TODAY marks eight years since the legendary Steve Prescott left us – a man who despite being tragically taken so soon managed to pack so much into his 39 years.

All day social media has been awash with comment and tribute from people touched and inspired by the former Saints and Hull full back and extraordinary cancer battler.

It is no surprise that he is remembered so warmly, not simply by Saints supporters who cheered his two-try performance in the club’s first Challenge Cup win in 20 years, but the wider rugby league community and far beyond it.

St Helens Star:

As the title of his autobiography spelled out, Steve was One in a Million - an incredible human being who threw absolutely everything into what would be the final seven years of his life following a terminal cancer diagnosis.

Sometimes we have to remind ourselves of Steve’s remarkably courageous story.

Given months to live in September 2006 and later diagnosed with a rare form of abdominal cancer - pseudomyxoma peritonei.

It was a heartbreaking prognosis, coming in the same week that his wife Linzi had given birth to their second son, Koby.

St Helens Star:

It was news that would have crushed many a soul, but supported by Linzi, his family and close friends Steve sought to find light at the end of this dark tunnel.

Steve attacked his cancer with fibre of his being, leaving no stone unturned in the pursuit of potential remedies and options for radical surgery.

Alas, although the radical surgery had given him new organs and removed all traces of the tumour, three weeks later he suffered multiple organ failure caused by Graft Versus Host Disease (GVHD).

It was cruel, but by being a pioneer for a multi-organ transplant he essentially paved the way for other PMP sufferers to survive.

St Helens Star:

Dovetailing with Steve’s cancer fight was the way he responded mentally to summon up the strength to not only attack his condition, but inspire others in the process.

Under his oft repeated mantra of ‘what the mind believes the body achieves’ Steve adopted a never ever give up approach with which he tackled his numerous physical challenges but more importantly to his fight for life.

Walks the length and breadth of the country, back-to-back marathons in London and Paris with a row across the English Channel thrown in and a number of other gruelling tests that involved and engaged the communities he passed through.

Throughout this journey, his battle, Steve always appeared to have a smile – laughing in the face of a terminal illness, giving it absolutely everything to both preserve and enjoy his life.

St Helens Star:

That indefatigable spirit did not die with Steve’s passing and he has left a legacy that is still seen today in his home town.

And by that, it is not simply a physical thing like the Steve Prescott Bridge or the naming of the Man of Steel award.

And it is not necessarily in just the names of events he has founded, like the Pride of St Helens awards and the now annual St Helens 10k run.

But those events have inspired folk to do things for others and, in the case of the 10k, for themselves.

Both are tangible evidence of the impact of Steve’s drive to inspire his hometown community.

His outlook has rubbed off on the people his life, words and deeds touched – and that has rippled and radiated out to others who never had the privilege of meeting him.

They are the ones carrying the torch onwards – and as long as that remains, the spirit of Steve Prescott will live on.