RUGBY LEAGUE’S QUALITY STREET GANG (9) – ERIC PRESCOTT PT 4

 

Part 4 – HIS POST SALFORD RUGBY CAREER

Even after his final departure from the Willows, in 1983, it turned out that there was still a considerably lengthy role left for him as a player, with Runcorn Highfield (formerly Liverpool City, and Huyton), in the second division.

A chance meeting with Geoff Fletcher, a former prop forward with Leigh, Oldham, and Huyton of whom he had become coach, later moving with them to Runcorn in the same capacity, led to Eric’s being invited to join the playing staff, there.

“It was a little different from what I had been used to with Salford, Saints, and Widnes, but I soon settled in and we did really well at the start.  We won the first seven games, and became top of the league, for a while, as a result.

“This, however, caused some significant problems, as we found out when Geoff Fletcher came into the dressing room and told us that we couldn’t win any more matches as the club couldn’t afford to pay us any more winning money!

“Not that we allowed that to influence our performances out on the field.  I, for one, always wanted to win every game I played in, and that never changed, irrespective of whether there was any significant money available at the end of it.”

Despite all the uncertainties which went with playing for Runcorn, who later changed their name solely to Highfield as a consequence of one final move more, this time to the Prescot area, Eric stayed with them right through to 1989, when he eventually played his last professional game, against Keighley, thereby bringing down the curtain on an incredible twenty-year playing career.  In that time, he had played over 570 games, a feat of which he is most justifiably proud.

“There are not many players will be able to that nowadays, because it is all so very different, but I enjoyed playing no matter who it was for.  It was just great, and I wish I could still be playing now.

“I still watch the game on TV, and I do go to matches.  In recent years I have been to the Lance Todd Trophy Presentation Dinner, as well as attending the seventieth birthday celebration of Steve Nash, at a Salford home game, a few seasons ago.”

TRIBUTE TO JOHN CORCORAN

 

Salford Red Devils have been saddened to learn of the passing of former, back row forward, John Corcoran, on the 2nd August, following a short illness.

John (pictured second from left, above) joined Salford from Wigan St Patrick’s, in 1974, and, although he might have appeared to have been lacking in size for a position in the pack, he more than compensated for this with his energy and endeavour; his hard running and zealous tackling ensured that he played well above his weight.

He made his first appearance from the bench, on the 13 August 1974, in the annual, pre-season charity match against Swinton, for the Red Rose Cup, which he followed up, a few weeks later on 8th September, once again as a substitute, in a home game against Huyton, in the Lancashire Cup.

Although he remained with the club for four years, because of the intensity of competition for places in the team, at that time, John played most of his rugby in the A team.  Nevertheless, he turned out in the first team for a total of forty games, starting in eighteen of them, coming off the bench in the remaining twenty-two, and scoring three tries.  In addition, in September 1975, he went on loan to Leigh, for whom he played a further three games.

His final first team match was against Dewsbury, at The Willows, on the 11th January, 1978, and later that year, during the close season, he transferred to Blackpool Borough, where he became a mainstay, and later captain, of their team.  He featured most regularly at loose forward, making the starting line-up on seventy-five occasions, with a further four as a substitute, and scoring five tries.

His final move came in September 1981 to Rochdale Hornets, and during this, his last season, he played a further fourteen games, starting in thirteen of these, and scoring a try.

Our sincere sympathy and condolences go out from everyone connected with Salford Red Devils, to his family and friends, at this particularly sad time.

His funeral will be held on Tuesday, 16th August, at St Saviour’s Church, Preston, PR5 6EP, at 2..00 pm.

Acknowledgement:  Graham Morris, Club Historian

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