Anthony Gelling is a name that will forever be remembered in rugby league.
From his time at Warrington Wolves, Wigan Warriors, Leigh Centurions and Widnes Vikings, Gelling earned a reputation for himself as the so-called ‘Man of the People’ with his hilarious off-field antics.
However, his rugby on the field was also good enough to earn him some big moves, with Leigh owner Derek Beaumont previously speaking exclusively to Serious About Rugby League in January about his desire to bring back the South Sea Islander to the Leigh Sports Village after a successful period in 2021.
Gelling left Leigh and the UK then to return home, and it was thought that the rangy centre would look for a new club back in New Zealand.
The South Sea Islander left Leigh Centurions back in June 2021 after he was cleared of GBH following a trial against his ex-wife and returned to his home back in Auckland, New Zealand.
Leigh Centurions owner Derek Beaumont said at the time of Gelling’s departure: “I would like to personally thank Anthony on behalf of everyone at the club for the fantastic job he has done.
“To have come to England under the circumstances he did and to have ripped in and applied himself in the manner evident in his performances speaks volumes for him.
“It was clearly a difficult time for him whilst he was here, yet he was outstanding in everything he did and extremely committed to the club, the coaching staff and his teammates.”
Gelling first came to the UK shores with the Wigan Warriors in 2011, playing 115 games over a period of six seasons before leaving for the New Zealand Warriors at the end of the 2017 Super League season.
The three-quarter returned to England with the Widnes Vikings where he played 18 times and then the Warrington Wolves in 2020 where he registered 13 appearances.
A short spell at Leigh – with six games under his belt – ended midway through 2021 as Gelling left to return home following the end of his trial.
However, with his new career switch into property, it was thought Gelling would exit rugby league.
In fact, that couldn’t be further from the truth with the rangy centre preparing for a Cook Islands fixture against Samoa this weekend in Campbelltown, Sydney having been named in the 20-man squad.
It will be interesting to see how he goes considering the length of time he has spent out of the game – and whether or not another team, whether in the UK or Down Under, will offer him a deal going into 2023.