On a recent visit to Langtree Park, former St Helens legend Mal Meninga was presented with the infamous contract he signed to return to the Saints for a stint in 1988.
Unfortunately, the man who has played the most times and scored the most points for Australia in rugby league history, was unable to take up the option due to injuries.
Mike Denning, business development manager at Hattons Solicitors, a long-term sponsor of Saints, took the opportunity to present him with the contract and jokingly pointed out that as he hadn’t formally been released from that playing contract that he may owe Saints another Season in the Red V.
Mal confirmed how he had signed for Saints for the 1984/85 season after having been pursued by Saint’s fierce rivals Wigan.
Both teams prepared contracts for the Centre with Mal agreeing to sign with St Helens. When his original Saints contract was misplaced by Ray French, the Wigan chairman somewhat foolishly allowed French to borrow the contract papers. The word Wigan was crossed out and replaced with St. Helens, securing the club one of the best rugby league players the world has seen.
Meninga, who currently coaches the Queensland State rugby league team, spent a single season at Knowsley Road scoring 28 tries in 31 games.
Mike Denning said: “Big Mal was delighted to see his original contract and all who attended the event were delighted to see the St Helens legend back at the club. One of his biggest regrets was never to return to Saints for another season.”