James Roby made history at the weekend and it’s a record that will potentially outlast us all and may never be broken.
Saturday represented the 532nd time he pulled on a St Helens’ jersey and took to the field, surpassing the record set by legend Kel Coslett.
Thankfully for Roby and his team the Red Vee won out on the historic day as they defeated Salford 26-12, making the occasion that bit more special.
He spoke to BBC’s Super League Show about the achievement making it clear that this was the final year, despite fans imploring “one more year” as they applauded his efforts.
Roby explained: “A special day, it very much is. I understand how hard this has been to get to this point and break this record for St Helens, and it’s been a long time coming.
“When you’re part of a winning team and a winning culture, it’s very hard to take a step back and I wanted to be a part of that for one more year. Obviously getting the chance to go to Australia and winning over in Penrith was obviously great validation for choosing to go again, but moments like this as well.”
That infamous win down under also outlined just how special a player Roby is with the Australian press purring over his abilities at 37, never mind the young stars like Welsby and Dodd.
“I’m not going to lie, I was aware that this record was 10 or 12 games away at the start of the season and I thought ‘fingers-crossed hopefully I stay pretty fit and I’ll get it and obviously I have.
“There’s a few reasons, but at the end of the day I’m still enjoying my rugby, I’m still enjoying being around, waking up every morning being a Rugby League player, and obviously it is getting harder and I do 100% know that this year is 100% my last year.
“Rugby League is a brutal game at time. Obviously you can see you get battered up, stitched up and stuff but it’s part and parcel and we know what we’re getting into, we’ve done it from seven/eight years old probably the most of us, and that’s probably why we like the game to be honest, the physicality of it.
“I wouldn’t want it any other way, and I’ll probably miss getting banged up a little bit once I finish playing but I’m still enjoying it like I say and while we’re part of a winning team and it was so vital that we got back to winning ways tonight.”