Toby King admits his Grand Final success with Wigan Warriors is tinged with sadness given how it his last game for the club as he prepares to return to the club who didn’t want him last season.
King has played a starring role all season for the Warriors, helping them lift the Super League title on Saturday evening for the first time in five years after victory over Catalans Dragons.
He now will prepare to return to Warrington, who informed him last season that his services weren’t required before loaning him out to Huddersfield, followed by a loan deal at Wigan this season.
King said ‘a lot of people have read between the lines’ when asked if he wanted to stay at Wigan rather than return to Warrington, but admitted he will forever be grateful to the Warriors for helping him restore his confidence.
“I’m very emotional,” he said in the aftermath of their Grand Final triumph in the tunnel at Old Trafford.
“I can’t put into words what I’m feeling at the minute but I just didn’t expect it.
“If someone had told me 12 months ago I’d be winning a Grand Final, especially after how last year went when I didn’t know if I had a club who wanted me until Rads (Kris Radlinski, chief executive) came and met me and put a belief back into myself.
“I’m buzzing, I’m made up and thank you Wigan so much for this special year.”
Grand Final triumph tinged with sadness for Toby King with time at Wigan Warriors now over
When asked if there was an element of sadness now his Wigan career is over, he said: “Of course there is.
“It’s one of those where I wanted to give it my all tonight and go out with a bang, I’ll be forever grateful to them. Matt (Peet, coach) has backed me so much, it’s now how you started, it’s how you finish.
“It’s different personnel at the club (Warrington) who didn’t want me there at that time. They went in a different direction and I can’t really talk about things like that.
“I’m a bit emotional now so I’ll end up saying something I’ll get in trouble over, but a lot of people have read between the lines.
“I’ve not had much contact from Warrington, I don’t know what’s going on but I’m sure that’ll come. I’m so glad I’ve managed to get a taste of this, winning the Grand Final… I can’t describe the feeling.”
Toby King thankful to Kris Radlinski and Matt Peet for ‘surreal’ loan opportunity
King returns to the Halliwell Jones Stadium under new coach Sam Burgess, and he admits he does so with his confidence fully restored after the success of his 12-month deal at Wigan.
“12 months ago, with Wigan coming in for me, I met Rads and Matt and they said they expected me to play well in a Grand Final and they backed me to do that,” he added.
“I never thought I could do that, it’s been a surreal 12 months really.
“The year before, nobody enjoyed it, especially coming from the Warrington side.
“It was a tough year for everyone there and me personally, I didn’t really have anywhere to go but Wigan brought me in on loan to see how it went and luckily I’ve managed to go okay. The fans have been the backbone of it, they’ve been class with me.”