Players Biography





Further Info: Sold to Wigan for a club record 240-000 on 01/08/1993. Son in Law of Wilfred Smith.

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Biography

Gary John 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 had been offered a 60% wage increase to join the team that had denied him 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. In 133 appearances Gary Connolly scored 46 tries.

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.





Player match listings are a work in progress.
Competitions:



Gary Connolly : Season Stats

Season (Official Matches)TriesGoalsDGoalsMatches
1988~891 0 0 14
1989~903 0 0 25
1990~914 0 0 24
1991~9222 0 0 36
1992~9316 0 0 35
TOTALS:46 0 0 134

Season (Other Matches)TriesGoalsDGoalsMatches
1991~920001
1992~933102
TOTALS:3103

W/D/LPosDateOpponentsCompSeasonVenueFTFTOTGDGNPS**
W 1 22nd Jan 1989 Hull K.R. L 1988~89 H 29 0 0 0 0 View
W 1 29th Jan 1989 Swinton CC1 1988~89 A 16 5 0 0 0 View
W 1 12th Feb 1989 Barrow CC2 1988~89 H 28 6 0 0 0 View
W 1 26th Feb 1989 Featherstone Rovers CC3 1988~89 H 32 3 0 0 0 View
W 1 1st Mar 1989 Oldham L 1988~89 H 58 12 1 0 0 View
W 1 11th Mar 1989 Widnes CCSF 1988~89 N 16 14 0 0 0 View
L 1 14th Mar 1989 Salford L 1988~89 A 4 22 0 0 0 View
L 14 27th Mar 1989 Widnes L 1988~89 H 16 44 0 0 0 View
W 1 9th Apr 1989 Warrington L 1988~89 H 30 16 0 0 0 View
L 1 12th Apr 1989 Wigan L 1988~89 A 7 14 0 0 0 View
L 1 16th Apr 1989 Halifax L 1988~89 A 8 40 0 0 0 View
W 1 23rd Apr 1989 Wigan PT1 1988~89 A 4 2 0 0 0 View
L 1 29th Apr 1989 Wigan CCF 1988~89 N 0 27 0 0 0 View
L 1 7th May 1989 Widnes PTSF 1988~89 A 14 38 0 0 0 View
W 14 4th Nov 1989 Salford L 1989~90 H 40 16 0 0 0 View
W 1 26th Nov 1989 Featherstone Rovers L 1989~90 A 24 23 1 0 0 View
W 1 2nd Dec 1989 Hull K.R. RT1 1989~90 H 40 26 0 0 0 View
W 1 13th Dec 1989 Dewsbury RT2 (rep) 1989~90 A 14 0 1 0 0 View
W 1 17th Dec 1989 Oldham RT3 1989~90 H 32 18 0 0 0 View
L 1 23rd Dec 1989 Halifax RTSF 1989~90 N 9 10 0 0 0 View
L 1 26th Dec 1989 Wigan L 1989~90 A 6 38 0 0 0 View
W 1 14th Jan 1990 Castleford CCP 1989~90 H 39 12 0 0 0 View
W 1 17th Jan 1990 Hull L 1989~90 H 19 12 0 0 0 View
W 1 21st Jan 1990 Salford L 1989~90 A 25 10 0 0 0 View
W 1 28th Jan 1990 Bramley CC1 1989~90 A 22 14 0 0 0 View
W 1 31st Jan 1990 Bradford Northern L 1989~90 H 32 10 0 0 0 View
W 1 4th Feb 1990 Leeds L 1989~90 H 32 26 0 0 0 View
W 1 10th Feb 1990 Hull CC2 1989~90 A 24 12 1 0 0 View
W 1 18th Feb 1990 Barrow L 1989~90 A 46 6 0 0 0 View
W 1 25th Feb 1990 Whitehaven CC3 1989~90 H 44 10 0 0 0 View
D 1 28th Feb 1990 Warrington L AB 1989~90 H 0 0 0 0 0 View
L 1 4th Mar 1990 Castleford L 1989~90 A 24 34 0 0 0 View
L 1 10th Mar 1990 Wigan CCSF 1989~90 N 14 20 0 0 0 View
L 1 14th Mar 1990 Warrington L 1989~90 H 14 23 0 0 0 View
W 1 17th Mar 1990 Wakefield Trinity L 1989~90 H 44 21 0 0 0 View
W 1 25th Mar 1990 Leigh L 1989~90 H 12 6 0 0 0 View
L 1 1st Apr 1990 Leeds L 1989~90 A 14 50 0 0 0 View
W 1 13th Apr 1990 Wigan L 1989~90 H 35 10 0 0 0 View
L 1 22nd Apr 1990 Bradford Northern PT1 1989~90 A 8 25 0 0 0 View
W 1 26th Aug 1990 Trafford Borough LC1 1990~91 H 56 24 0 0 0 View
L 1 2nd Sep 1990 Salford LC2 1990~91 A 7 21 0 0 0 View
L 1 9th Sep 1990 Hull L 1990~91 A 14 20 0 0 0 View
W 1 16th Sep 1990 Bradford Northern L 1990~91 H 24 20 0 0 0 View
W 1 23rd Sep 1990 Hull K.R. L 1990~91 H 42 10 0 0 0 View
L 1 30th Sep 1990 Leeds L 1990~91 A 4 23 0 0 0 View
L 1 7th Oct 1990 Australia Tour 1990~91 H 4 34 0 0 0 View
W 1 4th Nov 1990 Rochdale Hornets L 1990~91 A 30 18 0 0 0 View
W 1 11th Nov 1990 Sheffield Eagles L 1990~91 H 34 17 0 0 0 View
L 1 21st Nov 1990 Bradford Northern L 1990~91 A 16 18 0 0 0 View
W 1 25th Nov 1990 Rochdale Hornets L 1990~91 H 44 14 0 0 0 View
W 1 2nd Dec 1990 Swinton RT1 1990~91 A 31 7 2 0 0 View
W 1 11th Dec 1990 Featherstone Rovers RT2 1990~91 A 33 16 0 0 0 View
L 1 16th Dec 1990 Warrington RT3 1990~91 A 12 18 0 0 0 View
L 1 26th Dec 1990 Wigan L 1990~91 H 15 28 0 0 0 View
L 1 1st Jan 1991 Widnes L 1990~91 A 8 14 0 0 0 View
W 1 6th Jan 1991 Wakefield Trinity L 1990~91 H 36 14 0 0 0 View
W 1 13th Jan 1991 Featherstone Rovers L 1990~91 A 36 28 1 0 0 View
W 1 20th Jan 1991 Leeds L 1990~91 H 22 16 0 0 0 View
L 3 4th Apr 1991 Wigan L 1990~91 A 14 28 0 0 0 View
W 1 7th Apr 1991 Wakefield Trinity L 1990~91 A 22 8 1 0 0 View
W 14 14th Apr 1991 Warrington L 1990~91 H 62 16 0 0 0 View
L 1 21st Apr 1991 Hull PT1 1990~91 A 12 28 0 0 0 View
L 14 27th Apr 1991 Wigan CCF 1990~91 N 8 13 0 0 0 View
W 1 18th Aug 1991 Widnes* Fr Charity 1991~92 A 30 26 0 0 0 View
W 14 1st Sep 1991 Hull L 1991~92 A 31 10 1 0 0 View
W 14 8th Sep 1991 Warrington L 1991~92 H 27 20 0 0 0 View
W 3 15th Sep 1991 Trafford Borough LC1 1991~92 H 104 12 2 0 0 View
W 1 22nd Sep 1991 Swinton L 1991~92 A 16 12 0 0 0 View
W 3 26th Sep 1991 Oldham LC2 1991~92 H 39 26 1 0 0 View
W 3 29th Sep 1991 Castleford L 1991~92 H 25 14 0 0 0 View
L 3 6th Oct 1991 Halifax L 1991~92 A 6 26 0 0 0 View
W 3 10th Oct 1991 Wigan LCSF 1991~92 H 28 16 1 0 0 View
W 3 13th Oct 1991 Bradford Northern L 1991~92 H 30 12 2 0 0 View
W 3 20th Oct 1991 Rochdale Hornets LCF 1991~92 N 24 14 0 0 0 View
W 3 23rd Oct 1991 Salford L 1991~92 H 25 16 1 0 0 View
D 3 27th Oct 1991 Leeds L 1991~92 A 8 8 0 0 0 View
L 3 3rd Nov 1991 Wakefield Trinity L 1991~92 A 12 20 0 0 0 View
W 1 10th Nov 1991 Hull K.R. L 1991~92 H 38 15 1 0 0 View
W 1 17th Nov 1991 Huddersfield RT1 1991~92 A 32 10 1 0 0 View
W 1 24th Nov 1991 Oldham RT2 1991~92 A 24 18 0 0 0 View
W 3 1st Dec 1991 Bradford Northern RT3 1991~92 H 30 12 0 0 0 View
L 3 4th Dec 1991 Featherstone Rovers L 1991~92 A 6 8 0 0 0 View
W 4 8th Dec 1991 Swinton L 1991~92 H 28 4 0 0 0 View
L 3 21st Dec 1991 Widnes RTSF 1991~92 N 10 18 2 0 0 View
L 3 26th Dec 1991 Wigan L 1991~92 A 6 16 0 0 0 View
W 3 1st Jan 1992 Widnes L 1991~92 H 24 22 0 0 0 View
W 3 5th Jan 1992 Salford L 1991~92 A 15 6 0 0 0 View
W 3 12th Jan 1992 Featherstone Rovers L 1991~92 H 28 10 1 0 0 View
W 3 19th Jan 1992 Wakefield Trinity L 1991~92 H 40 12 0 0 0 View
W 3 2nd Feb 1992 Widnes CC1 1991~92 A 10 2 0 0 0 View
W 3 8th Feb 1992 Leeds CC2 1991~92 A 32 12 2 0 0 View
L 3 22nd Feb 1992 Wigan CC3 1991~92 H 6 13 1 0 0 View
W 3 1st Mar 1992 Leeds L 1991~92 H 19 8 1 0 0 View
D 3 8th Mar 1992 Castleford L 1991~92 A 8 8 1 0 0 View
L 3 4th Apr 1992 Warrington L 1991~92 A 18 30 0 0 0 View
L 1 17th Apr 1992 Wigan L 1991~92 H 6 16 0 0 0 View
W 3 20th Apr 1992 Widnes L 1991~92 A 28 23 2 0 0 View
W 3 26th Apr 1992 Halifax PT1 1991~92 H 52 6 2 0 0 View
W 3 10th May 1992 Castleford PTSF 1991~92 H 30 14 0 0 0 View
L 3 17th May 1992 Wigan PTF 1991~92 N 16 48 0 0 0 View
W 3 2nd Aug 1992 St. Helens Born XIII* Fr Testimonial 1992~93 H 72 46 1 1 0 View
W 3 16th Aug 1992 Widnes* Fr Charity 1992~93 H 22 12 2 0 0 View
W 3 23rd Aug 1992 Wigan CS 1992~93 N 17 0 0 0 0 View
W 3 30th Aug 1992 Leeds L 1992~93 A 27 14 1 0 0 View
W 3 6th Sep 1992 Wakefield Trinity L 1992~93 H 24 12 0 0 0 View
W 3 13th Sep 1992 Barrow LC1 1992~93 A 36 2 2 0 0 View
W 3 27th Sep 1992 Salford L 1992~93 H 48 8 0 0 0 View
W 3 30th Sep 1992 Widnes LC2 1992~93 H 10 8 1 0 0 View
W 3 4th Oct 1992 Wakefield Trinity L 1992~93 A 18 5 0 0 0 View
W 3 7th Oct 1992 Salford LCSF 1992~93 H 18 5 1 0 0 View
W 3 11th Oct 1992 Hull L 1992~93 H 38 8 1 0 0 View
L 3 18th Oct 1992 Wigan LCF 1992~93 N 4 5 0 0 0 View
W 3 8th Nov 1992 Leeds RT1 1992~93 H 15 14 1 0 0 View
L 3 11th Nov 1992 Leigh L 1992~93 A 6 11 0 0 0 View
W 3 15th Nov 1992 Salford L 1992~93 A 15 12 0 0 0 View
W 3 22nd Nov 1992 Bradford Northern L 1992~93 A 16 4 1 0 0 View
W 3 29th Nov 1992 Sheffield Eagles L 1992~93 H 30 20 1 0 0 View
W 3 6th Dec 1992 Featherstone Rovers RT2 1992~93 A 25 8 0 0 0 View
L 3 11th Dec 1992 Castleford L 1992~93 A 6 16 0 0 0 View
L 3 19th Dec 1992 Castleford RT3 1992~93 H 8 12 0 0 0 View
W 3 27th Dec 1992 Wigan L 1992~93 H 41 6 0 0 0 View
W 3 6th Jan 1993 Leigh L 1992~93 H 64 9 0 0 0 View
W 3 17th Jan 1993 Hull K.R. L 1992~93 A 22 11 1 0 0 View
W 3 22nd Jan 1993 Halifax L 1992~93 H 18 16 0 0 0 View
W 3 31st Jan 1993 Featherstone Rovers CC1 1992~93 A 24 22 1 0 0 View
W 3 5th Feb 1993 Warrington L 1992~93 H 12 4 0 0 0 View
L 3 13th Feb 1993 Wigan CC2 1992~93 A 3 23 0 0 0 View
L 3 17th Feb 1993 Widnes L 1992~93 A 8 26 0 0 0 View
L 3 21st Feb 1993 Hull L 1992~93 A 16 21 0 0 0 View
W 3 3rd Mar 1993 Castleford L 1992~93 H 24 20 0 0 0 View
W 3 12th Mar 1993 Hull K.R. L 1992~93 H 34 14 0 0 0 View
W 3 19th Mar 1993 Halifax L 1992~93 A 18 12 0 0 0 View
W 3 28th Mar 1993 Warrington L 1992~93 A 32 17 1 0 0 View
W 3 4th Apr 1993 Leeds L 1992~93 H 42 8 2 0 0 View
D 3 9th Apr 1993 Wigan L 1992~93 A 8 8 1 0 0 View
W 3 9th May 1993 Leeds PTSF 1992~93 H 15 2 0 0 0 View
W 3 16th May 1993 Wigan PTF 1992~93 N 10 4 1 0 0 View


*Unofficial Match.
**Non Playing Sub.
CALCULATED APPEARANCES : OFFICIAL 131 OTHER 3 = 134
ACTUAL APPEARANCES (inc 5 Subs) = 133
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