“The rugby league club is the greatest rugby club in the world. 

“If someone could tell me a greater club and why, I would be very prepared to have a debate for that.”

Those were the words of Saints chairman Eamonn McManus after he was presented with the night’s headline Pride of St Helens prize.

Judges rewarded Eamonn with the accolade, as he marked 20 years at the rugby league club.

Speaking on stage, he expressed his pride and the burning desire he possesses for his beloved club and how he wants to help his town.

He said: “It has made me proud to be a St Helenian from our town – watching Saints in the 50s and 60s motivated and inspired me.

“I consider the town and the club exactly the same way. It is very much a town that I have a real passion for. We have the greatest rugby league club in the world. 

“If we can have the greatest rugby league club in the world we can have the best of everything in the world.

“I feel as though I am putting a little bit back into the town where I spend my time and energy at the rugby league.

“We just want to be the best we can be at the club and there’s no reason we cannot do that in the town. 

“It’s a town with an incredible history, a very proud history, and I think a future that can be equally so. And I would like to contribute to that certainly with the economy board in terms of bringing investment and jobs into the town.

“We have got a great deal to look forward, we have got a great deal to be proud of.

“It’s all about attitude, it’s about hard work and it’s about looking after each other.”

After the departure of Saints coach Justin Holbrook, who led the club to two League Leaders’ Shields and Super League Grand Final glory last season, Eamonn believes Kristian Woolf will also taste success at the Totally Wicked Stadium.

“He’s an absolute first-rate guy, he’s clearly a very good coach,” Eamonn said.

“We have got a world class team and we are a world class town. Let’s get behind him, let’s support him and have another great season.”

St Helens Foodbank at The Hope Centre, which offers a lifeline to those in need of help, was highly commended in the category.

Dance school owner Elizabeth Hill, who has nurtured the talents of singers, dancers and performers for more than 40 years, was also highly commended for her outstanding contribution.