Former Saints’ front-rower Tom Grundy passed away on Tuesday September 18th at the age of 89.
He played two matches for the club at senior level, following his transfer from Blackpool Borough in exchange for South African forward Ted Brophy. Tom was typical of number tens of the time: tough and powerful, with great expertise in the scrums, when possession was so important in a team’s success on the field.
Tom’s first match for the club coincided with a team photograph and he can be seen lining up on the back row with a veritable galaxy of Saints’ stars, such as Tom van Vollenhoven, Alex Murphy, Glyn Moses and Vince Karalius. Saints won this particular league match 42-12 and there were nearly 20,000 there to see it! None of the forwards scored, incidentally! Tom’s partners in the front row were Abe Terry and hooker Walter Delves.
Tom van Vollenhoven roared in for a sensational hat-trick, as he did in Tom’s second match, away at Featherstone Rovers, always a difficult assignment. Jimmy Rose took over the hooking role for this one and the Saints made light of a potential ‘banana skin’ scenario by winning 20-6. It should be mentioned that later in the year, Rovers ended Saints’ Challenge Cup hopes at Post Office Road in the third round, but were crowned Champions at the end of the season.
Tom at least could say he had a part in the club’s league success. They finished top of the pile, with a record 1,000 plus points scored. Now that can’t be bad! He played junior rugby in Wigan and made his debut for the Cherry and Whites in 1953-54, making three appearances for the first team overall. Tom also had a spell at Rochdale Hornets.
We would like to thank Tom’s grandson, Darren Maguire, for providing us with the news and we send condolences to the family at this sad time.