SAINTS’ former goalkicking winger Sean Day has sadly passed away, aged 56, after a long battle with cancer.

It is desperately sad news and thoughts go out to his family and close friends at this time.

Day was one of many components of the landmark 1984-85 season, which announced the return of the Saints after years in the doldrums.

The off season build up to that campaign had understandably been dominated by the impending arrival of Australian superstar Mal Meninga.

But quietly slipping into training at the old Queens Park astroturf in July 1984 was an unknown 21-year-old, who had been playing with North West Counties amateurs Culcheth Eagles.

In those late summer evenings Day cut an unlikely but enthusiastic figure at training, diminutive in stature, a beaming smile, socks rolled down and wearing an anti-fox hunting T-shirt - but coach Billy Benyon saw enough to give him a shot in the three trial games as an AN Other.

St Helens Star:

And after he scored a hat-trick and kicked nine goals in the 84-12 friendly win over newcomers Mansfield the board had agreed to sign him.

He slotted in straight away and crossed for his first senior try – a long range-effort in the defeat at Bradford – in September 1984.

Although his goalkicking was proving a bonus, it was temporarily taken off him on the immediate arrival of Meninga in early October.

It was soon restored, with Day ensuring that Saints – inspired by Big Mal and Phil Veivers in a side of local talent that had been building for years – went up in sixes rather than fours.

He had a natural, no fuss goalkicking style – and that proved to be effective.

Some of those conversions were more crucial than others, the penalty among his five goals and a try in the 1984 Lancashire Cup Final at Central Park was key in keeping the late Wigan revival at bay.

That delivered Saints’ piece of silverware for seven seasons – and Saints marched on that year with Day crossing for 12 tries outside Meninga. He also booted 157 goals in his 36 matches that campaign to help Saints to runners-up spot in the First Division Championship.

Day also kicked four goals in the Premiership Final win over Champions Hull KR at Elland Road to ensure they ended the comeback season with two pots to polish.

Bizarrely, on Meninga’s return to Australia after that finale, Saints chose to bring in goalkicking winger Australian test winger Ross Conlon for the following year’s campaign meaning that Day was nudged out and spent time on loan to Runcorn Highfield.

He played three more times after Conlon had gone back to Sydney, with his final game for the Saints being the Challenge Cup defeat by Wigan at Central Park in March 1986.