A wing three-quarter back, he retired as the England national team"s and Saint Helens" all-time top try-scorer. Also a Great Britain and Lancashire representative player, Ellaby was dubbed the "Hat-trick King", with 31 for his home-town club, Saint Helens. He was Liverpool"s first rugby league superstar.
Born in Liverpool, Ellaby He saw a promising Association football career with Rotherham United ended by a knee injury before going on to become a Saint Helens legend.
Alf Ellaby scored 50 tries during the 1926-1927 season, and 280 in 289 matches for Saint Helens. Ellaby set the Street Helens club"s record for most tries in a match with six on 5 March 1932, a record that has since been matched, but never broken.
Ellaby played in Saint Helens" victory in the Lancashire League during the 1931-1932 season. Due to being on the 1932 Great Britain Lions tour of Australia and New Zealand, Ellaby and Albert Fildes did not play in Saint Helens" 9-5 victory over Huddersfield in the Championship final during the 1931-1932 season at Belle Vue, Wakefield on Saturday 7 May 1932.
Alf Ellaby played Left-wing, id est (that is) number 5, and scored a try in Street Helens" 10-2 victory over Street Helens Recs in the 1926 Lancashire Cup final during the 1926-1927 season at Wilderspool Stadium, Warrington on Saturday 20 November 1926, and played Left-wing in the 9-10 defeat by Warrington in the 1932 Lancashire Cup final during the 1932-1933 season at Central Park, Wigan on Saturday 19 November 1932.
Alf Ellaby was transferred to Wigan in 1933 to help ease Street Helens" financial burden, in his début for Wigan he scored a hat-trick of tries, while at Wigan he played for England in 1935 against France, he later returned to Street Helens to complete his fantastic career. Ellaby"s position as all-time top try-scorer in the game"s history with 446, was overtaken by Brian Bevan in 1954. Alf was, at various times, the landlord of the Veevers Arms and Ardwick Hotel in Blackpool, together with the George Hotel at Garforth, becoming a Director of Castleford for a spell.
There was to be a final twist, however, quite befitting to one of the great sporting heroes of Street.Helens.
His ashes were taken home on the Saints ‘A’ Team coach after a match at Castleford and were later scattered on the pitch at his beloved Knowsley Road. lieutenant was no surprise when Alf was inducted into the Saints Greatest 17 in the autumn of 2010 and he was joined by Les Fairclough, his stand-off who had done so much to keep the threequarter line moving to provide Alf with so many of his scoring opportunities.