Former world’s most expensive player Eric Prescott sadly passes away

Rugby league is a sport steeped in history be it just five years ago or over fifty years ago, and one man who was key to the history of St Helens in particular was Eric Prescott who the club have sadly confirmed has passed away.

Prescott was 75 at the time of his passing and starred for the likes of Salford, Widnes, Runcorn Highfield and Lancashire county as well as St Helens.

It was with Saints who Prescott started his career before spells at Salford, Widnes, Salford again and then rounding his career off at Runcorn Highfield.

All at Serious About Rugby League would like to offer condolences to the friends and family of Eric, a true rugby league man who played over 600 games picking up 23 medals during his career.

He was the father of fellow rugby league legend Steve Prescott, for whom the current Man of Steel award is named after.

His first club St Helens released a statement in honour of Prescott.

“St Helens R.F.C. are deeply saddened to learn about the passing of Saint #856, Eric Prescott.

“Eric was an incredible servant to the sport of rugby league, making early 600 match appearances in across his career which began with St. Helens, but saw him play for Salford, Widnes and Runcorn Highfield, as well as representing his county, Lancashire.

“A Widnes native, Prescott started his professional career with the Saints in 1968 and showcase both speed as well as versatility in his early playing days by playing across the back-line and stepping into the back-row too.

“In the 1970 Championship Final against Leeds at Odsal Stadium, Eric crossed for two tries as Saints saw of the Lioners 24-12 for the Championship. It would be the first of 23 medals Prescott would earn across his over twenty year career. Moving into the pack as a back-row or a loose-forward, Eric featured in the Saints’ victory over the touring Australia team at Knowsley Road in November 1970.

“After making 85 appearances in the Red V, Prescott made a then world record transfer (£13,500) to big spending Salford where he would go on to become a key member of their team at the Willows as they went on to lift two Division One titles in 1973-74 and 75-76, alongside a BBC2 Floodlit Trophy and the Lancashire Cup.

“A homecoming followed in 1981, returning to play for his birthplace of Widnes and being part of the team that achieved Wembley glory by beating Hull KR to lift the Challenge Cup.

“Eric would return once more to Salford in 1984, retiring for the first time at the end of that season, but four years later in the 1988-89 season he would make a comeback playing for Runcorn Highfield and retire for a second time at the end of that campaign.

“In 1993, Eric’s son Steve Prescott MBE would go on to make his debut for the Saints and make 117 appearances in the Red V and was an integral part of the team that won the 1996 Super League title and back-to-back Wembley victories in 1996 and 1997.

“Despite his playing days being over, Eric kept his love for the sport of rugby league as a regular on the touchline at Thatto Heath Crusaders. That love for rugby was clearly passed on to his children and grandchildren.”

All at Serious About Rugby League would like to offer condolences to the friends and family of Eric.