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Van man's 'Saintly' messages prove a hit with rugby league followers
A MYSTERY Saints supporting white van man is building up a cult status among rugby league followers – thanks to his witty one-liners!
Every match, home and away, the driver – who has asked to keep his identity a secret – sports a special message on the vehicle’s exterior.
The phrases – some tongue-in-cheek and others with a touch of close-to-the-knuckle humour – range from salutes to Saints players to poking fun at rivals such as Wigan.
They are painstakingly put together with decorative tape by their designer in the build up to each game.
Spotting the transit van – which sports a number plate that reads H8 WGN – has become a popular pastime for supporters on the road – and even the Saints squad.
One of the more recent messages made fun of the horse meat scandal and paid tribute to Sia Soliola.
It read: “Soliola 4 100% Beef 0% horse.”
The player duly used a photo of it on Twitter.
The creator did not want to speak to the press – however, his daughter, who like her dad is a Saints die-hard, did shed some light on his ‘Saintly’ artwork.
She told the Star: “He started doing the messages a few years ago - after Wigan lost to Harlequins at home he put one on the back saying ‘thank you Harlequins’.
“The response he got from Saints fans was brilliant and he'’ done it ever since.
“He usually starts thinking about what he’s going to put on the van at the beginning of the week.
She explained that it is a meticulous process: “He has a measurement of the back of the van and will work out from there how big each letter needs to be. He goes through more than 40 rolls of deco tape a season!
“It will usually take at least three hours - and that's after he's measured and cut all the letters out, which takes him a couple of hours each night.”
And it’s proving a hit with the game’s followers across the country.
She added: “The majority of fans love it. He always has supporters from all clubs saying how much they love it and are always asking if they can take pictures.
“We took it to Castleford with a message wishing them luck in the Challenge Cup game last year. One Cas fan, who was around 60, said that in all his years it was the best thing he’d seen in rugby league.
“A lot of Saints fans have told us they look out for it each week on the motorway to see what it says. So far, he’s only had people come and say positive things.”
So let’s keep an eye out for what he has in store on Friday – when champions Leeds are in town.