10 Things you Mightn't have known about Saints

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St Helens RFC was founded in 1873, and moved to their current ground at Knowsley Road in 1890. They were founder members of the breakaway Northern Union in 1895, from which the 13-a-side game we know today evolved.

  • Saints played in the first Rugby League Challenge Cup Final in 1897. Since then, they have played in 18 Finals, lifting the famous trophy on 10 occasions. Their most recent success was in 2007, when they beat Catalan Dragons at The New Wembley.
  • Saints’ mascot is St Bernard, who once appeared on BBC’s Newsnight programme.
    Saints’ famous fans include comedians Johnny Vegas and Ricky Tomlinson, and 13-times World Darts Champion Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor.
  • In 2007, Saints matches will be televised live on Sky TV 11 times in the first 17 weeks of the season.
  • The recognisable ‘red vee’ strip actually only first appeared in 1961, for the Challenge Cup Final against Wigan. They won 12-6, and the kit has since become synonymous with the Saints.
  • Some of rugby league’s most famous names have played for St Helens, including Tom van Vollenhoven, Vinty Karalius, Ray French, Alex Murphy, Kel Coslett, Mal Meninga, Paul Newlove, Chris Joynt and Jamie Lyon.
  • Saints have 11 Great Britain internationals in their squad: captain Paul Sculthorpe, Keiron Cunningham, Nick Fozzard, Ade Gardner, Lee Gilmour, James Graham, Sean Long, Leon Pryce, James Roby, Paul Wellens and Jon Wilkin.
  • In 2006 Saints achieved their highest average attendance in 40 years, welcoming 10,807 fans to Knowsley Road in Super League XI.
  • The Saints-led annual Merseyside Tag Rugby Festival for Year 6 schoolchildren (aged 10-11), involves over 40 Liverpool primary schools and more than 1200 schoolchildren.

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