THE Saints team were joined on the pitch after Friday's match by two Ukrainian citizens - Olga Bakumanto and Irina Handza - as part of the club showing support for the people of Ukraine in their fight with Putin's Russia.

They had earlier been presented with a signed shirt by chairman Eamonn McManus.

St Helens Star:

Olga and Irina are from Kharkiv in North Eastern Ukraine and were subject to 40 days of continuous shelling before evacuation to the UK in early May. Olga is a professional chemist and Irina an English teacher.

Their UK hosts are David and Caroline Horton from Stokesley, Yorkshire.

David (who is originally from St Helens) and Caroline have set up StokesleyforUkraine, an organisation conducting invaluable work linking Ukrainian evacuees with UK registered sponsors offering safe homes and sanctuary.

St Helens Star:

St Helens Chairman Eamonn McManus stated: “It’s our honour to welcome Olga and Irina to our club.

"They have been forced to leave their families, friends, careers and lives behind them to escape the horrors being perpetrated on their country by a brutal and barbaric aggressor.

St Helens Star:

"Hopefully some day Olga and Irina can return to their families in a free and rebuilt Ukraine which has been saved from oppression."