Hull FC’s Gareth Ellis will always be fondly remembered on both sides of the world.
The former Leeds Rhinos star returned to Super League ahead of the 2013 season after an incredible spell in the NRL with Wests Tigers.
Ellis chose Peter Gentle’s Hull FC, but has revealed that he almost joined Wigan Warriors and St Helens.
“I probably had a little bit of interest from every Super League club,” Ellis told the Out of Your League Super League podcast.
“I narrowed it down to Saints, Wigan and Hull.
“I wasn’t prepared to travel, I never liked that thought of travelling on the M62, so I was thinking that if I did move I’d move over to St Helens, Manchester area.
“But, talking to my wife, the reason we were moving over was to move home.
“As much as it’s a 24 hour flight compared to an hour and a half over the Pennines, it’s still an hour and a half. The idea was we bought a house before we left in Leeds and we’d move back there, the options really were Hull.”
Ellis has revealed just how key owner Adam Pearson was in his decision.
“The reason why Hull probably stayed in the frame was I had a conversation over Skype with Adam Pearson and he sold a really good story to me.
“He was putting a lot of money into the club at the time and he was ambitious about where he wanted Hull to go.
“To this day I remember him saying ‘imagine being the first captain to win the Challenge Cup at Wembley’.
“I probably didn’t cling onto that but there was something there to go and get my teeth into as a player returning from Australia, there was something there to get stuck into and make a difference.”