THE latest in our Great Saints for February feature is popular home-town packman Paul Forber.

Another of Thatto Heath’s favourite sporting sons, Buffer spent 11 seasons at Knowsley Road after signing from Saints Colts in May 1981.

Even as a youngster he caught the eye as a second row man who took the ball in hard and at pace and who relished the physical challenge.

Forber made his debut as an 18-year-old, partnering veteran Roy Mathias who was 15 years his senior in the second row in a depleted team that took on the 1982 Australian tourists.

Saints were well beaten 32-0 by a side that would become known as the Invincibles and featuring a certain Mal Meninga.

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Forber continued to earn his stripes in the A Team for the next couple of years, but began to get more time during the tumultuous Meninga-inspired 1984/85.

He scored his first tries in the red chevron that season, with a brace against Leigh that February.

His performances earned him a regular bench spot, jostling with contemporary Paul Round for that role.

But Forber got the nod in the Premiership Final and enjoyed the triumph over champions Hull KR.

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Having forced his way in, he became part of that top squad and slowly became adept at propping as well as his customary second row.

It was a tough time at Saints, with Wigan becoming dominant.

Forber was a non-playing sub in the Wembley defeat by Halifax in 1987 – but the following season partnered Roy Haggerty in the gripping 15-14 win over Leeds in the John Player Final. It was the first time Saints had won that trophy, but alas, that season fell apart with a cup defeat at Salford.

Saints reached Wembley again the following year in 1989 where Forber propped in the 27-0 whitewashing by Wigan.

One of his undoubted highlights came during an otherwise tough autumn, with Buffer grabbing the last gasp try that beat the touring Kiwis 27-26 at Knowsley Road.

After missing a good chunk of the 1990/91 season, Forber was back with a vengeance for the following term – powering over for a try and booting a drop goal in the Lancashire Cup semi-final win over Wigan.

Weeks later he added another medal to his collection with the final win over Rochdale.

He signed off in 1992 – joining Salford - after 247 games in the red vee with a tally of 50 tries, seven goals and a drop goal.