David Fairleigh only played for the Saints for one season but what a season! He was the most dominant forward in the country during the 2001 campaign. He was signed from Newcastle Knights and made his debut against Brisbane Broncos on the 26th. January, 2001 when Saints were crowned World Club Champions for the first time.
In 32 matches for the Saints David scored 8 tries for a total points aggregate of 34 points. He was capped several times for Australia.
David arrived in England with another former Knights player, Peter Shiels. You could not fail to be impressed with his granite stature either on or off the field. He led a tough pack which even out-muscled the redoubtable Bradford Bulls pack in Saints` 13 points to six victory over the Yorkshiremen in the 2001 Challenge Cup Final at a rain-soaked Twickenham stadium.
His final match for the Club was against Wigan in the Championship playoff semi-final defeat on the 6th. of October, 2001. In this game David showed his true spirit alongside many team-mates who had carried significant injuries into the match. David thought long and hard about the club`s invitation to remain at the Saints for another season but characteristically judged that his body had taken sufficient pounding over a long and rewarding career. David Fairleigh left his mark on the club and with all who had the pleasure to be in his company.
Down Under in Australia Troy Wosniak was asked not so long ago "What do you remember was the scariest thing about your first grade debut? " - "David Fairleigh running straight at me off the kick-off." replied Troy, and this remark accurately sums up the man mountain.
His playing career took him to great heights and between 1991 and 1997 he was a State of Origin representative in 1991, 1993, 1995 and 1997, an Australian representative in 1994 and 1996, and a Rothmans medallist in 1994. David was raised in Wyoming. Not being one to take a backward step on the pitch, he is also noted off the pitch for standing up for his fellow players when the newly merged Northern Eagles came in to the NRL. Fairleigh said "There are always victims in mergers, and the victims haven`t been looked after - we feel like we`ve been thrown on the scrap heap and told to fend for ourselves."
His commitment was noted off the field in England too, David attended several ISSA General meetings and was always comfortable and confident with fans and with a microphone in his hand!
After leaving St Helens David became an assistant to first-division coach Mal Graham at Newcastle Knights and has undertaken many TV and Media commentary spots.