SAINTS' connection to their former prop Luke Thompson continues through his father.

Mark Thompson Transport, based in Warrington, is one of 13 freight and logistics businesses across the UK that make up Kinaxia Logistics, which has strengthened its partnership with Betfred Super League champions St Helens for the 2021 season.

The company has renewed its shirt sponsorship deal which sees their logo feature on the Saints home and away kits.

In addition, the north west-headquartered company has become the main sponsor for winger Tommy Makinson’s testimonial year.

Although Great Britain international front rower Luke headed Down Under midway through the 2020 season to test himself in the NRL with Canterbury Bulldogs, his father Mark is delighted to remain associated with the club and with one of his son's close friends, Tommy Makinson.

St Helens Star:

Former Saints prop Luke Thompson. Picture: Bernard Platt

Mark said: “Kinaxia is delighted to be a platinum kit partner with St Helens for the second year running, and we are thrilled to be supporting Tommy’s testimonial.

“St Helens is a great club, which is run in the right way and has strong family values. We are extremely proud to be associated with it through our kit sponsorship.

“Tommy’s a really nice guy who deserves a successful testimonial year, and we are very pleased to be the main sponsor. We look forward to partnering with him and the club to celebrate his milestone.”

Makinson has been awarded a testimonial year in 2021 as he heads into his 10th season with the Saints.

He made his debut against Salford Red Devils in 2011 and has since gone on to make 244 career appearances, scoring 138 tries.

In 2018, he made his international debut and won the Golden Boot Award as the International Player of the Year.

His testimonial match will be against Leigh Centurions at Saints’ Totally Wicked Stadium on Saturday, March 13. The game will kick off at 6pm and will be streamed live on the Rugby Football League’s Our League platform.

Among the events planned for Tommy’s testimonial are sportsmen’s dinners and a golf day, as well as the match against Leigh.

Makinson said: “It means a great deal to have Kinaxia as a sponsor. It’s a nationwide brand, and their involvement with the club and their support for my testimonial is greatly appreciated.

“I look forward to having them on board and to working with them throughout the year.”

Kinaxia employs more than 1,600 staff and has more than 800 vehicles.

The group, which has its headquarters in Macclesfield, has two million sq ft of warehouse facilities nationwide, offering contract packing, e-fulfilment, returns management and storage services.

It has seen significant and continued growth over recent years, with annual revenues now approaching £200m.

Saints’ general manager Dave Hutchinson said: “Our partnership with Kinaxia goes from strength to strength.

"They once again feature on our playing shirts and it’s great for Tommy and the club that they also feature on his testimonial shirt.

"We are looking forward to working with the team at Kinaxia again in 2021 and beyond.”