Bill Francis

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morley pie eater
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Joined: Tue May 02, 2006 2:01 pm

Re: Bill Francis

Post by morley pie eater »

I missed this thread for some reason. Very sad news.

Bill Francis was a hero of mine. Though I started attending matches aged 12 in the 63/64 season, I guess it took a while for me to start to understand the finer points of the game. It was watching Bill in the late 60s and early 70s, especially when he played at 6, that helped me see that having a "rugby brain" was just as important as being big, strong or fast.

Around 1973, I was privileged to meet Bill's dad. He worked in the stores at Glasshoughton Colliery and I was delivering some chocks from Gullick Dobson of Ince (working for Norman Bibby's company). I told him I was a big fan of his son. Francis senior had kept his Welsh accent and had a good chat with me about Bill and rugby in general.

Rest in Peace, Bill - an unsung hero as far as I'm concerned.
Wigan ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Saints ⭐⭐⭐
Charriots Offiah
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Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2020 1:14 pm

Re: Bill Francis

Post by Charriots Offiah »

Was Bill at Gullick Dobson when you were MPE?

By the way, he got a terrific send off irrespective of the Club's failure to attend. Many former players attended, including the great Billy B, Phil and Andy Clarke were coffin bearers, and his daughter gave a fitting eulogy.
Kittwazzer
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Re: Bill Francis

Post by Kittwazzer »

I’m pretty sure Bill worked for Gordon Ford’s in the 70’s
morley pie eater
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Joined: Tue May 02, 2006 2:01 pm

Re: Bill Francis

Post by morley pie eater »

Charriots Offiah wrote: Wed Mar 27, 2024 6:20 pm Was Bill at Gullick Dobson when you were MPE?

By the way, he got a terrific send off irrespective of the Club's failure to attend. Many former players attended, including the great Billy B, Phil and Andy Clarke were coffin bearers, and his daughter gave a fitting eulogy.
I didn't work for Gullicks, but for Clarington Coach & Haulage Company, owned by Norman Bibby and run by his 2 sons (one was Harold, can't remember the name of the other.) CC&H were based at the old BRS depot on Wigan Road in Hindley. We delivered Gullick Dobson's chocks etc to pits around the country. (Remember them?)
Wigan ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Saints ⭐⭐⭐
Charriots Offiah
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Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2020 1:14 pm

Re: Bill Francis

Post by Charriots Offiah »

morley pie eater wrote: Wed Mar 27, 2024 8:44 pm
Charriots Offiah wrote: Wed Mar 27, 2024 6:20 pm Was Bill at Gullick Dobson when you were MPE?

By the way, he got a terrific send off irrespective of the Club's failure to attend. Many former players attended, including the great Billy B, Phil and Andy Clarke were coffin bearers, and his daughter gave a fitting eulogy.
I didn't work for Gullicks, but for Clarington Coach & Haulage Company, owned by Norman Bibby and run by his 2 sons (one was Harold, can't remember the name of the other.) CC&H were based at the old BRS depot on Wigan Road in Hindley. We delivered Gullick Dobson's chocks etc to pits around the country. (Remember them?)
Sorry I misunderstood.
widdenoldboy
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Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2010 10:25 pm

Re: Bill Francis

Post by widdenoldboy »

morley pie eater wrote: Wed Mar 27, 2024 8:44 pm
Charriots Offiah wrote: Wed Mar 27, 2024 6:20 pm Was Bill at Gullick Dobson when you were MPE?

By the way, he got a terrific send off irrespective of the Club's failure to attend. Many former players attended, including the great Billy B, Phil and Andy Clarke were coffin bearers, and his daughter gave a fitting eulogy.
I didn't work for Gullicks, but for Clarington Coach & Haulage Company, owned by Norman Bibby and run by his 2 sons (one was Harold, can't remember the name of the other.) CC&H were based at the old BRS depot on Wigan Road in Hindley. We delivered Gullick Dobson's chocks etc to pits around the country. (Remember them?)
This has stirred up many memories as my Dad worked for Gullicks for many years and was heavily involved in the social side of that Wigan institution. He set up many a "charabang" to away games and they were filled with mostly Gullicks lads and lasses. We had some great times. One time we took a detour over the Pennines to miss the traffic nad had to get out a couple of times to push the chara' up really steep hills :lol:

I also remeber Bill as a silky skilled player not always appreciated at the time.
morley pie eater
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Joined: Tue May 02, 2006 2:01 pm

Re: Bill Francis

Post by morley pie eater »

Thanks to both of you. Great memories stirred by a great player. We are lucky to have seen so many wearing cherry and white.
Wigan ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Saints ⭐⭐⭐
Charriots Offiah
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Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2020 1:14 pm

Re: Bill Francis

Post by Charriots Offiah »

morley pie eater wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2024 2:35 pm Thanks to both of you. Great memories stirred by a great player. We are lucky to have seen so many wearing cherry and white.
👍
Charriots Offiah
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Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2020 1:14 pm

Re: Bill Francis

Post by Charriots Offiah »

widdenoldboy wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2024 10:33 am
morley pie eater wrote: Wed Mar 27, 2024 8:44 pm
Charriots Offiah wrote: Wed Mar 27, 2024 6:20 pm Was Bill at Gullick Dobson when you were MPE?

By the way, he got a terrific send off irrespective of the Club's failure to attend. Many former players attended, including the great Billy B, Phil and Andy Clarke were coffin bearers, and his daughter gave a fitting eulogy.
I didn't work for Gullicks, but for Clarington Coach & Haulage Company, owned by Norman Bibby and run by his 2 sons (one was Harold, can't remember the name of the other.) CC&H were based at the old BRS depot on Wigan Road in Hindley. We delivered Gullick Dobson's chocks etc to pits around the country. (Remember them?)
This has stirred up many memories as my Dad worked for Gullicks for many years and was heavily involved in the social side of that Wigan institution. He set up many a "charabang" to away games and they were filled with mostly Gullicks lads and lasses. We had some great times. One time we took a detour over the Pennines to miss the traffic nad had to get out a couple of times to push the chara' up really steep hills :lol:

I also remeber Bill as a silky skilled player not always appreciated at the time.
Was Icky Hollis one of the gang?
widdenoldboy
Posts: 1817
Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2010 10:25 pm

Re: Bill Francis

Post by widdenoldboy »

Charriots Offiah wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2024 2:40 pm
widdenoldboy wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2024 10:33 am
morley pie eater wrote: Wed Mar 27, 2024 8:44 pm

I didn't work for Gullicks, but for Clarington Coach & Haulage Company, owned by Norman Bibby and run by his 2 sons (one was Harold, can't remember the name of the other.) CC&H were based at the old BRS depot on Wigan Road in Hindley. We delivered Gullick Dobson's chocks etc to pits around the country. (Remember them?)
This has stirred up many memories as my Dad worked for Gullicks for many years and was heavily involved in the social side of that Wigan institution. He set up many a "charabang" to away games and they were filled with mostly Gullicks lads and lasses. We had some great times. One time we took a detour over the Pennines to miss the traffic nad had to get out a couple of times to push the chara' up really steep hills :lol:

I also remeber Bill as a silky skilled player not always appreciated at the time.
Was Icky Hollis one of the gang?
I don't recall that name Charriots, sorry,
this was in the late 80's, early 90's era - some of the characters were Terry Morris, Jack Connah and Jerry Rigby.
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