THEY broke the mould when they made 1980s terrace legend and Great Britain international Roy Haggerty - a real rough diamond from Thatto Heath.

Statistics show that Haggerty scored 115 tries and kicked 20 drop goals in 363 appearances in the red vee between 1978-1991 – but facts alone do not explain why the strong-running son of Thatto Heath became such a cult hero on the terraces in 12 seasons.

Haggerty was a one off. An unorthodox player who broke the mould, underlining that you did not have to be massive to make a physical impact.

Signed from the Saints Colts in October 1978, Haggerty's strong weekly performances in the A team secured a regular place on the bench in Eric Ashton’s side by 1979-80.

Haggerty always ran well above his weight, with his tackle-busting scything runs being his trademark.

St Helens Star:

He established himself as a centre but moved into the pack in 1984 when Saints brought over Australian ace Mal Meninga to take his spot.

Haggerty came off the bench to score a trademark try in Saints’ 1984 Lancashire Cup Final triumph over Wigan at a packed Central Park.

It was his first senior winners medal – and Saints’ first trophy since 1977 and Haggerty had found his niche.

Saints, with Haggerty partnering Andy Platt in the second row, added the Premiership Trophy to the sideboard that year in a year in which the homegrown players knitted with Meninga.

The following season, post Meninga, was tough at times – but Haggerty’s 21 tries helped fire a late recovery under Alex Murphy which saw the club come within a whisker of the League Championship.

There were disappointments on the way– two Wembley defeats, against Halifax in 1987 and Wigan in 1989 – meant the most sought after medal eluded him.

But his pugnacious and energetic displays had begun to get a wider recognition with a call-up to the Great Britain squad and selection for the 1988 tour to Australia and New Zealand.

Now a senior part of the pack, Haggerty did a massive job in the John Player Trophy run which culminated in Saints winning that competition for the first and only time with the 1988 15-14 victory over Leeds at Central Park.

Apart from his trademark tackle-busts, his unorthodox spin and offload, Haggerty had developed another party piece which was treated with surprise and even laughter at first – the drop goal.

But he popped over 20 and proved a fine practitioner of the art, post Harry Pinner.

And for good measure he signed off his last game with a one-pointer in the April 1991 win over Wakefield.

Haggerty sadly passed away in April 2018, aged 58 - but he is a player who will live long in the memories of fans of that generation.

That era may have been rocky at times, and the latter part was in Wigan's shadow, but Haggerty embodied a fighting spirit and resilience that helped get Saints through one of its toughest periods, often brightening up what would have potentially been another dull, damp Sunday afternoon in St Helens.