Bill Francis RIP

17th February 2024

It is with great sadness that the Heritage Trust was informed of the death of our former player coach Bill Francis aged 76.

Francis Bill

Bill (Heritage Number 829) was born in Featherstone and played for Wigan, St Helens, Oldham and Salford at club level, and Yorkshire, Wales (who he qualified for through heritage) and Great Britain at representative level.

Rated as one of the Wigan ‘all time greats’ with 400 appearances for the cherry and whites, he joined Oldham in 1979 as player coach, with Graham Starkey as manager, after a successful spell at St Helens where he was a try scorer in the 1978 Challenge Cup final.

Bill was a utility back renowned for his deceptive pace, passing skills and a great sidestep. He came to Oldham with a view to his experience helping to bring on the young, up-and-coming talent that was at the club in the colts team of the late 1970s. He made 49 appearances for the Roughyeds scoring four tries before moving on to Salford.

The sincere condolences of the Oldham RL community are extended to all of Bill’s family and friends.