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 of Gary Connolly



HERITAGE NO : 1010
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 13
1989~90 3 0 0 25
1990~914 0 0 24
1991~9222 0 0 36
1992~93 16 0 0 35
TOTALS:46 0 0 133
Season (Other Matches)TriesGoalsDGoalsMatches
1991~920001
1992~933102
TOTALS:3103

ALL MATCHES

DateMatchPosOpponentsCompVenueFTFTOTGDG
22nd Jan 1989 1
W
1 Hull Kingston Rovers L H 29 0 VIEW
29th Jan 1989 2
W
1 Swinton CC1 A 16 5 VIEW
12th Feb 1989 3
W
1 Barrow CC2 H 28 6 VIEW
26th Feb 1989 4
W
1 Featherstone Rovers CC3 H 32 3 VIEW
1st Mar 1989 5
W
1 Oldham L H 58 12 1 VIEW
11th Mar 1989 6
W
1 Widnes CCSF N 16 14 VIEW
14th Mar 1989 7
L
1 Salford L A 4 22 VIEW
27th Mar 1989 --NPS
L
14 Widnes L H 16 44 VIEW
9th Apr 1989 8
W
1 Warrington L H 30 16 VIEW
12th Apr 1989 9
L
1 Wigan L A 7 14 VIEW
16th Apr 1989 10
L
1 Halifax L A 8 40 VIEW
23rd Apr 1989 11
W
1 Wigan PT1 A 4 2 VIEW
29th Apr 1989 12
L
1 Wigan CCF N 0 27 VIEW
7th May 1989 13
L
1 Widnes PTSF A 14 38 VIEW
4th Nov 1989 14
W
14 Salford L H 40 16 VIEW
26th Nov 1989 15
W
1 Featherstone Rovers L A 24 23 1 VIEW
2nd Dec 1989 16
W
1 Hull Kingston Rovers RT1 H 40 26 VIEW
13th Dec 1989 17
W
1 Dewsbury RT2 (rep) A 14 0 1 VIEW
17th Dec 1989 18
W
1 Oldham RT3 H 32 18 VIEW
23rd Dec 1989 19
L
1 Halifax RTSF N 9 10 VIEW
26th Dec 1989 20
L
1 Wigan L A 6 38 VIEW
14th Jan 1990 21
W
1 Castleford CCP H 39 12 VIEW
17th Jan 1990 22
W
1 Hull L H 19 12 VIEW
21st Jan 1990 23
W
1 Salford L A 25 10 VIEW
28th Jan 1990 24
W
1 Bramley CC1 A 22 14 VIEW
31st Jan 1990 25
W
1 Bradford Northern L H 32 10 VIEW
4th Feb 1990 26
W
1 Leeds L H 32 26 VIEW
10th Feb 1990 27
W
1 Hull CC2 A 24 12 1 VIEW
18th Feb 1990 28
W
1 Barrow L A 46 6 VIEW
25th Feb 1990 29
W
1 Whitehaven CC3 H 44 10 VIEW
28th Feb 1990 30
D
1 Warrington L AB H 0 0 VIEW
4th Mar 1990 31
L
1 Castleford L A 24 34 VIEW
10th Mar 1990 32
L
1 Wigan CCSF N 14 20 VIEW
14th Mar 1990 33
L
1 Warrington L H 14 23 VIEW
17th Mar 1990 34
W
1 Wakefield Trinity L H 44 21 VIEW
25th Mar 1990 35
W
1 Leigh L H 12 6 VIEW
1st Apr 1990 36
L
1 Leeds L A 14 50 VIEW
13th Apr 1990 37
W
1 Wigan L H 35 10 VIEW
22nd Apr 1990 38
L
1 Bradford Northern PT1 A 8 25 VIEW
26th Aug 1990 39
W
1 Trafford Borough LC1 H 56 24 VIEW
2nd Sep 1990 40
L
1 Salford LC2 A 7 21 VIEW
9th Sep 1990 41
L
1 Hull L A 14 20 VIEW
16th Sep 1990 42
W
1 Bradford Northern L H 24 20 VIEW
23rd Sep 1990 43
W
1 Hull Kingston Rovers L H 42 10 VIEW
30th Sep 1990 44
L
1 Leeds L A 4 23 VIEW
7th Oct 1990 45
L
1 Australia Tour H 4 34 VIEW
4th Nov 1990 46
W
1 Rochdale Hornets L A 30 18 VIEW
11th Nov 1990 47
W
1 Sheffield Eagles L H 34 17 VIEW
21st Nov 1990 48
L
1 Bradford Northern L A 16 18 VIEW
25th Nov 1990 49
W
1 Rochdale Hornets L H 44 14 VIEW
2nd Dec 1990 50
W
1 Swinton RT1 A 31 7 2 VIEW
11th Dec 1990 51
W
1 Featherstone Rovers RT2 A 33 16 VIEW
16th Dec 1990 52
L
1 Warrington RT3 A 12 18 VIEW
26th Dec 1990 53
L
1 Wigan L H 15 28 VIEW
1st Jan 1991 54
L
1 Widnes L A 8 14 VIEW
6th Jan 1991 55
W
1 Wakefield Trinity L H 36 14 VIEW
13th Jan 1991 56
W
1 Featherstone Rovers L A 36 28 1 VIEW
20th Jan 1991 57
W
1 Leeds L H 22 16 VIEW
4th Apr 1991 58
L
3 Wigan L A 14 28 VIEW
7th Apr 1991 59
W
1 Wakefield Trinity L A 22 8 1 VIEW
14th Apr 1991 60
W
14 Warrington L H 62 16 VIEW
21st Apr 1991 61
L
1 Hull PT1 A 12 28 VIEW
27th Apr 1991 62
L
14 Wigan CCF N 8 13 VIEW
18th Aug 1991 --
W
1 Widnes* Fr Charity A 30 26 VIEW
1st Sep 1991 63
W
14 Hull L A 31 10 1 VIEW
8th Sep 1991 64
W
14 Warrington L H 27 20 VIEW
15th Sep 1991 65
W
3 Trafford Borough LC1 H 104 12 2 VIEW
22nd Sep 1991 66
W
1 Swinton L A 16 12 VIEW
26th Sep 1991 67
W
3 Oldham LC2 H 39 26 1 VIEW
29th Sep 1991 68
W
3 Castleford L H 25 14 VIEW
6th Oct 1991 69
L
3 Halifax L A 6 26 VIEW
10th Oct 1991 70
W
3 Wigan LCSF H 28 16 1 VIEW
13th Oct 1991 71
W
3 Bradford Northern L H 30 12 2 VIEW
20th Oct 1991 72
W
3 Rochdale Hornets LCF N 24 14 VIEW
23rd Oct 1991 73
W
3 Salford L H 25 16 1 VIEW
27th Oct 1991 74
D
3 Leeds L A 8 8 VIEW
3rd Nov 1991 75
L
3 Wakefield Trinity L A 12 20 VIEW
10th Nov 1991 76
W
1 Hull Kingston Rovers L H 38 15 1 VIEW
17th Nov 1991 77
W
1 Huddersfield RT1 A 32 10 1 VIEW
24th Nov 1991 78
W
1 Oldham RT2 A 24 18 VIEW
1st Dec 1991 79
W
3 Bradford Northern RT3 H 30 12 VIEW
4th Dec 1991 80
L
3 Featherstone Rovers L A 6 8 VIEW
8th Dec 1991 81
W
4 Swinton L H 28 4 VIEW
21st Dec 1991 82
L
3 Widnes RTSF N 10 18 2 VIEW
26th Dec 1991 83
L
3 Wigan L A 6 16 VIEW
1st Jan 1992 84
W
3 Widnes L H 24 22 VIEW
5th Jan 1992 85
W
3 Salford L A 15 6 VIEW
12th Jan 1992 86
W
3 Featherstone Rovers L H 28 10 1 VIEW
19th Jan 1992 87
W
3 Wakefield Trinity L H 40 12 VIEW
2nd Feb 1992 88
W
3 Widnes CC1 A 10 2 VIEW
8th Feb 1992 89
W
3 Leeds CC2 A 32 12 2 VIEW
22nd Feb 1992 90
L
3 Wigan CC3 H 6 13 1 VIEW
1st Mar 1992 91
W
3 Leeds L H 19 8 1 VIEW
8th Mar 1992 92
D
3 Castleford L A 8 8 1 VIEW
4th Apr 1992 93
L
3 Warrington L A 18 30 VIEW
17th Apr 1992 94
L
1 Wigan L H 6 16 VIEW
20th Apr 1992 95
W
3 Widnes L A 28 23 2 VIEW
26th Apr 1992 96
W
3 Halifax PT1 H 52 6 2 VIEW
10th May 1992 97
W
3 Castleford PTSF H 30 14 VIEW
17th May 1992 98
L
3 Wigan PTF N 16 48 VIEW
2nd Aug 1992 --
W
3 St. Helens Born XIII* Fr Testimonial H 72 46 1 1 VIEW
16th Aug 1992 --
W
3 Widnes* Fr Charity H 22 12 2 VIEW
23rd Aug 1992 99
W
3 Wigan CS N 17 0 VIEW
30th Aug 1992 100
W
3 Leeds L A 27 14 1 VIEW
6th Sep 1992 101
W
3 Wakefield Trinity L H 24 12 VIEW
13th Sep 1992 102
W
3 Barrow LC1 A 36 2 2 VIEW
27th Sep 1992 103
W
3 Salford L H 48 8 VIEW
30th Sep 1992 104
W
3 Widnes LC2 H 10 8 1 VIEW
4th Oct 1992 105
W
3 Wakefield Trinity L A 18 5 VIEW
7th Oct 1992 106
W
3 Salford LCSF H 18 5 1 VIEW
11th Oct 1992 107
W
3 Hull L H 38 8 1 VIEW
18th Oct 1992 108
L
3 Wigan LCF N 4 5 VIEW
8th Nov 1992 109
W
3 Leeds RT1 H 15 14 1 VIEW
11th Nov 1992 110
L
3 Leigh L A 6 11 VIEW
15th Nov 1992 111
W
3 Salford L A 15 12 VIEW
22nd Nov 1992 112
W
3 Bradford Northern L A 16 4 1 VIEW
29th Nov 1992 113
W
3 Sheffield Eagles L H 30 20 1 VIEW
6th Dec 1992 114
W
3 Featherstone Rovers RT2 A 25 8 VIEW
11th Dec 1992 115
L
3 Castleford L A 6 16 VIEW
19th Dec 1992 116
L
3 Castleford RT3 H 8 12 VIEW
27th Dec 1992 117
W
3 Wigan L H 41 6 VIEW
6th Jan 1993 118
W
3 Leigh L H 64 9 VIEW
17th Jan 1993 119
W
3 Hull Kingston Rovers L A 22 11 1 VIEW
22nd Jan 1993 120
W
3 Halifax L H 18 16 VIEW
31st Jan 1993 121
W
3 Featherstone Rovers CC1 A 24 22 1 VIEW
5th Feb 1993 122
W
3 Warrington L H 12 4 VIEW
13th Feb 1993 123
L
3 Wigan CC2 A 3 23 VIEW
17th Feb 1993 124
L
3 Widnes L A 8 26 VIEW
21st Feb 1993 125
L
3 Hull L A 16 21 VIEW
3rd Mar 1993 126
W
3 Castleford L H 24 20 VIEW
12th Mar 1993 127
W
3 Hull Kingston Rovers L H 34 14 VIEW
19th Mar 1993 128
W
3 Halifax L A 18 12 VIEW
28th Mar 1993 129
W
3 Warrington L A 32 17 1 VIEW
4th Apr 1993 130
W
3 Leeds L H 42 8 2 VIEW
9th Apr 1993 131
D
3 Wigan L A 8 8 1 VIEW
9th May 1993 132
W
3 Leeds PTSF H 15 2 VIEW
16th May 1993 133
W
3 Wigan PTF N 10 4 1 VIEW
*Unofficial Match. **Non Playing Sub.
WINS : 93 | LOSSES : 40 | DRAWS : 4

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