We are saddened to hear of the death of 1980’s Saints winger Sean Day at the age of 56 after a long battle with cancer.
Saints’ Heritage Number #968
Saints signed Sean Day at the start of the 1984-85 season from the Culcheth amateur club. He made his debut against Featherstone Rovers in a Slalom Lager league match at Knowsley Road on 2nd September 1984, which Saints won 25-10. Sean was on the left wing, with Roy Haggerty as his centre and booted over three goals.
Sean went on to kick 191 goals with his trusty left boot during his 47 matches in the red vee, including 14 tries, a total of 438 points.
He signed when the re-building of the early 1980s was beginning to bear fruit. Local lads like Andy Platt, Chris Arkwright, Steve Peters, Neil Holding and Harry Pinner, plus Australians Phil Veivers and Mal Meninga, made the Saints a team capable of challenging for major honours.
Sean proved to be an integral part of his team’s success in 1984-85, with a magnificent total of 157 goals from all matches. Not only did he top the kicking charts, but also the points-scoring charts, with 362, which also included 12 tries. His partnership on the left side with centre Mal Meninga was one of the reasons the team was such a strong attacking force, finishing second in the league and winning the Lancashire Cup and Premiership finals. They scored a record 1,267 points in all matches, including Division One records of 156 league tries and 920 points.
Diminutive in stature, with his socks rolled down to his ankles, Sean had a metronomic kicking action, akin to Frano Botica of later years. He was supremely confident that any ball he kicked would sail between the uprights and they invariably did. Goal-kicking invariably wins matches and those who can retain accuracy with the boot under high pressure situations are a valuable commodity indeed. And Sean was just that.
In the Lancashire Cup final victory against Wigan at Central Park he scored five goals and a try. One penalty goal in particular after half-time did much to thwart a Wigan fight-back which was gaining momentum. He suffered from injury towards the end of the campaign, but played in the Premiership final even though he was carrying a knock, kicking 4 goals in Saints’ 36-16 success against a powerful Hull KR outfit.
It was to be his one season of glory. Injuries took their toll and he later played for Runcorn for a spell. His last game in the red vee was at Central Park against Wigan, in the second round of the Challenge Cup, on 8th March 1986, which Saints lost 14-24, in front of over 18,000 fans.
Yet he will be forever remembered for his terrific contribution to that fabulous two-trophy season in 1984-85, which brings back so many memories for those who witnessed it. Sean Day was most definitely a man for the occasion.
Everyone at St Helens.R.F.C sends their condolences to Sean’s family at this sad time.