St Helens confirm Tommy Makinson departure ahead of reported Catalans Dragons move

Ben Olawumi
Tommy Makinson St Helens Alamy

Tommy Makinson in action for St Helens

St Helens have confirmed that Tommy Makinson will depart at the end of the season, with the veteran winger expected to join Catalans Dragons ahead of the 2025 campaign.

A product of Saints’ academy, Ince-born Makinson debuted for the club at senior level back in 2011 and has since gone on to win everything that there is to win, scoring tries for fun along the way with just one more needed to reach 300 in the Red V.

In the Super League era, only head coach Paul Wellens (231) has crossed the whitewash more times than Makinson, whose only other club appearances came on loan at Whitehaven & Rochdale Hornets in 2013.

The stalwart will turn 33 in October, and is off-contract. His move over the English Channel to Catalans is yet to be confirmed, though the Stade Gilbert Brutus is his expected destination.

St Helens confirm Tommy Makinson departure ahead of reported Catalans Dragons move

12-time England international Makinson’s departure was confirmed by Saints on Sunday morning.

Speaking in a video posted by the club, he said: “It’s been the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make, playing here for so long and creating so many special memories. This club has been so good to me, it’s the greatest club of all.

“I want to finish on the best possible terms. Like I’ve always done, I’ll give my absolute all, I want to sign off with a Grand Final win, not selfishly I want to win another Grand Final with this group because we deserve it.

“I think we are a great group, one that holds each other accountable, we work harder than most we pride ourselves on working harder than the rest, and are coached by a great group of staff, and for the people behind the scenes.

“The bonds that I’ve made with the people of the town, the staff, I could never ever ask for anything more in my wildest dreams from being a 14/15-year-old kid turning up to train at Knowsley Road and fast forward the clocks I’m sat here at 30-odd and we’ve achieved so much together. I am so grateful to you all for that, so thank you.”

Makinson ‘will be remembered as one of the all-time greats’ at Saints, says club’s Chairman

A five-time Super League winner included in the competition’s Dream Team on three occasions, last year saw the 32-year-old reach the landmark of 300 appearances for Saints.

Now on 325, he sits eighth in the all-time appearance list at the club during the Super League era, with seventh spot on that list – currently held by now-Oldham head coach Sean Long with 331 – firmly within reach prior to his now confirmed departure.

Team-mate & captain Jonny Lomax is 14 ahead of him in sixth on 339.

Given what he’s achieved while donning the Red V, it’s no surprise the regard in which he’s held by all at the club, and chairman Eamonn McManus has hailed him as ‘one of their all-time greats’.

McManus added: “Tommy will be remembered as one of the all-time greatest Saints wingers as well as one of its best players in our most successful era.

“He has been front and centre of many of our greatest triumphs and has always been totally committed to the club and to his team-mates.

“We would have loved him to stay and finish his career at the Saints but fully understand and respect his decision to have a change in his life. He has more than earned it.

“He will forever be warmly welcomed back at the club and we wish him and his young family both success and happiness in their new life.”