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Rugby League World Issue 400 - Out Now!

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A Welsh Saint


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#1 Cofi

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 03:42 PM

I've just read Coslett's life story. In it he describes the occasion "when Basil Lowe and Lionel Swift came down from St Helens to tempt me into signing and my mum had food at the table and a few glasses of whiskey for them".

Interestingly, in the documentary I watched on BBC 4 the other night, The Game That Got Away, these two gentlemen men were describing the art of signing players from Union. One of them said "I had four thousand pound in five pound notes in a brown paper parcel" in order to tempt the player into signing. The offer was refused.

The details of the rest of the account seem to match the details of Kel Coslett's early life in Pen-y-Graig in Llanelli. In his book he says that his eventual signing for Saint made the News at 10 headlines and that he signed for ' decent sum'. "I've never told anyone what the figure was and I'm not going to break my silence now" he says. Okay, we may never know the final figure but at least we know, if I'm right to think that the player they were talking about was Coslett, what the offer was: four grand! Were those guys Lowe and Swift talking in the documentary or have I got it wrong?



#2 koli

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 04:08 PM

It was two Wigan directors talking on the show so probably not Kel.
They also had Cliff Morgan on that show who talked about how he turned down several offers.In the 1960s 5 grand would have bought you a big detached house in the best parts of any northern town.
with soccer still having a maximum wage cap until the early 60s ,RL players were actually pretty well paid (when they won) compared to other sports and the average wage at the time.

#3 Cofi

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 04:15 PM

QUOTE (koli @ Sep 9 2010, 05:08 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It was two Wigan directors talking on the show so probably not Kel.
They also had Cliff Morgan on that show who talked about how he turned down several offers.In the 1960s 5 grand would have bought you a big detached house in the best parts of any northern town.
with soccer still having a maximum wage cap until the early 60s ,RL players were actually pretty well paid (when they won) compared to other sports and the average wage at the time.


Ah, okay. It's just that they spoke about the player living in a council house (not a terrace house, mentioned by Morgan), family member running a pub, him being an international full back, I just thought it might have been Coslett. Mind you, those Wigan directors may have gone down to see Coslett but failed to sign him. Saints obviously offered more money than Wigan! wink.gif

#4 Cofi

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Posted 13 September 2010 - 08:50 PM

Has anybody else read Coslett's book? If so what did you make of it? Anyone here see him play?

#5 Simon Templar

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Posted 13 September 2010 - 09:47 PM

QUOTE (Cofi @ Sep 13 2010, 08:50 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Has anybody else read Coslett's book? If so what did you make of it? Anyone here see him play?


I saw plenty of Kel's career at Saints. He was a prolific goal kicker for the club, and was a pretty good creative player. I seem to recall that he spent more of his time as loose forward than full back though.

I think it was Kel who captained Saints when we beat Leeds at Wembley in 1972 in a very low scoring game. Graham Rees - Saints prop scored for us almost from the kick off. And Terry Clawson (Leeds) couldn't kick a goal all afternoon , that day.

Kel was a self employed truck driver during his playing days . We used to fix his punctures/fit new tyres for him at the tyre place where I once worked.

A great bloke and was never penalised during his rugby career for kicking an opponent.




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