They may no longer see their name in lights on the rugby pitch, but four former Pilkington Recs players now have streets that bear their surnames on Bellway Homes’ soon-to-be-complete Beech Gardens development in St Helens.
The former rugby greats were reunited when construction started on site two years ago and have been brought together once again to see their surnames in situ and meet some of the new residents that live on the streets that have been named in their honour.
The players, Sid Wright, John McCabe, Billy Simmons and Jeff Gormley, were first team regulars during the 1970s and 1980s for Pilkington Recs; an amateur rugby league team that played on the site where the new homes have been built.
In celebration of their achievements and to ensure that the former history of the site is not forgotten, St Helens Council and Bellway Homes chose to name a number of roads at Beech Gardens after former players from that era.
In addition to Wright Close, McCabe Way, Simmons Close and Gormley Drive, roads have been named after other celebrated players from the 1920s and 1930s including Albert Bailey, Bill Mulvanney, John Wallace and Oliver Dolan who all played professionally for St Helens Recs.
Commenting on behalf of the players, Jeff Gormley said: “When we played rugby on this site all those years ago, we never in a million years thought that we’d have a lasting legacy on here with streets named after us. It’s been great to be involved with this Bellway development, meet the new residents and see it almost complete. I’ll definitely be bringing the grandchildren to see the family street name!”
Bellway Homes’ sales director, Jenny Bell, added: “We’ve had such a lovely response to the road names, not only from the former players, but also from our new residents. It seems that most people in St Helens are aware of the site’s former history and have a lot of affection for the Pilkington Recs.”
With construction drawing to a close, Beech Gardens is almost complete with just eight properties left for sale. A delightful development of two, three and four bedroom homes, it has been popular with individuals, couples and families looking for a quality new build home in a new residential location just minutes from the centre of St Helens.