Anthony Sullivan: The Flying Saint

31 Jul 20, 9:19AM 0 Comments

Written by Callum Walker

Son of Welsh international Clive Sullivan, Anthony was perhaps always going to have a career in Rugby League. Born in Hull, Sullivan began his career at Hull KR, debuting in 1988 aged 19. The elusive winger played four seasons on Humberside before moving to St Helens in 1991 aged 22.

Sullivan’s first piece of silverware came before the creation of Super League, winning the 1992 Lancashire County Cup with Saints. The flyer came of age with the summer game, playing on the wing in Saints’ Challenge Cup victory over Bradford in 1996 and ending that year with an inclusion in the first Super League Dream Team.

In 1997, Sullivan and Alan Hunte ended the season as St Helens’ top try-scorer as Saints once more won the Challenge Cup, beating Bradford yet again in the showpiece Wembley event.

The Hull man was part of the Saints side that beat Bradford in the 1999 Grand Final as well as their 2000 Grand Final victory over Wigan. Though St Helens lost the 2000 World Club Challenge to Melbourne Storm, the Lancashire club were victorious in the 2001 edition, beating Brisbane Broncos 20-18. 2001 also saw Sullivan and St Helens lift the Challenge Cup for a third time in the summer era, this time with a 13-6 victory over, yes you guessed it, Bradford.

Though Sullivan had flirted with Rugby Union after enjoying a brief spell at Cardiff RU in 1998-99, he enjoyed another spell in the Welsh capital from 2001 until 2003, intertwining his Union career with his League career at St Helens. The winger retired from both codes at the end of 2003 aged 34.

For St Helens, Sullivan made 305 appearances, registering 862 points. All in all, he earned three Super League Dream Team inclusions and won three Challenge Cup Finals, two Grand Finals and one World Club Challenge in the summer game.

A superb finisher with pace to burn, Sullivan was one of the most dangerous wingers to have played in the summer game. Always one to do his defensive duty too, he was rarely found wanting. A dual-code international, Sullivan played for both Welsh Rugby League and Union as well as Great Britain.

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