Gary Connolly

OVERALL STATISTICS

BIRTHAGESIGNED ONFROM
22-06-1971
N/A
12-12-1988
Blackbrook ARL
DEBUTLAST MATCHLEFT
22-01-1989 v Hull K.R.
Wigan
1993- Wigan
CAREERAPPEARANCES (SUBS)
1988-1992
133 (5)
TRIESGOALSDGOALSPTS
46
0
0
184

BIOGRAPHY

Gary Connolly by Dave Dooley:

Gary Connolly was signed as a loacl seventeen year old from Blackbrook ARL Club with a well-earned reputation as one of the brightest prospects in the game. He went straight into the team for his debut against Hull KR on the 22nd of January, 1989 and immediately impressed the Knowsley Road crowd with his sheer speed, safe hands and tremendous tackling technique. Saints prevailed by 29 points to nil that day and Gary was off to a winning start. He was slotted into the Saints` team at full back and immediately provided a much more secure feel to the defensive line. His only try in 13 outings for the club in his initial campaign was against Oldham as part of a 58 points to 12 home league victory. One of his most memorable matches came in the Rugby League Challenge Cup semi-final against Widnes on March 11th. 1989 when Saints prevailed in one of the best and closet semi-final matches of all time by 16 points to 14. Les Quirk scored a brace of spectacular tries but equally as stunning were the series of last ditch tackles that Gary made on Widnes players as they were about to cross the Saints` tryline. In particular the flier Martin Offiah was denied several times in the left hand corners of Central Park. However, Gary and the Saints had a Saints had a miserable end to the season finishing seventh in the league and being whitewashed by the old enemy Wigan at Wembley.

In the 1989/90 season Gary bagged the full back spot as Phil Veivers moved into centres. The experimentation with player combinations continued in the 1989/90 season with the team playing no fewer than 36 players over the campaign. Although ending up close to the top of the league as the highest scorers, some inconsistencies were denying the team of the big prizes. Gary touched down three times against Featherstone Rovers, Dewsbury and Hull as Saints ended the season as top points scorers in the league but losing form towards the end of the campaign. Once again the Knowsley Road trophy cabinet remained empty.

In the following season (1990-91) as the Saints rattled up the points again unfortunately the side was defensively stretched in many games and 11 losses in the league left Cooper`s men in sixth position. Very often Gary was left with the unenviable position of having to cover line break after line break. Connolly was a bystander in the fabulous 19 points to 2 semi-final win over Widnes in the Challenge Cup semi-final. Yet again Saints fell at the final hurdle as Wigan held on to a handy half time lead to prevail by 13 points to 8 in the 1991 Challenge Cup Final at Wembley. On that day Gary was on the substitutes bench as Mike McClennan desperately searched for a winning combination against the old enemy. Many felt that Wigan were there for the taking on that day and this made the club even more determined to bring some silverware to Knowsley Road.

Gary`s ambition for silverware was soon fulfilled in the following campaign (1991-92) as Connolly and the Saints had a blinder against Wigan in the Lancashire Cup semi-final with Gary scoring a vital try as Saints prevailed by 28 points to 16. Mike McClennan had moved Gary into the centres and he was revelling in the role. Ten days later the Saints went on to record a 24 points to 14 win over Rochdale Hornets in the Lancashire Cup Final at Warrington. Gary had collected his first winner`s medal with the Saints. He scored eight braces of tries against Halifax, Bradford, Trafford Borough, Hull, Widnes (twice) and Leeds (twice) out of a haul of 22 tries over the full campaign. Connolly had found his niche and Saints had assembled a set of speedy backs including Gary, Hunte, Sullivan, Ropati and Loughlin. The side also settled down that season and finished a comfortable second position in the league but still somewhat adrift from Wigan at the top.

Gary`s sparkling form had been recognised by the international selectors and he was rewarded in t he summer of 1992 with selection for the Australasian Tour alongside tea-mates Hunte, Loughlin and Nickle. Later in the year he would feature in the Great Britain side that were defeated so narrowly by Australia at Wembley in the World Cup Final.

In the 1992/3 season Gary gave one of his finest displays in the Boxing Day match against Wigan in 1992. He was supporting all over the pitch as Saints whipped the boys from Wigan by a fabulous score-line of 41 points to 6. Everyone felt that the balance of power was finally shifting westwards over Billinge Lump after that game but at the end of the season Saints lost out to Wigan on points difference at the top of the table following an 8 points all drawn match at Central Park. Some consolation came however in the last match of the season as the Saints thoroughly deserved their1993 Premiership Final win over Wigan by 10 points to 4. Gary demonstrated his full repertoire of skills in that match when he scooped up a tricky ball in the wet and plunged over for a vital first half try. This proved to be Gary`s last try for the club as he joined the club that had denied him victory in so many competitions to date - Wigan. Within a year he had won every honour in the game and Wigan`s gain was a great blow to the team building at Knowsley Road. Gary had wanted to remain with the Saints. We know that what ifs fill the sport with unnecessary speculation but it is true that many a supporter had postulated a scenario where Gary had stayed a Saint and we had trotted out three quarters Hunte, Connolly, Newlove and Sullivan - wow. Notwithstanding in 133 appearances Gary Connolly scored 46 tries for the Saints.

Gary continued to develop into a complete player and continued to play well into the 21st century becoming a backbone in the Wigan backs as they challenged for honours in the Super league era. In the twilight of his career Gary had playing spells with Leeds and Widnes.

SEASON STATISTICS

Season (Official Matches)TriesGoalsDGoalsMatches
1988~891 0 0 14
1989~903 0 0 25
1990~914 0 0 24
1991~9222 0 0 36
1992~93 16 0 0 35
TOTALS:46 0 0 134
Season (Other Matches)TriesGoalsDGoalsMatches
1991~920001
1992~933102
TOTALS:3103

ALL MATCHES

DatePosOpponentsCompSeasonVenueFTFTOTGDGNPS**
22nd Jan 1989
W
1 Hull K.R. L 1988~89 H 29 0 VIEW
29th Jan 1989
W
1 Swinton CC1 1988~89 A 16 5 VIEW
12th Feb 1989
W
1 Barrow CC2 1988~89 H 28 6 VIEW
26th Feb 1989
W
1 Featherstone Rovers CC3 1988~89 H 32 3 VIEW
1st Mar 1989
W
1 Oldham L 1988~89 H 58 12 1 VIEW
11th Mar 1989
W
1 Widnes CCSF 1988~89 N 16 14 VIEW
14th Mar 1989
L
1 Salford L 1988~89 A 4 22 VIEW
27th Mar 1989
L
14 Widnes L 1988~89 H 16 44 Y VIEW
9th Apr 1989
W
1 Warrington L 1988~89 H 30 16 VIEW
12th Apr 1989
L
1 Wigan L 1988~89 A 7 14 VIEW
16th Apr 1989
L
1 Halifax L 1988~89 A 8 40 VIEW
23rd Apr 1989
W
1 Wigan PT1 1988~89 A 4 2 VIEW
29th Apr 1989
L
1 Wigan CCF 1988~89 N 0 27 VIEW
7th May 1989
L
1 Widnes PTSF 1988~89 A 14 38 VIEW
4th Nov 1989
W
14 Salford L 1989~90 H 40 16 VIEW
26th Nov 1989
W
1 Featherstone Rovers L 1989~90 A 24 23 1 VIEW
2nd Dec 1989
W
1 Hull K.R. RT1 1989~90 H 40 26 VIEW
13th Dec 1989
W
1 Dewsbury RT2 (rep) 1989~90 A 14 0 1 VIEW
17th Dec 1989
W
1 Oldham RT3 1989~90 H 32 18 VIEW
23rd Dec 1989
L
1 Halifax RTSF 1989~90 N 9 10 VIEW
26th Dec 1989
L
1 Wigan L 1989~90 A 6 38 VIEW
14th Jan 1990
W
1 Castleford CCP 1989~90 H 39 12 VIEW
17th Jan 1990
W
1 Hull L 1989~90 H 19 12 VIEW
21st Jan 1990
W
1 Salford L 1989~90 A 25 10 VIEW
28th Jan 1990
W
1 Bramley CC1 1989~90 A 22 14 VIEW
31st Jan 1990
W
1 Bradford Northern L 1989~90 H 32 10 VIEW
4th Feb 1990
W
1 Leeds L 1989~90 H 32 26 VIEW
10th Feb 1990
W
1 Hull CC2 1989~90 A 24 12 1 VIEW
18th Feb 1990
W
1 Barrow L 1989~90 A 46 6 VIEW
25th Feb 1990
W
1 Whitehaven CC3 1989~90 H 44 10 VIEW
28th Feb 1990
D
1 Warrington L AB 1989~90 H 0 0 VIEW
4th Mar 1990
L
1 Castleford L 1989~90 A 24 34 VIEW
10th Mar 1990
L
1 Wigan CCSF 1989~90 N 14 20 VIEW
14th Mar 1990
L
1 Warrington L 1989~90 H 14 23 VIEW
17th Mar 1990
W
1 Wakefield Trinity L 1989~90 H 44 21 VIEW
25th Mar 1990
W
1 Leigh L 1989~90 H 12 6 VIEW
1st Apr 1990
L
1 Leeds L 1989~90 A 14 50 VIEW
13th Apr 1990
W
1 Wigan L 1989~90 H 35 10 VIEW
22nd Apr 1990
L
1 Bradford Northern PT1 1989~90 A 8 25 VIEW
26th Aug 1990
W
1 Trafford Borough LC1 1990~91 H 56 24 VIEW
2nd Sep 1990
L
1 Salford LC2 1990~91 A 7 21 VIEW
9th Sep 1990
L
1 Hull L 1990~91 A 14 20 VIEW
16th Sep 1990
W
1 Bradford Northern L 1990~91 H 24 20 VIEW
23rd Sep 1990
W
1 Hull K.R. L 1990~91 H 42 10 VIEW
30th Sep 1990
L
1 Leeds L 1990~91 A 4 23 VIEW
7th Oct 1990
L
1 Australia Tour 1990~91 H 4 34 VIEW
4th Nov 1990
W
1 Rochdale Hornets L 1990~91 A 30 18 VIEW
11th Nov 1990
W
1 Sheffield Eagles L 1990~91 H 34 17 VIEW
21st Nov 1990
L
1 Bradford Northern L 1990~91 A 16 18 VIEW
25th Nov 1990
W
1 Rochdale Hornets L 1990~91 H 44 14 VIEW
2nd Dec 1990
W
1 Swinton RT1 1990~91 A 31 7 2 VIEW
11th Dec 1990
W
1 Featherstone Rovers RT2 1990~91 A 33 16 VIEW
16th Dec 1990
L
1 Warrington RT3 1990~91 A 12 18 VIEW
26th Dec 1990
L
1 Wigan L 1990~91 H 15 28 VIEW
1st Jan 1991
L
1 Widnes L 1990~91 A 8 14 VIEW
6th Jan 1991
W
1 Wakefield Trinity L 1990~91 H 36 14 VIEW
13th Jan 1991
W
1 Featherstone Rovers L 1990~91 A 36 28 1 VIEW
20th Jan 1991
W
1 Leeds L 1990~91 H 22 16 VIEW
4th Apr 1991
L
3 Wigan L 1990~91 A 14 28 VIEW
7th Apr 1991
W
1 Wakefield Trinity L 1990~91 A 22 8 1 VIEW
14th Apr 1991
W
14 Warrington L 1990~91 H 62 16 VIEW
21st Apr 1991
L
1 Hull PT1 1990~91 A 12 28 VIEW
27th Apr 1991
L
14 Wigan CCF 1990~91 N 8 13 VIEW
18th Aug 1991
W
1 Widnes* Fr Charity 1991~92 A 30 26 VIEW
1st Sep 1991
W
14 Hull L 1991~92 A 31 10 1 VIEW
8th Sep 1991
W
14 Warrington L 1991~92 H 27 20 VIEW
15th Sep 1991
W
3 Trafford Borough LC1 1991~92 H 104 12 2 VIEW
22nd Sep 1991
W
1 Swinton L 1991~92 A 16 12 VIEW
26th Sep 1991
W
3 Oldham LC2 1991~92 H 39 26 1 VIEW
29th Sep 1991
W
3 Castleford L 1991~92 H 25 14 VIEW
6th Oct 1991
L
3 Halifax L 1991~92 A 6 26 VIEW
10th Oct 1991
W
3 Wigan LCSF 1991~92 H 28 16 1 VIEW
13th Oct 1991
W
3 Bradford Northern L 1991~92 H 30 12 2 VIEW
20th Oct 1991
W
3 Rochdale Hornets LCF 1991~92 N 24 14 VIEW
23rd Oct 1991
W
3 Salford L 1991~92 H 25 16 1 VIEW
27th Oct 1991
D
3 Leeds L 1991~92 A 8 8 VIEW
3rd Nov 1991
L
3 Wakefield Trinity L 1991~92 A 12 20 VIEW
10th Nov 1991
W
1 Hull K.R. L 1991~92 H 38 15 1 VIEW
17th Nov 1991
W
1 Huddersfield RT1 1991~92 A 32 10 1 VIEW
24th Nov 1991
W
1 Oldham RT2 1991~92 A 24 18 VIEW
1st Dec 1991
W
3 Bradford Northern RT3 1991~92 H 30 12 VIEW
4th Dec 1991
L
3 Featherstone Rovers L 1991~92 A 6 8 VIEW
8th Dec 1991
W
4 Swinton L 1991~92 H 28 4 VIEW
21st Dec 1991
L
3 Widnes RTSF 1991~92 N 10 18 2 VIEW
26th Dec 1991
L
3 Wigan L 1991~92 A 6 16 VIEW
1st Jan 1992
W
3 Widnes L 1991~92 H 24 22 VIEW
5th Jan 1992
W
3 Salford L 1991~92 A 15 6 VIEW
12th Jan 1992
W
3 Featherstone Rovers L 1991~92 H 28 10 1 VIEW
19th Jan 1992
W
3 Wakefield Trinity L 1991~92 H 40 12 VIEW
2nd Feb 1992
W
3 Widnes CC1 1991~92 A 10 2 VIEW
8th Feb 1992
W
3 Leeds CC2 1991~92 A 32 12 2 VIEW
22nd Feb 1992
L
3 Wigan CC3 1991~92 H 6 13 1 VIEW
1st Mar 1992
W
3 Leeds L 1991~92 H 19 8 1 VIEW
8th Mar 1992
D
3 Castleford L 1991~92 A 8 8 1 VIEW
4th Apr 1992
L
3 Warrington L 1991~92 A 18 30 VIEW
17th Apr 1992
L
1 Wigan L 1991~92 H 6 16 VIEW
20th Apr 1992
W
3 Widnes L 1991~92 A 28 23 2 VIEW
26th Apr 1992
W
3 Halifax PT1 1991~92 H 52 6 2 VIEW
10th May 1992
W
3 Castleford PTSF 1991~92 H 30 14 VIEW
17th May 1992
L
3 Wigan PTF 1991~92 N 16 48 VIEW
2nd Aug 1992
W
3 St. Helens Born XIII* Fr Testimonial 1992~93 H 72 46 1 1 VIEW
16th Aug 1992
W
3 Widnes* Fr Charity 1992~93 H 22 12 2 VIEW
23rd Aug 1992
W
3 Wigan CS 1992~93 N 17 0 VIEW
30th Aug 1992
W
3 Leeds L 1992~93 A 27 14 1 VIEW
6th Sep 1992
W
3 Wakefield Trinity L 1992~93 H 24 12 VIEW
13th Sep 1992
W
3 Barrow LC1 1992~93 A 36 2 2 VIEW
27th Sep 1992
W
3 Salford L 1992~93 H 48 8 VIEW
30th Sep 1992
W
3 Widnes LC2 1992~93 H 10 8 1 VIEW
4th Oct 1992
W
3 Wakefield Trinity L 1992~93 A 18 5 VIEW
7th Oct 1992
W
3 Salford LCSF 1992~93 H 18 5 1 VIEW
11th Oct 1992
W
3 Hull L 1992~93 H 38 8 1 VIEW
18th Oct 1992
L
3 Wigan LCF 1992~93 N 4 5 VIEW
8th Nov 1992
W
3 Leeds RT1 1992~93 H 15 14 1 VIEW
11th Nov 1992
L
3 Leigh L 1992~93 A 6 11 VIEW
15th Nov 1992
W
3 Salford L 1992~93 A 15 12 VIEW
22nd Nov 1992
W
3 Bradford Northern L 1992~93 A 16 4 1 VIEW
29th Nov 1992
W
3 Sheffield Eagles L 1992~93 H 30 20 1 VIEW
6th Dec 1992
W
3 Featherstone Rovers RT2 1992~93 A 25 8 VIEW
11th Dec 1992
L
3 Castleford L 1992~93 A 6 16 VIEW
19th Dec 1992
L
3 Castleford RT3 1992~93 H 8 12 VIEW
27th Dec 1992
W
3 Wigan L 1992~93 H 41 6 VIEW
6th Jan 1993
W
3 Leigh L 1992~93 H 64 9 VIEW
17th Jan 1993
W
3 Hull K.R. L 1992~93 A 22 11 1 VIEW
22nd Jan 1993
W
3 Halifax L 1992~93 H 18 16 VIEW
31st Jan 1993
W
3 Featherstone Rovers CC1 1992~93 A 24 22 1 VIEW
5th Feb 1993
W
3 Warrington L 1992~93 H 12 4 VIEW
13th Feb 1993
L
3 Wigan CC2 1992~93 A 3 23 VIEW
17th Feb 1993
L
3 Widnes L 1992~93 A 8 26 VIEW
21st Feb 1993
L
3 Hull L 1992~93 A 16 21 VIEW
3rd Mar 1993
W
3 Castleford L 1992~93 H 24 20 VIEW
12th Mar 1993
W
3 Hull K.R. L 1992~93 H 34 14 VIEW
19th Mar 1993
W
3 Halifax L 1992~93 A 18 12 VIEW
28th Mar 1993
W
3 Warrington L 1992~93 A 32 17 1 VIEW
4th Apr 1993
W
3 Leeds L 1992~93 H 42 8 2 VIEW
9th Apr 1993
D
3 Wigan L 1992~93 A 8 8 1 VIEW
9th May 1993
W
3 Leeds PTSF 1992~93 H 15 2 VIEW
16th May 1993
W
3 Wigan PTF 1992~93 N 10 4 1 VIEW
*Unofficial Match. **Non Playing Sub.
WINS : 93 | LOSSES : 40 | DRAWS : 4

GALLERY


THIS PAGE LINK : http://saints.org.uk/saints/player.php?num=15098


Copyright © Saints Heritage Society 1999-2019 ˙