A talented rugby league star from Chorley has landed a lucrative contract with Super League giants Hull...just 12 months since recovering from a career-threatening injury.
Jamie Ellis, 22, says he is determined to make the most of his chance at the KC Stadium, considering he believed his chance of Super League rugby had passed him by.
The former Holy Cross High School pupil had come through the academy ranks at St Helens and made a handful of appearances for the senior side when disaster struck.
He said: “It was in 2009 when I was playing in a friendly against Salford, then the cruciate went in my left knee.
“I was out of the game for a while and it was a terrible time for me. You don’t know how your knee will react and whether I could be the player that I was before.
“I was out for almost a year but I still trained hard, hoping I might get back.”
With stars Shane Long and Kyle Eastmond ahead of him in the pecking order for the dummy half position at St Helens, Ellis decided to go out on loan to Championship side Leigh Centurions.
It turned out to be an inspired move for the ex-Chorley Panthers ace, as he was a regular for Ian Millward’s side, scoring 34 tries and picking up both the Championship ‘Player of the Year’ and ‘Young Player of the Year’ awards.
He said: “It has been a great year for me as I have enjoyed getting regular first-team rugby. I have learnt a lot under Ian Millward and improved all aspects of my game – on and off the pitch. I think I am a better person all round, and to win both the awards was great.
“I thought that I had a good chance for the Young Player one, but there were a lot of really good players against me for the main award.” Aside from personal glory, Ellis also helped Leigh to the National Rail Cup against Halifax.
Ellis is just another name off the Chorley Panthers production line, which includes household Super League names such as Matty Ashurst, Josh Charnley and Joel Tomkins.
Chairman Peter Bridge said: “Jamie is unassuming, quiet and modest, but is really talented.”