Former St Helens forward Dave Markey dies aged 74

Dave Markey
Dave Markey

Former Saints second row forward Dave Markey has died at the age of 74 after a long illness.

Dave only started seven first team games, as well as five as a substitute, but in the 1960s he faced strong competition from some talented players, including Ray French, John Mantle, John Warlow, Mervyn Hicks and Jimmy Mustard.

A forceful player, who took no prisoners, Dave made his debut in the first team against Blackpool Borough on September 12,1964. He was initially on the bench with Peter Harvey for this game, which Saints won 37-5.

His final senior appearance for his home town came when he was introduced as a substitute in a Floodlit Trophy preliminary round tie [second leg] against Salford at Knowsley Road, in September 1966.

He also damaged knee ligaments in the Challenge Cup quarter final against Swinton in 1966 and could, conceivably, have been on the bench for the Wembley victory over Wigan.

Yet he remained stoic, insisting some years ago: "Just to be in a dressing room, surrounded by the likes of Vollenhoven, Murphy, Watson and men like these was just fantastic and a privilege few rugby league players had.

“They are priceless memories that will never leave me.''

When he retired after a spell at Widnes,, he returned to one of his first loves: football and kept goal for Pilkingtons.

In the summer months he was a wicket keeper with St Helens Recs and played with distinction for a number of years in the Liverpool Competition.

He had a spell when he donned a St Helens jersey to help the A-team out at Knowsley Road and also coached the youth teams at Ruskin Park and Blackbrook.