THOUSANDS of Saints fans wore beaming smiles as they watched the men's and women's teams parade the Challenge Cup trophies on Monday evening.

Starting at the Mercure hotel in Haydock, two open top buses travelled around St Helens, with both teams showcasing their trophies to the adoring fans on the streets below.

Luke Myles, Pat Woollens, and Laura and Harrison Pritchard, based in Ashton, were at the Mercure hotel to wave the teams off at the start of the parade.

St Helens Star: John and his sons Kyle and Axel waiting for the parade on Kirkland Street

Still buzzing from watching the men's team win at Wembley on Saturday – their first Challenge Cup trophy since 2008 – the season ticket holders explained it was an “absolutely wonderful day”.

Driving down together after an early morning shift at Haydock Racecourse, Luke said: “It was a big family day out, it was great. […] We weren’t going to miss it, it’s such a special day.”

St Helens Star: The men's team celebrate in front of adoring fans

Despite the 13-year wait for the Challenge Cup trophy, Pat, 74, told the Star that the win was one of many she had witnessed over the years after watching Saints since she was six-years-old – a grand total of 68 years.

Describing the feel-good atmosphere of the weekend, Luke added: “The whole of Castleford came out too, but the two fans got along. There was nothing bitter about the day.

“Even on Wembley Way, everyone was mixing. There were Leeds fans there [too]. It was just a great day for Rugby League.”

Dad-of-two John was also at the parade and waited patiently for the teams to arrive at the final stop on Kirkland Street with his wife and two sons, Kyle and Axel.

Travelling down to Wembley with his family on Saturday, John said it was a “lovely” day out, with 45,000 rugby league fans there to witness Saints bring the trophy home.

John similarly explained that there was a “good mix” of all fans at Wembley, and after a 13-year wait for the trophy, stated: “you can’t beat it”.

As fans congregated across the town in the Monday evening sunshine, social media pages and the Star’s live blog were inundated with photographs and comments from fans eager to get a glimpse of their heroes.

St Helens Star: Families making memories at Monday's victory parade

St Helens Star: It was a glorious evening to celebrate the Challenge Cup wins

Michael Holmes posted on Twitter how his daughter was "utterly made up" watching her idols celebrate their win, and she waved to her favourite players as the buses drove past.


Kayleah Appleby said that the double win has "lift[ed] the whole town up after 18 months of the unknown.”

Posting pictures of the buses as they travelled past, Mark Crellin wrote: “Great to watch the Saints players celebrating with a parade. Brilliant to see the women’s team also being given one as well.”

Celebrating with his young son, Ryan Muldoon said the family were "making the best memories".

Josh Leigh simply posted that Monday was “The day that rugby came home.”

After the jubilation of the double parade, the men’s team continue their Super League campaign at the Totally Wicked stadium against Hull KR on Friday, July 23, while the women’s team travel to Leeds Rhinos on Monday, July 23.