 and is available from all good book shops, Saints Superstore, on-line retailers and verticaleditions.com
Purchase your copy today - and enjoy a fabulous and memory-jerking read.
n THE Original Supporters’ Club are fighting an uphill battle to attract more members and as a result now find it difficult to fill coaches for away matches.
They have abandoned plans to run a coach to Hull KR on Sunday, April 7, and future
trips will be in jeopardy without increased support.
It is sad to see a long-established club struggling in this way but I would urge those who have still not renewed their membership to do as soon as possible to help keep the ship afloat.
n I WAS talking the other day to Peter Harvey - a double winner with Saints in the 1966
season - about his present role at Langtree Park which gives him as much pleasure
as he experienced in his playing days.
Peter is a member of a small team which relays commentaries of matches to blind and partially impaired people in the stadium on match days.
“It is a wonderful service, which Mike Kennedy first launched 25 years ago, and I’m just pleased to be part of it as an expert analyst,” Peter told me.
Quite a number of people take advantage of the service but there may still be some who don’t know it exists.
The club has 12 sets of wire-free audio devices which can be obtained from the ticket office or by contacting Geoff Ward, telephone 07921 158713.