St Helens legend Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook has tonight announced his retirement from the game at the end of the season, with the Southerner planning on sticking around in the local area he now calls home having secured an exciting new role.
The prop, now 37, departs Saints after a highly successful 13-year stint at the club which has seen him win five Grand Finals, a World Club Challenge and a Challenge Cup.
Born in Whitechapel, London, McCarthy-Scarsbrook began his rugby league career with Harlequins – now recognised as London Broncos – before moving north to join the Red Vee ahead of the 2011 campaign.
He made 97 appearances for Harlequins, and to date has 369 to his name for St Helens along with three international caps for Ireland and two for England.
The veteran says it’s the right time for him to exit the sport which has served him well for the last 18 years, and will next year start a new career giving back to the people in the local area who have supported him so voraciously over his time on the pitch.
St Helens stalwart Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook confirms his retirement at the end of 2023
The news of McCarthy-Scarsbrook’s decision to hang up his boots was broken by Saints this evening. In a lengthy statement on the club website paying tribute to the club legend, the Londoner said: “It’s been in the pipeline for a long time, my body is screaming at me saying ‘time to retire’ I think.
“I’ve told the boys and people outside of the sport like my friends that I was going to retire this year, and I’m announcing it now.
“It’s a big step forward into the real world, I’m looking forward to it. Luckily enough, I got accepted onto the Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, I’m going to be a fireman.
“That starts in June next year, so I will go on a fifteen-week course and do that. I can’t see myself in an office, I don’t think anyone wants me in an office, so I’m going to try and be a fireman.
“I can’t take four kids down south, it’d be a nightmare to keep track of them… We’ll be staying up here I think, all my kids are born up here and it’s my home now and it’s where I see me staying for a long time.”
LMS striving for five in a row as he and James Roby look to bow out in style
Known by pretty much everyone in the game by his initials ‘LMS’, the forward is not the only Super League star to be retiring at the end of 2023.
Plenty of the more experienced heads are bowing out of the game, with Huddersfield Giants’ Nathan Mason also choosing to retire at the age of 30 as he moves to Australia and begins a new career down under.
The most notable retiree however is McCarthy-Scarsbrook’s long-time colleague James Roby, Super League and the club’s record appearance holder, a true great of the game.
Boss Paul Wellens recently told the rugby league world that we needed to ‘savour’ Roby’s last few weeks, and McCarthy-Scarsbrook is desperate for them both to go out on a high with a fifth straight Super League title.
If Saints achieve that feat this year, it’ll be the sixth Grand Final the prop has been triumphant in, playing a big part in all four of the most recent years as well as his first Old Trafford success back in 2014 against Wigan Warriors.
The 37-year-old said: “That would be class. Obviously, you want to win as many trophies as you can and be up there knowing you’ve done your best. It’d be nice to finally get a ring, because everyone in my family has got one apart from me, they’ve all taken them off me!
“It’d be amazing to send out Jimmy (Roby) with another one, that would be sensational because of what he’s done for the club and the game and his country. It would be an amazing achievement if me and him come away with a ring together.”
Saints legend thanks club’s fans for their backing over the years
As you’d expect given his lengthy association with the club, McCarthy-Scarsbrook is a fan favourite at the Totally Wicked Stadium.
Retaining the comedic wit he’s always possessed in abundance, he thanked the Red Vee’s fanbase for the love they’ve shown to him over the years.
He added: “I would like to say thank you for your support, and to all the ones who caught me down the biscuit aisle down in Tesco or ALDI, thanks for keeping it under wraps!
“They’ve been amazing, they’ve been through turbulent times as well, and they have had a nice bit of glory over the last few years.
“Hopefully, long may it continue, and long it will continue when I’ve left and everyone else has left. Thank you for all your support and kind wishes, but I’ll probably see you down at a pub somewhere, so that’ll be alright.”