OUR choice for Day 14 of Great Saints will undoubtedly be controversial in some fans’ eyes – but if you listen to some of his highly-respected teammates then it shouldn’t be.

Gary Connolly (Heritage Number 1010) was prodigious talent when he signed from Blackbrook at a 17-year-old and went straight into the first team in early 1989.

Think about that and imagine it now – especially a lad that age playing at Wembley.

And yet he took it in his stride with his speed returning the ball matched by a sound defence.

Connolly kept his place and was outstanding as the last line of defence as Saints denied Martin Offiah et al to pull off a shock semi-final win over Widnes to go to Wembley.

Sadly, Wembley was a bit of a disaster, with a 27-0 drubbing ensuing.

Connolly began to establish himself and by the end of 1991-92 earned a Great Britain call for the 1992 tour to Australia.

He also featured in the Great Britain World Cup side that went so close against Australia at Wembley.

And he continued to get better as Saints went so close to winning the League in 1992-93 losing on points difference to Wigan.

Connolly scored in the 10-4 Premiership Final win over Wigan that May – but sadly it was his last for Saints. He was a massive loss – and the fans were understandably upset.

Popular opinion among some of the players in the know, suggest had he been looked after, then he’d have remained a Saint. Instead he was enticed across the border to join Wigan, and that was a huge loss.

His tally on leaving was 46 tries from 133 appearances in the red vee.

Connolly went on to win plenty at Wigan, and after that moved on to Leeds (where he won the Lance Todd) and Widnes.