Paul Wellens was the epitome of a true professional sportsman.
Always willing to go one step further for his hometown club St Helens, the fullback made a name for himself as one of the most competitive Super League players to ever take to the field.
However, after winning five Super League Grand Finals and five Challenge Cups, Wellens has revealed that he could just not shake off an injury that forced his retirement.
“It started in 2014 (the year Saints won the Grand Final against Wigan); I had a grumbling groin issue, but I ended up having a steroid injection which got rid of all those symptoms,” Wellens told the Physio Spill.
“I finished in 2014 and I felt really good and thought I had another year in me – obviously I had conversations with the coaching staff about less game time as I was 35.
“But, it was only through the back end of preseason that the symptoms returned.”
Wellens then explained just how difficult it was to get back on the field.
“I was in a constant battle to try and get myself back on the field, we had numerous trips down to Coventry to see hip specialists but it got the point where I played my last game on Good Friday.
“I limped off at halftime and went on an exercise bike, but I walked round the back of the field and I thought this could be my last game.
“We spent another four or five weeks trying to get it right but it got the point where I was being sic and I wasn’t healthy due to the rigorous rehab.
“I looked in the mirror and looked awful and said I’ve got the rest of my life in front of me and that I’ve had a career most people would give their right arm for.
“I couldn’t even kick the ball with my son in the garden, so I finished my rugby league career knowing I had nothing left to give.”