Written by Callum Walker
He’s been at St Helens for nine seasons, but Alex Walmsley has loved every minute of it.
And, the prop forward has no plans to move elsewhere, instead he wants to retire at the club that’s done so much for him.
“I want to retire here, I really do; I owe so much to the club and how it’s changed my life,” Walmsley told Everything Rugby League.
“There’s no other club in Super League that I want to play for – obviously coming from Yorkshire and having a young family, there’s always the pull go to back to close family and friends but I don’t want to leave.
“It’s not just been the club and staff, but the whole town has made me feel so welcome, the fans have always been great.
“I do see myself as finishing my career here. Hopefully I’ll have a testimonial next year and celebrate ten years at the club and I’d like to extend beyond that.
Despite heading towards his 31st birthday, the former Batley man has no plans to retire just yet though and has spoken of his excitement about playing a further role at Saints.
“Although I am on the wrong side of 30, I’m as fit as I have ever been and the body is pretty good with no niggling injuries.
“I don’t see why there isn’t a reason as to why I can’t do another four or five years at this club. With the squad we have right now, I want to be a part of this.”
Of course, being such an important figure for St Helens has made Walmsley the target for other clubs – even some sides in the NRL. But, the powerful forward has always reiterated that happiness comes first, and so St Helens has been the place to stay.
“It’s always been a pull to go the NRL and there’s always been plenty of opportunities.
“One of the main reasons I never took that plunge down there is the love of the club.
“I’ve always said you can’t put a price on happiness and I’ve been more than happy to be a part of this organization and the history that comes with it.
“It’s such a prestigious club and that’s one of the reasons why I wanted to stay – if you’re happy why change that?
“Though the NRL has got its own pulls, I’ve always been happy at Saints and I want to be a part of this really young and challenging squad.”
For Walmsley though, 2021 will have its negatives – not playing alongside James Graham.
“He’s without a doubt one of the greatest players I’ve played alongside – not for his lack of skill or ability because he has been the utmost professional, but what he brings off the field and the presence on it is incredible.
“I played with Jammer at the back end of his career, but the way he helped my game and the rest of the squad is a credit to him. He was such a competitor and led by example.”