Posted in News, Rugby News.

Martin GleesonRugby League veteran Martin Gleeson will hang up his boots ahead of the 2015 season and take on a new role in the academy coaching staff at the Red Devils.

Wigan born, Gleeson, is a great of the game, making over 300 Super League appearances in his time at 5 different clubs and has scored 128 tries in his playing time. He has also played internationally in 20 appearances for Great Britain and 6 for England.

The centre began his early rugby league development, after emigrating to Australia as a young boy, at junior RL side, Logan Brothers club, in Queensland.

He returned to England in 1997 and began his professional playing career at Huddersfield two years later.  Shortly after the West Yorkshire side were relegated at the end of the 2001 season, Gleeson left the club and signed for St Helens.

In his first season, the centre made a big impact and scored a try in St Helens’ Grand Final victory over Bradford Bulls. It was this firing start to his time at St Helens that saw him chosen for the first of his two appearances in the 2002 Super League Dream Team. In the same year, he made his debut for Great Britain against Australia in a test series which also saw him play New Zealand. Gleeson made his first World Club Challenge appearance for St Helens against Sydney Roosters. Although he was out of action for most of the 2003 season due to injury, he bounced back to win his place in the Great Britain squad.

2004 was a much better year for Gleeson on the field, he played in the St Helens team that defeated Wigan in the Challenge Cup final and was selected as part of the Great Britain team in the 2004 Rugby League Tri-Nations tournament and played in the final against Australia.

In 2005, Gleeson moved to another Super League side, Warrington Wolves, for a reported club record fee in the region of £200,000 and in his opening season for the club earned a personal best scoring tally of 17 tries in 27 appearances. It was because of this fantastic effort that he was named in the 2005 Super League Dream Team in the centre position.

He added another international cap to his resume and was selected to be part of the final 24-man England Squad for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup.

After four years at Warrington, Gleeson transferred to Wigan Warriors in a 3 and a half year deal that saw full-back Richie Mathers move the other way.

He was an integral part of Wigan’s 2010 season and scored two tries in their Grand Final victory over his former club St Helens. Despite injury, Gleeson recovered in time to be part of the team to face St George Illawarra in the 2011 World Club Challenge.

In April 2011, he moved to his fourth Super League side Hull FC, making a thrilling try scoring debut in a 36-18 thrashing over local rivals Hull KR. After time away from rugby league, Gleeson signed for his 5th and final Super League side, Salford Red Devils in 2013.

On his new role at the Red Devils, Martin said: “I’m looking forward to my new career starting with developing the youth of Salford and taking my first steps as a coach.
“We’ve got some great youngsters at the club and I’m really looking forward to working with them.”

Martin Vickers CEO said “Martin will  be another key building block in Marwan’s new investment into our Academy structures alongside our existing strong team led by Head of Youth Alan Hunte and Ian Watson. Martin’s experience at the highest level of the game is second to none and this will be a fantastic way for our youngsters to start their professional rugby league careers coached by one of the leading players of the game in recent years.”