THIS time 21 years ago Saints upset the apple-cart by winning their first ever Super League Grand Final.

Although Saints had been inaugural champions in 1996, this was the first time they were to win the Old Trafford showpiece in only the second season of the title being decided by a Grand Final.

1999 had been a turbulent season. Coach Ellery Hanley was at the helm but at one stage in the summer was stood down - only to be reinstated after a mass protest and sit in by the Saints supporters at Knowsley Road.

Hanley had his masterplan to tether the highly-fancied Bulls, who had not only finished top of the league, but had walloped Saints 40-4 in the play-offs two weeks earlier to qualify.

Saints got there eventually by beating Castleford but were very much underdogs at a soggy Old Trafford.

Saints were kitted out in teal and orange, but psychologically gave themselves a boost by walking out on to the field in red vee tracksuit tops.

St Helens Star:

It was a tight game, with every foot and inch battled for against the heavyweight Bulls.

Henry Paul broke the deadlock with a long-range try – but who could forget the cover tackle by packman Sonny Nickle who actually hauled the Bulls stand-off down before the line, but the grass was so sodden he could slide over.

St Helens Star:

Sean Long, who had come into the game from the bench after injury, pulled back a penalty for Saints who went in 6-2 behind at the break.

But then came one of those Grand Final moments that is still raised now by the vanquished when future Saint Leon Pryce, on his 18th birthday, finished off a movement that would have given Bulls a 12-2 lead.

However, the video ref ruled that Bradford’s full-back Michael Withers had knocked it forward with his fingertips – and the game was still in the melting pot.

St Helens Star:

It remained tight and tense and Saints rolled with the punches and hung on, getting belief and encouragement from that.

A storming run from prop Apollo Perelini, who used his footwork to evade the big hit from Paul Anderson, gave Saints a great attacking position in front of the sticks.

Swift passing from Keiron Cunningham, Long and Paul Atcheson gave Kevin Iro all the chance he wanted, with a dummy right and a step left levelling it.

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It was a moment that would be recalled in song by the Saints choristers in years to come, in tribute to 'Super Kev'.

The nerveless Long stroked the difficult conversion between the aitches to give Saints the lead for the first time with 15 minutes remaining.

From there Saints simply tackled their hearts out – with one try saver from Fereti Tuilagi and Sonny Nickle on Jimmy Lowes sticking out.

St Helens Star:

A real gutsy win for the Saints – with Chris Joynt lifting his first trophy as club skipper - and who could ever forget Freddie’s dance at the end.

Saints: Paul Atcheson; Chris Smith, Kevin Iro, Paul Newlove, Anthony Sullivan; Paul Sculthorpe, Tommy Martyn; Apollo Perelini, Keiron Cunningham, Julian O'Neill, Fereti Tuilagi, Sonny Nickle, Chris Joynt.

Subs: Paul Wellens, Sean Long, Sean Hoppe, Vila Matautia.