St Helens veteran Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook says he’ll keep his emotions in check until after next week’s play-off game against Warrington Wolves, with his family desperate for one last trip to Old Trafford.
The 37-year-old prop confirmed earlier this week that he would be hanging up his boots at the end of 2023, retiring and bringing an end to an 18-year career with 13 of those spent donning the Red Vee.
Friday night saw the regular Super League season wrapped up, and despite a 30-12 win against Hull FC – a club he played reserve grade for – at the Totally Wicked Stadium, Paul Wellens’ side finished outside of the top two for the first time since 2017.
Accordingly, rather than getting a week off and having a home semi-final to look forward to, they will now have to overcome near neighbours Warrington next Saturday afternoon in what will be McCarthy-Scarsbrook’s final home game alongside another absolute legend of the game in James Roby.
St Helens stalwart Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook gearing up for an emotional goodbye
Over 14,000 were in attendance on Friday night for the last regular season game of the season, and the forward is expecting a similar figure, if not a bigger one, for next week’s play-off clash.
Interviewed by former teammate Kyle Amor for Sky Sports following the win over Hull, he said: “It’ll be the final time I’ll play here, so I’m sure it’ll probably be emotional, particularly at the end of the game.
“It’s back here against Warrington which should be a good turnout from both teams, hopefully we can come away with a win and see who we play the week after that.”
Veteran’s family holding out for last Grand Final hurrah at Old Trafford
An out and out cockney, McCarthy-Scarsbrook has taken the local area to his heart in his time up north, and as his retirement was announced earlier this week he confirmed he would be sticking around. He will join the Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service in 2024, with now-boss and another former teammate in Wellens paying tribute to his character on and off the field.
More than 100 of the forward’s family and friends made the journey to the Totally Wicked Stadium for the clash with the Black and Whites, but – as comedically as ever – he confirmed they wouldn’t be doing it again for the play-off clash with Warrington.
Instead, they’ll hold out in the hope of one last trip to Old Trafford for the Grand Final. Saints have won the last four Super League titles in an unprecedented period of dominance, and another triumph this term would see McCarthy-Scarsbrook victorious in a Grand Final for a sixth time.
He said: “No, they won’t all come next week because they’re tight! They’ve come up and seen my last league game ever tonight, but they’ll probably try and wait it out now to see if I get to Old Trafford.
“If we get there, touch wood, then I think they’ll be making the journey again.”