Paul Sculthorpe

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Paul Sculthorpe
Paul Sculthorpe.jpg
Personal information
Full name Paul Sculthorpe[1]
Born (1977-09-22) 22 September 1977 (age 41)
Burnley, Lancashire, England
Height 6 ft 3 in (191 cm)[2]
Weight 15 st 12 lb (101 kg)[2]
Playing information
Position Stand-off, Second-row, Loose forward

Club
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1996–97 Warrington 78 17 0 1 69
1997–08 St. Helens 247 113 392 10 1232
Total 325 130 392 11 1301
Representative
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1996 England 4 4 0 0 16
1996–06 Great Britain 26 5 3 2 28
Lancashire
Source: [3][4][5]

Paul Sculthorpe MBE (born 22 September 1977) is an English former professional rugby league footballer of the 1990s and 2000s. A Great Britain international representative stand-off or loose forward, he began his career at Warrington before joining St. Helens, with whom he won a total of four Grand Finals, four Challenge Cups and two World Club Challenges, as well as becoming the first (and currently only) player to win the Man of Steel Award on two consecutive occasions.[3][4][5] He is the older brother of former player Danny Sculthorpe.

Early years

Sculthorpe was born on 22 September 1977 in Burnley, Lancashire. He grew up in Oldham, and was educated at Counthill School. He played junior rugby league for Waterhead.[6] He started his professional career with Warrington, making his début in 1995.[7]

In 1996, he was named in the inaugural Super League Dream Team, and in the post season he went on the 1996 Great Britain Lions tour of Oceania.[8]

Sculthorpe moved to St. Helens in 1997 for £375,000,[9] at the time a record transfer fee for a forward (based on increases in average earnings, this would be approximately £516,500 in 2013).[2][10]

In the 1997 post season, Sculthorpe was selected to play for Great Britain at loose forward in all three matches of the Super League Test series against Australia.

St Helens

Sculthorpe played for St Helens as a stand-off/five-eighth in their 1999 Super League Grand Final victory over Bradford Bulls. Having won the 1999 Championship, St. Helens contested in the 2000 World Club Challenge against National Rugby League Premiers Melbourne Storm, with Sculthorpe playing as a loose forward in the loss. He also played for St Helens at loose forward and kicked a drop goal in their 2000 Super League Grand Final victory over Wigan. As Super League V champions, St Helens played against 2000 NRL Premiers Brisbane Broncos in the 2001 World Club Challenge. Sculthorpe played at loose forward, scoring a try and kicking a drop goal in Saints' victory.

In 2001 Sculthorpe was named man-of-the-match for Great Britain in the first test match against Australia.[11] He was named as Man of Steel in 2001 and 2002, becoming the first player to retain the award.[citation needed] He was Saints’ sole representative in the 2002 Super League Dream Team, a feat he repeated in 2004.[citation needed] Sculthorpe played for St Helens at stand-off in their 2002 Super League Grand Final victory against Bradford. Having won Super League VI, St Helens contested the 2003 World Club Challenge against 2002 NRL Premiers Sydney Roosters. Sculthorpe played at loose forward in Saints' 38-0 loss.

Sculthorpe was named St Helens captain in 2004, and led the team to victory over Wigan in the 2004 Challenge Cup Final at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff. That year he also joined a select band of players to have scored 100 tries and 100 goals in Super League. Sculthorpe was selected as vice-captain of the Great Britain team to compete in the end of season 2004 Rugby League Tri-Nations tournament.[2] In the final against Australia he played at loose forward in the Lions' 44-4 loss.

In 2005 Sculthorpe scored his 1,000th point for Saints.[citation needed]He was named as Great Britain captain in 2005, although injury ruled out for the most of the 2005 season and prevented him from leading the side in the 2005 Tri-Nations tournament.

As one of the stars of the world game, Sculthorpe secured a lucrative sponsorship deal as the face of Gillette, which at the time was the most lucrative sponsorship deal made by any rugby league player worldwide.[citation needed] In March 2006, Sculthorpe signed a deal with Random House to publish his autobiography, Man of Steel, which was published in August 2007.[citation needed] Sculthorpe captained St Helens as a second-row in their 2006 Challenge Cup Final victory against Huddersfield. However his time as Great Britain captain was less successful, as he only ever captained the side for 18 minutes. This came in the one off test game at Knowsley Road in 2006 between Great Britain and New Zealand, in which he was forced off after injuring his knee. Sculthorpe returned from the injury and was named man-of-the-match in St. Helens' win over Brisbane Broncos in the 2007 World Club Challenge. In September 2007 he signed a new 12-month contract with St Helens which saw him celebrate his testimonial season at the club.

Sculthorpe's final game for St. Helens was in the 2008 Challenge Cup Final, where he injured his shoulder in the opening minutes. After being injury hit in 2008's Super League XIII with only a handful of games played, St. Helens announced they would release Sculthorpe at the end of the season. He was touted as a potential signing for Salford, or joining up with brother Danny at Wakefield Trinity in time for the 2009 Super League season.[12] However, Sculthorpe announced his retirement from the game on 19 September 2008.[13]

He was awarded the honour of MBE in the 2013 New Year's Honours List, for "services to Rugby League and to charity".[1]

References

  1. ^ a b "No. 60367" (PDF). The London Gazette. 29 December 2012. p. 22.
  2. ^ a b c d "Tri-Nations: Great Britain profiles". dailymail.co.uk. Associated Newspapers. 19 October 2004. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Statistics at rugbyleagueproject.org". rugbyleagueproject.org. 31 December 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  4. ^ a b "England Statistics at englandrl.co.uk". englandrl.co.uk. 31 December 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Great Britain Statistics at englandrl.co.uk". englandrl.co.uk. 31 December 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  6. ^ "Club Of The Week | Waterhead Warriors". The Rugby Football League. Retrieved 10 December 2017.
  7. ^ Wilson, Andy (1 March 2006). "Saints seethe at double whammy". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 December 2017.
  8. ^ Hadfield, Dave (1996-08-30). "Bell's scouting trip off". The Independent. London, England: independent.co.uk. Retrieved 6 November 2013.
  9. ^ Shea, Julian (2006-06-22). "Offiah hails arrival of Fielden". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 1 January 2009.
  10. ^ "Measuring Worth - Relative Value of UK Pounds". Measuring Worth. 31 December 2014. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  11. ^ "Tri-Nations: Great Britain profiles". Mail Online. UK: Associated Newspapers. 19 October 2004. Retrieved 14 February 2011.
  12. ^ "St Helens to let Sculthorpe leave". BBC Sport. 2008-08-13. Retrieved 13 August 2008.
  13. ^ "Saints legend Sculthorpe retires". BBC Sport. 2008-09-19. Retrieved 19 September 2008.

External links

  • (archived by web.archive.org) Saints profile
  • Profile at saints.org.uk
  • Sculthorpe open to England return
  • Paul Sculthorpe Official Website
  • Paul Sculthorpe Official Testimonial myspace
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