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Page last updated at 18:44 GMT, Friday, 19 September 2008 19:44 UK

Saints legend Sculthorpe retires

I have no regrets - Sculthorpe

Former Great Britain skipper and St Helens loose forward Paul Sculthorpe has retired from rugby league.

The 30-year-old two time Man of Steel winner has been plagued by injuries over the last three seasons.

"I've had a great career and I have no qualms with retiring. The last few years have been horrendously difficult," he told the Saints website.

Sculthorpe played 26 times for Great Britain and four for England and scored 1,246 points for Saints.

He is the only player to win the Man of Steel award back-to-back after lifting the prize in 2001 and 2002.

His last appearance was in the Challenge Cup victory over Hull in August.

Scully has been a colossus of the game, both at club and national level

Saints chairman Eamon McManus

Sculthorpe, the complete loose forward, dislocated his shoulder in the first minute of the match tackling Todd Byrne.

The Burnley-born player had made just 26 appearances over the last two years due to knee, Achilles tendon and shoulder injuries.

"I'm obviously disappointed to go out in this way but there was definitely no chance I could carry on," added Sculthorpe.

"I have a young family now and I just couldn't have kept on running my body into the ground.

"I've had some horrendous injuries during my time but I've had a tremendous career. I have loved every minute of it."

He would have been out of contract at the end of the season and had not been offered a new deal.

When asked about his future plans, he said: "I'm ready for a new challenge and I have a few irons in the fire but I haven't got anything planned yet."

St Helens chairman Eamon McManus hinted that the player may remain at Knowsley Road in some capacity.

"Scully has been a colossus of the game, both at club and national level," said McManus.

"We are blessed to have had a player and a person of such high calibre at the club over the last decade.

"He has been instrumental to both our success, image and reputation. He is too high quality a person and too rare a commodity to be lost to the club."

The loose forward had been linked with both Salford City Reds and Wakefield Wildcats, for whom his brother Danny plays.

Paul Fletcher blog
Paul Fletcher

But Sculthorpe said: "It was always my intention to retire this season.

"I had made up my mind long before Wembley and I am now ready and looking forward to the next challenge."

Sculthorpe joined Saints from Warrington for 370,000 in 1997 and went on to make 261 appearances for the club.

He won Super League honours in 1999, 2000, 2002 and 2006, the World Club Challenge in 2001 and 2007 and was part of the Saints squad that won the Challenge Cup in 2001, 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2008.

see also
Sculthorpe's career in photos
19 Sep 08 |  Rugby League
Sculthorpe blow taints win - Long
31 Aug 08 |  Rugby League
Wildcats end chase for Sculthorpe
22 Aug 08 |  Wakefield
St Helens to let Sculthorpe leave
14 Aug 08 |  St Helens
Super Saints clinch Cup final win
30 Aug 08 |  Rugby League
Sculthorpe returns for St Helens
22 Feb 08 |  Rugby League
Saints hit by Sculthorpe setback
12 Feb 08 |  St Helens
Sculthorpe pens new Saints deal
27 Sep 07 |  St Helens
Sculthorpe quits as Lions skipper
25 Jul 07 |  Rugby League
Sculthorpe quits internationals
25 Jul 07 |  Rugby League
Sculthorpe may return this season
12 Jun 07 |  St Helens
Sculthorpe closing in on comeback
18 Jul 06 |  St Helens
Sculthorpe has mark of a leader
03 May 05 |  Rugby League
Sculthorpe handed Lions captaincy
03 May 05 |  Rugby League

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