LAST year local historian Stephen Wainwright wrote an article revealing how Tommy Lucas holds the distinction of being the first St Helens footballer to play for England.

And the article subsequently prompted a response from family member Steve Lucas, who has in his possession England caps won by the brother of his great-grandfather – and credits a ‘find my past’ libraries initiative with helping discover this.

St Helens Star:

Liverpool FC full back Tommy, who lived on Burtonhead Road in the 1920s, was one of six brothers – but he was the only one to play professional football.

After playing for a number of local clubs, including Sherdley Villa, Sutton Commercial and Peasley Cross, Tommy joined Liverpool during WW1 and made his competitive debut for the side in 1919 and went on to play 366 times for the Reds.

He was full back in 1922 when Liverpool won their first League since the 1905/06 and his form earned England caps against Ireland, France and Belgium.

Steve Lucas, aged 67, got in touch to explain how he came across the story about his family’s sporting pedigree by researching his family tree through a St Helens Libraries initiative.

Steve explained: “It was only during Covid, with nothing happening, that I decided to look at my family tree and luckily enough St Helens libraries were doing free access to ‘find my past’.

“I got back to something like 1700 something, and everybody's been local, maybe Knowsley village or somewhere around there but most of the people have been local.

“I spoke to my uncle and initially asked him if he had any information about my granddad because he was in the Navy and did the Atlantic convoys and about Russian convoys.

“He said. ‘Well, I've got something that you might be interested in’.

St Helens Star:

“So, I went down to see him and he presented me with the cap Tommy was captain for against Belgium.

“And then my dad showed me a cap that he had had for years. From what I can gather, he was picked six times but only played in three.”

“I didn’t know anything about England or Liverpool or any aspect of this life until Covid and doing this research.”

After retirement Tommy became a publican at Stoke Mandeville in Buckinghamshire, but died in 1953 at the young age of 58.

St Helens Star: Tommy Lucas (centre) with gamily at his pub in Stoke MandevileLeft to right: Louisa Tommy’s wife, Peter (Tommy’s brother), Tommy, Ellen, Gladys, child is Marilyn.