St Helens icon James Roby inducted into Hall of Fame as tradition broken for ‘The Greatest of All Time’

Ben Olawumi
James Roby, St Helens

James Roby has been inducted into St Helens' Hall of Fame - Alamy

St Helens icon James Roby was inducted into the club’s Hall of Fame last night having called time on his glittering career at the end of the season just gone, with tradition broken in his honour.

Typically, the Saints’ Players’ Association – who choose the legends elected into the Hall of Fame – will wait a number of years to induct someone following their retirement.

But, in the club’s words, ‘given Roby‘s exceptional service to the Saints’, the 37-year-old had to wait just a few weeks after hanging up his boots to be inducted at their 150th Year Celebration Dinner.

Dubbed by the Red V – and many others – as ‘The Greatest of All Time’ (GOAT), Roby was presented with a special award on stage at the dinner, with chairman Eamonn McManus and another legendary figure in Harry Pinner making the presentation.

St Helens induct James Roby into club’s Hall of Fame after veteran calls time on glittering career

With heritage number #1136, the Whiston-born star burst onto the scene as a fresh-faced 18-year-old, debuting against Widnes Vikings in March 2004.

He would go on to make 550 more appearances for the Saints in the 19 years and seven months which followed, winning everything there is to win – six Super League titles, eight League Leaders’ Shields, four Challenge Cups, and two World Club Challenges.

In doing so, the hooker became the club’s record appearance maker, surpassing 47-year holder Ken Colsett when he stepped out against Salford Red Devils in May 2023.

He too holds the record for the most Super League appearances, overtaking Leeds Rhinos legend Kevin Sinfield OBE back in June 2022 and marking the occasion with a try in victory against Hull KR for good measure.

On the international front, between England and Great Britain, the hometown hero featured 43 times, including at three World Cups.

As a marker of what playing for Saints meant to him though, he declined the opportunity of ending his career in an England shirt at last year’s delayed World Cup in favour of going around one last time for his club.

Roby joins the likes of Colsett, Billy Benyon, Alex Murphy, and South African speedster Tom van Vollenhoven as part of the Red V’s Hall Of Fame.

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