Saints hero returns home for good

Langtree has unveiled a bronze statue of Saints rugby league star Keiron Cunningham at the club's new stadium.

The former St Helens captain turned up in the flesh at a ceremony this month to mark the latest milestone in the development of the new 18,000-seater arena on Peasley Cross Lane, due to be completed later this month by developers Langtree.

Cunningham said: "There are few words to describe the immense pride I feel every time I see the statue. I've said before that I'd like to put it in my own back garden and keep it for myself but, seeing it here, I realise it's found an even more special place to call home.

"It's an awesome arena and I think Langtree have provided the club with a stadium for the future. I would have loved to play here in front of 18,000 Saints fans."

Cunningham, nicknamed the King by Saints fans, was chosen in a poll of supporters to be the subject of a statue outside the new ground.

The artwork was commissioned by St Helens Council and moved to the stadium this week after a period in Choln Way in the town centre.

John Downes, managing director of Langtree, said: "We have almost completed work on the stadium, so it is time for Keiron to finally come home. Everyone in the town appreciates what an incredible job Keiron Cunningham did for Saints, for rugby league and for the town itself. He is a fine ambassador for his home town, so it's only right that he should have such a proud and prominent position."

Eamonn McManus, Saints chairman, said: "Keiron Cunningham is Saints through and through and for me he was the right and obvious choice to be enshrined at our fantastic new home.

"We have had some legendary players representing this club, and Keiron is considered the best of the best. This statue is a permanent tribute to his ability and means Saints fans will never forget his achievements."

The new ground development also includes a new Tesco Extra store and housing by Taylor Wimpey on the site of the former ground at Knowsley Road, the estate is called Cunningham Grange.

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