Tag Archives: francis

Francis Jeffers scores twice for Accrington Stanley: LEAGUE TWO review

League Two round-up: Former England man Jeffers bags two for Stanley exactly ten years after turning out for Arsenal in the Champions League

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

22:24 GMT, 19 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

22:39 GMT, 19 March 2013

LEAGUE TWO RESULTS

Accrington 4-0 AFC Wimbledon

Bradford 1-0 Wycombe

Rochdale 1-1 Gillingham

Southend 0-2 Plymouth

Torquay 2-1 Chesterfield

Barnet 2-0 Fleetwood

Former England striker Francis Jeffers scored twice to earn Accrington a crucial 4-0 win over AFC Wimbledon, which moved them off the foot of npower League Two and out of the drop zone.

Jeffers, playing for the league's bottom club exactly 10 years to the day since he appeared for Arsenal against Valencia in the Champions League, put Stanley two up with goals in the fifth and 19th minutes.

Will Hatfield added a third before the break and Lee Molyneux completed the rout.

Fran the man: Accrington Stanley escaped the relegation zone thanks to two Francis Jeffers goals

Fran the man: Accrington Stanley escaped the relegation zone thanks to two Francis Jeffers goals

Back in the day: Jeffers' brace comes 10 years to the day since he turned out for Arsenal in the Champions League

Back in the day: Jeffers' brace comes 10 years to the day since he turned out for Arsenal in the Champions League

LEAGUE TWO TABLE

League Two

The win took Accrington two points above the bottom two in the desperate fight to stay in the league.

It was a good night for the sides battling to stay up, with Torquay, Plymouth and Barnet, three of five sides level on points at the bottom at the start of the day, also winning.

Torquay won 2-1 at home to Chesterfield thanks to two goals in the opening eight minutes from Joss Labadie and Rene Howe.

Liam Cooper pulled one back in the 77th minute, but United held on.

Argyle had to wait a little longer to make the breakthrough at Southend, but a Paul Wotton penalty after 57 minutes and a Reuben Reid finish after 75 earned them a 2-0 victory.

Barnet were also 2-0 winners, at home to Fleetwood, thanks to a goal in each half from Mark Byrne and Luke Gambin.

It all meant Aldershot and York, not in action tonight, slipped into the relegation places.

At the other end of the table, league
leaders Gillingham had to come from behind to draw 1-1 at Rochdale,
Danny Kedwell's 56th-minute header cancelling out George Donnelly's
opener.

Capital One Cup
finalists Bradford boosted their hopes of getting into the play-offs
with a 1-0 win at home to Wycombe, Garry Thompson the scorer after seven
minutes.

Sitting out: Suspended Barnet manager Edgar Davids watched his side win 2-0

Sitting out: Suspended Barnet manager Edgar Davids watched his side win 2-0

Francis Jeffers appears in court after brandishing a broomstick outside father-in-law"s flat

Ex-England wonderkid Jeffers appears in court after brandishing a broomstick outside father-in-law's flat

By
Lauren Riley

PUBLISHED:

13:27 GMT, 4 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

13:50 GMT, 4 March 2013

Former England striker Francis Jeffers has appeared in court after being found outside his father-in-law’s flat brandishing a broomstick.

The ex-Everton and Arsenal forward, 32, was found outside the luxury flat in Crosby, Merseyside, in December last year.

His father-in-law Albert Boden was discovered inside the flat on Burbo Bank Road with injuries.

Jeffers, is estranged from his wife Lucy, whom he married in 2009.

Francis Jeffers appeared at Sefton Magistrates Court today

Francis Jeffers appeared at Sefton Magistrates Court today

Charged: Francis Jeffers appeared at South Sefton Magistrates' Court on Monday

He pleaded not guilty to using threatening/abusive/insulting words/behaviour with intent to cause fear or provoke unlawful violence at an earlier hearing.

He agreed to be bound over for 12 months to keep the peace in the sum of 100 when he appeared again at South Sefton Magistrates' Court today.

Lorraine Barton, prosecuting, said: 'Before the incident on 21st December last year, Francis Jeffers had recently separated from his partner Lucy.

'Their marriage broke down and an inside took place outside a flat. A 999 call was made and officers came and found Francis Jeffers outside the flat with a broomstick.'

From fox in the box to sweeper: Jeffers was bought by Arsene Wenger for 8million to be Arsenal's goal poacher but has fallen from grace and was found outside his father in law's flat brandishing a broomstick

From fox in the box to sweeper: Jeffers was bought by Arsene Wenger for 8million to be Arsenal's goal poacher but has fallen from grace and was found outside his father in law's flat brandishing a broomstick

One and only: Jeffers scored on his England debut against Australia - his only cap

One and only: Jeffers scored on his England debut against Australia – his only cap

She added: 'Officers spoke to the occupant of the flat, Albert Boden, who had some injuries. Police officers also took a statement from Francis Jeffers, who made no comment.

'He later pleaded not guilty to a Section 4 offence.'

Chairman of the bench Peter Rathe said: 'There is now going to be a binding-over to which you agree.

'This
means for 12 months you must keep the peace, especially towards Albert
Boden, and if you don’t comply you will have to pay 100.'

Jeffers
was recently dropped by Maltese
champions Floriana after playing just two games as they could not afford
to pay his wages.

Feeling blue: Jeffers has had spells in Australia, Scotland and Malta while former Everton team-mate Wayne Rooney has starred for Manchester United and England

Feeling blue: Jeffers has had spells in Australia, Scotland and Malta while former Everton team-mate Wayne Rooney has starred for Manchester United and England

Born in Croxteth, Liverpool, Jeffers attended the same primary school as Wayne Rooney a decade before the Manchester United star.

Jeffers was himself tipped for the big time following an 8million move from Everton to Arsenal in 2001 – indeed, Arsene Wenger even labelled the striker his 'fox in the box' – but injuries and poor form saw his career slump.

He later returned to Everton on loan and played for a string of teams including Rangers, Blackburn and the Newcastle Jets before his two-game stint in Malta.

Eric Cantona: Jamie Redknapp, Gary Neville, Roy Keane and Sir Alex Ferguson share their memories

It's 20 years since the best 1million signing of all time. Here the key players recall the reign of King Cantona

|

UPDATED:

10:34 GMT, 24 November 2012

RETURN OF THE KING…

Click here to read the full story of how Eric Cantona and other Manchester United greats travelled back to Old Trafford to watch the unveiling of Sir Alex Ferguson's statue.

It was a transfer that shocked English football, paved the way for Manchester United's first Premier League title and helped to define the modern game in this country as we know it.

Eric Cantona's 1million switch from champions Leeds United to arch-rivals Manchester United was as unexpected as it was sudden.

It happened 20 years ago this weekend and, arguably, it proved to be the catalyst United manager Sir Alex Ferguson needed to propel him and his club to two decades of dominance in England.

Sportsmail talks to key figures and includes book extracts to detail Cantona's time in the Premier League.

Hero: Eric Cantona was signed by Sir Alex Ferguson for 1million and was an instant hit with the Manchester United fans

Hero: Eric Cantona was signed by Sir Alex Ferguson for 1million and was an instant hit with the Manchester United fans

Trevor Francis
Sheffield Wednesday manager 1990 to 1994. Had Cantona on 'trial' in January 1992.

I had Cantona at Wednesday for a few days before he signed for Leeds but I don't think it was ever reported as it should have been.

I was doing a favour for the agent, Dennis Roach. He took me to Italy as a player.

He and Michel Platini wanted to get Eric back playing. He had retired from French football and Dennis wondered if I would have a little look at him in training.

Graeme Souness at Liverpool had already said no. I was happy to do Platini a favour but it was built up as if I was looking to sign Eric, which was never ever a consideration.

He was here to do a few days training and basically put himself in the shop window.

We weren't able to get on the grass at the training ground because of the bad weather so we went on to an astroturf area and had a little kick around up there.

There was also an indoor tournament at Sheffield Arena and he had a kick-around in that.

Goal getter: Cantona was prolific up front for Ferguson

Goal getter: Cantona was prolific up front for Ferguson

We said we would like him to stay for a few more days training for him to enjoy himself and for us to have a little look at him but I think his manager took that as a little bit of an insult.

They regarded it as: 'He is Eric Cantona. He isn't going to be a player on trial'.

The whole thing got a little bit messy and he came to me and said: 'I have got a chance to go to Leeds'.

So he had my blessing and off he went to Leeds and that's basically it.

I have never really put my side of the story, but that's how it was, chapter and verse.

We had only just come in to the top league and the majority of our players were on Championship or Division Two contracts.

To even contemplate getting Cantona into our 'little' Sheffield Wednesday team was never really a starter.

It was never a consideration of mine to bring Eric Cantona to the club.

It was only a phone call and a bit of a favour that I was doing for a couple of friends. The rest is history. He went to Leeds and did okay.

At United he was incredible.

Gary McAllister
Leeds midfielder 1990-1996

Eric came to us mid-season when the title race was on.

We were getting to that time of the season, that tickly bit at the end. It was all very tense. Eric changed the crowd.

They loved him.

They loved the swagger and the confident air and maybe when other players may have been thinking: 'It is looking like a nil-nil here', he lifted the whole of Elland Road just by coming on the pitch.

Looking back, I think Howard Wilkinson used him perfectly.

Welcome to Manchester: Ferguson was ecstatic to get Cantona for just 1million

Welcome to Manchester: Ferguson was ecstatic to get Cantona for just 1million

Howard Wilkinson
Leeds manager 1988-1996. Signed Cantona in January 1992 and sold him in the November.

If you examine his contribution to the championship season it's nowhere near as significant as has been written since.

It's Russian history. I know some of the boys were slightly offended when it was referred to as 'Cantona's Championship'.

Eric made a very, very useful contribution. He was a good trainer and a good member of the team and one hell of a player.

At football clubs, some things happen that are best kept in the club. All I can say is that it was not my decision (for him) to leave, it was Eric's decision.

I was faced with a player who was sitting in France and was saying he was not going to come back and play at Leeds. So I didn't have a choice.

The King: Cantona helped Manchester United to their first Premier League title after leaving Leeds

The King: Cantona helped Manchester United to their first Premier League title after leaving Leeds

Lee Chapman Leeds striker 1990-1993

There were rumours at the time about Eric and some of the Leeds players' wives, but they weren't true.

No truth whatsoever. Eric wasn't that type of person. I think the fans had to have a reason why he left and they wouldn't accept that he and Howard had simply fallen out.

Howard has to have players who tow the line and Eric wasn't very good at that.

Eric was okay when he was in the team but not when he was out of the team. He wasn't really a great team man.

Sir Alex Ferguson
Manchester United manager. Signed Cantona on November 26 1992.

How he arrived at our doorstep, in a deal that lasted just 24 hours from first call to final signing, was quite incredible.

The scene was the chairman's office on a drizzly day in November. Martin Edwards and I were running through our target list of top strikers.

An offer for David Hirst had been knocked back. Immediate action was imperative. The goals had dried up.

Agressive streak: Cantona lunged at a fan, receiving a lengthy ban from football

Agressive streak: Cantona lunged at a fan, receiving a lengthy ban from football

It was like a bad memory returning from the season before. I mentioned it was a pity we didn't get a sniff a season earlier when Cantona was first brought to this country.

Then the phone rang for Martin; on the other end was Leeds chairman Bill Fotherby, sounding us out about Denis Irwin.

The timing was weird, absolutely uncanny. I scribbled Eric's name on a scrap of paper and eased it across the desk.

Immediately, Martin tuned in. 'Any chance of you selling him and we'd be interested. Need to know pretty quick, mind you.'

Within the hour Leeds were back and the haggling started.

Martin Edwards
Former Manchester United chairman.

The figure quoted is always 1.2million, but we actually paid just 1million for Eric.

Bill Fotherby said they would sell for 1.6m. I said it was too much.

We haggled, and in the end we agreed at 1m. I think Leeds wanted it to be known that the figure was higher, because they knew the fans would be up in arms as it was.

But it was 1m. When I told Alex we had got him at that price he was delighted, and very excited.

Alex and I then went to meet Eric at the Midland Hotel in Manchester. Eric needed to hear that he was going to play regularly, and how Alex intended to use him, and after that it was just a case of he and I discussing how much we would pay him.

Cult hero: Cantona was popular with both players and fans

Cult hero: Cantona was popular with both players and fans

It all went very smoothly. When I look back at the signings I oversaw at Old Trafford, Eric was one of the two best I made; Peter Schmeichel being the other one.

Eric was the catalyst for the success we enjoyed. We hadn't won the league for 26 years and he arrives and we win it four times in the next five years.

The only time we did not win during that period was the season when Eric was banned for the kung-fu attack on Matthew Simmons at Crystal Palace.

That was a mad episode but to Eric's credit, he actually agreed to a pay-cut after that incident. As a club we had to protect ourselves so we restructured the contract.

It worked out pretty well for all concerned.

Lee Sharpe Manchester United forward 1988-1996

I was doing an autograph session for my boot sponsors – in Leeds, of all places! One of the organisers turned to me and said: 'Have you heard Cantona's just signed for your lot.'

I replied: 'Yeah, right – absolutely no chance!' I turned on the radio and there it was.

Total shock. Then there were all the media stories about his past and we were like: 'This bloke's a total nutter. What are we doing!'

Basile Boli
Friend and former French team-mate

The first time I went over to see Eric in Manchester after he'd signed, he was beaming.

'Come out with me now, you've got to see this,' he urged.

We walked in the city streets and people everywhere were coming up to him, with delight on their faces, simply wanting to see him amongst them in person.

Eric just grinned and turned to whisper to me: 'You see You see They love me here. They love me!'

Wembley winner: Cantona (right) poses with Mark Hughes (left) after United beat Chelsea 4-0 in the 1994 FA Cup final

Wembley winner: Cantona (right) poses with Mark Hughes (left) after United beat Chelsea 4-0 in the 1994 FA Cup final

Richard Shaw
Crystal Palace defender fouled by Cantona at Selhurst Park on January 25 1995. Cantona was sent off and, as he left the field, attacked Simmons with a kung-fu kick. He was subsequently banned by the FA for eight months.

WHAT BECAME OF THE THE MAN HE KUNG-FU KICKED
Agressive streak: Cantona lunged at a fan, receiving a lengthy ban from football

Matthew Simmons was just 20 when Cantona launched his infamous kung-fu kick at Selhurst Park on January 25, 1995.

Aged 17, Simmons was convicted of attempted violent robbery after he attacked a petrol station attendant with a spanner.

After the Cantona incident he lost his job and lost contact with his family.

He was charged in May 2011 for attacking his son's football coach.

He currently works in the construction industry and occasionally watches football at Chelsea and Fulham.

The ball was going over the top, I chased it back and Eric sort of kicked out.

It was just one of those crazy moments. That's just Eric's way. He was getting frustrated and maybe at times the red mist came over him.

He was sent off but I didn't see his kung-fu kick. We looked back on the Betamax afterwards and thought: 'Wow'.

Everyone was just in shock at what happened. Eric probably thought: 'Hang about, this guy's coming down abusing me.

'What gives him the right to do that Maybe I'll do something about it.'

And he did. That's what makes these players so great. They've got this devilment inside them.

I played at Old Trafford after that and got booed. For something which wasn't really my fault, I get kicked and I get booed!

I expected it because Eric is a hero. It was amazing. It happened in 1995 and people still talk about it.

Watch the video

I'll probably still get the blame for it. I don't think it hindered Eric as he came back as good as ever.

I'd played against Eric before and I played against him afterwards.

He was a great player. He always had time on the pitch. I don't know how he did it.

He was so intelligent that he could drift into areas where the centre-half didn't want to go.

People talk about this man-in-the-hole now as if it's a new phenomenon. Eric was doing that 20 years ago.

Jamie Redknapp
Liverpool midfielder who gave away the penalty from which Cantona scored on his comeback game on October 1 1995.

I was penalised for pulling down Ryan Giggs but it was a dubious decision as I won the ball.

Eric had not done much against us before that but you knew he was going to score.

He then famously ran behind the goal and swung off the stanchion to celebrate.

Sky, as is often the way, got so lucky that they were broadcasting that game.

When Cantona walked out, it was like a gladiator entering an arena. There was always something special about him.

Having said that, we passed them off the park that day.

Manager's dream: Cantona had his best years under Ferguson

Manager's dream: Cantona had his best years under Ferguson

Roy Keane
Manchester United midfielder 1993-2005

I liked him immediately. He tended to do his own thing in training, something Alex Ferguson permitted.

He also had a temper that would flare up. He and Schmeichel often found themselves at odds. Fists were raised on one or two occasions.

But behind the enigma he was a great pro, serious and knowledgable.

The players loved him. I had never seen anybody finish like him and still haven't. He was different but bloody brilliant.

In private he was funny and loved a drink, champagne rather than lager. He was a good lad, one of the best.

No conceit, no bulls***. The eccentric loner was just the public mask. I remember when he was sent off in Istanbul.

A policeman was laying in to all of us. Eric got involved. In the dressing room he went crazy.

We all wanted to get out of there but Eric wanted to go back out and sort out the rogue cop with the truncheon.

Eric was a big strong lad and insisted he was gonna 'kill that f****r'.

The manager, Brian Kidd and a few players had to restrain him.

I played in the game at Crystal Palace. My immediate reaction was: So what Fair play to Eric. I may have done the same myself.

It was a nasty incident, out of order. But my heart went out to him.

All the lads felt the same. There was no way we were gonna turn our backs on him.

Heated rivalry: Cantona leaps over a Robbie Fowler tackle during a match against Liverpool at Old Trafford in 1996

Heated rivalry: Cantona leaps over a Robbie Fowler tackle during a match against Liverpool at Old Trafford in 1996

Gary Neville

Manchester defender 1992-2011

We were in the Bulls Head in Hale on a team day out. It was December 1996 and Eric had pulled up a seat next to me and Becks.

We were in awe of him. Over a beer Eric told us we were gonna be Kings of Europe.

It was a big claim but Becks and I left the pub feeling invigorated, and not just because of the beer.

For Eric there wouldn't be many chances left to dominate Europe as he had the Premier League.

The rest of us weren't to know it but Eric had staked everything on winning the Champions League.

We fell short that season [United lost in the semi-final to Dortmund] and, at the age of 30, he'd decided he'd given it his best shot. Time to quit.

A few days earlier I had seen him and he had just said: 'Have a good summer. See you later'.

The way he left was typical Eric.

Inspirational: Gary Neville says he was 'invigorated' when Cantona told him they would win the Champions League

Inspirational: Gary Neville says he was 'invigorated' when Cantona told him they would win the Champions League

Ryan Giggs
Manchester United forward 1990-present

Eric confirmed his retirement a week before his 31st birthday. Were we surprised

Life with Eric was one long surprise. You never knew what he would do next.

There were no farewells or anything like that. I didn't actually really believe he meant it until he failed to turn up the following season.

Legend: Cantona was joined by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (left), Dwight Yorke, Andrew Cole, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Edwin van der Sar as Ferguson's statue was unveiled at Old Trafford

Legend: Cantona was joined by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (left), Dwight Yorke, Andrew Cole, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Edwin van der Sar as Ferguson's statue was unveiled at Old Trafford

Here key players including Jamie Redknapp, Gary Neville, Roy Keane and Sir Alex Ferguson recall Eric Cantona

It's 20 years since the best 1million signing of all time. Here the key players recall the reign of King Cantona

|

UPDATED:

23:02 GMT, 23 November 2012

RETURN OF THE KING…

Click here to read the full story of how Eric Cantona and other Manchester United greats travelled back to Old Trafford to watch the unveiling of Sir Alex Ferguson's statue.

It was a transfer that shocked English football, paved the way for Manchester United's first Premier League title and helped to define the modern game in this country as we know it.

Eric Cantona's 1million switch from champions Leeds United to arch-rivals Manchester United was as unexpected as it was sudden.

It happened 20 years ago this weekend and, arguably, it proved to be the catalyst United manager Sir Alex Ferguson needed to propel him and his club to two decades of dominance in England.

Sportsmail talks to key figures and includes book extracts to detail Cantona's time in the Premier League.

Hero: Eric Cantona was signed by Sir Alex Ferguson for 1million and was an instant hit with the Manchester United fans

Hero: Eric Cantona was signed by Sir Alex Ferguson for 1million and was an instant hit with the Manchester United fans

Trevor Francis
Sheffield Wednesday manager 1990 to 1994. Had Cantona on 'trial' in January 1992.

I had Cantona at Wednesday for a few days before he signed for Leeds but I don't think it was ever reported as it should have been.

I was doing a favour for the agent, Dennis Roach. He took me to Italy as a player.

He and Michel Platini wanted to get Eric back playing. He had retired from French football and Dennis wondered if I would have a little look at him in training.

Graeme Souness at Liverpool had already said no. I was happy to do Platini a favour but it was built up as if I was looking to sign Eric, which was never ever a consideration.

He was here to do a few days training and basically put himself in the shop window.

We weren't able to get on the grass at the training ground because of the bad weather so we went on to an astroturf area and had a little kick around up there.

There was also an indoor tournament at Sheffield Arena and he had a kick-around in that.

Goal getter: Cantona was prolific up front for Ferguson

Goal getter: Cantona was prolific up front for Ferguson

We said we would like him to stay for a few more days training for him to enjoy himself and for us to have a little look at him but I think his manager took that as a little bit of an insult.

They regarded it as: 'He is Eric Cantona. He isn't going to be a player on trial'.

The whole thing got a little bit messy and he came to me and said: 'I have got a chance to go to Leeds'.

So he had my blessing and off he went to Leeds and that's basically it.

I have never really put my side of the story, but that's how it was, chapter and verse.

We had only just come in to the top league and the majority of our players were on Championship or Division Two contracts.

To even contemplate getting Cantona into our 'little' Sheffield Wednesday team was never really a starter.

It was never a consideration of mine to bring Eric Cantona to the club.

It was only a phone call and a bit of a favour that I was doing for a couple of friends. The rest is history. He went to Leeds and did okay.

At United he was incredible.

Gary McAllister
Leeds midfielder 1990-1996

Eric came to us mid-season when the title race was on.

We were getting to that time of the season, that tickly bit at the end. It was all very tense. Eric changed the crowd.

They loved him.

They loved the swagger and the confident air and maybe when other players may have been thinking: 'It is looking like a nil-nil here', he lifted the whole of Elland Road just by coming on the pitch.

Looking back, I think Howard Wilkinson used him perfectly.

Welcome to Manchester: Ferguson was ecstatic to get Cantona for just 1million

Welcome to Manchester: Ferguson was ecstatic to get Cantona for just 1million

Howard Wilkinson
Leeds manager 1988-1996. Signed Cantona in January 1992 and sold him in the November.

If you examine his contribution to the championship season it's nowhere near as significant as has been written since.

It's Russian history. I know some of the boys were slightly offended when it was referred to as 'Cantona's Championship'.

Eric made a very, very useful contribution. He was a good trainer and a good member of the team and one hell of a player.

At football clubs, some things happen that are best kept in the club. All I can say is that it was not my decision (for him) to leave, it was Eric's decision.

I was faced with a player who was sitting in France and was saying he was not going to come back and play at Leeds. So I didn't have a choice.

The King: Cantona helped Manchester United to their first Premier League title after leaving Leeds

The King: Cantona helped Manchester United to their first Premier League title after leaving Leeds

Lee Chapman Leeds striker 1990-1993

There were rumours at the time about Eric and some of the Leeds players' wives, but they weren't true.

No truth whatsoever. Eric wasn't that type of person. I think the fans had to have a reason why he left and they wouldn't accept that he and Howard had simply fallen out.

Howard has to have players who tow the line and Eric wasn't very good at that.

Eric was okay when he was in the team but not when he was out of the team. He wasn't really a great team man.

Sir Alex Ferguson
Manchester United manager. Signed Cantona on November 26 1992.

How he arrived at our doorstep, in a deal that lasted just 24 hours from first call to final signing, was quite incredible.

The scene was the chairman's office on a drizzly day in November. Martin Edwards and I were running through our target list of top strikers.

An offer for David Hirst had been knocked back. Immediate action was imperative. The goals had dried up.

Agressive streak: Cantona lunged at a fan, receiving a lengthy ban from football

Agressive streak: Cantona lunged at a fan, receiving a lengthy ban from football

It was like a bad memory returning from the season before. I mentioned it was a pity we didn't get a sniff a season earlier when Cantona was first brought to this country.

Then the phone rang for Martin; on the other end was Leeds chairman Bill Fotherby, sounding us out about Denis Irwin.

The timing was weird, absolutely uncanny. I scribbled Eric's name on a scrap of paper and eased it across the desk.

Immediately, Martin tuned in. 'Any chance of you selling him and we'd be interested. Need to know pretty quick, mind you.'

Within the hour Leeds were back and the haggling started.

Martin Edwards
Former Manchester United chairman.

The figure quoted is always 1.2million, but we actually paid just 1million for Eric.

Bill Fotherby said they would sell for 1.6m. I said it was too much.

We haggled, and in the end we agreed at 1m. I think Leeds wanted it to be known that the figure was higher, because they knew the fans would be up in arms as it was.

But it was 1m. When I told Alex we had got him at that price he was delighted, and very excited.

Alex and I then went to meet Eric at the Midland Hotel in Manchester. Eric needed to hear that he was going to play regularly, and how Alex intended to use him, and after that it was just a case of he and I discussing how much we would pay him.

Cult hero: Cantona was popular with both players and fans

Cult hero: Cantona was popular with both players and fans

It all went very smoothly. When I look back at the signings I oversaw at Old Trafford, Eric was one of the two best I made; Peter Schmeichel being the other one.

Eric was the catalyst for the success we enjoyed. We hadn't won the league for 26 years and he arrives and we win it four times in the next five years.

The only time we did not win during that period was the season when Eric was banned for the kung-fu attack on Matthew Simmons at Crystal Palace.

That was a mad episode but to Eric's credit, he actually agreed to a pay-cut after that incident. As a club we had to protect ourselves so we restructured the contract.

It worked out pretty well for all concerned.

Lee Sharpe Manchester United forward 1988-1996

I was doing an autograph session for my boot sponsors – in Leeds, of all places! One of the organisers turned to me and said: 'Have you heard Cantona's just signed for your lot.'

I replied: 'Yeah, right – absolutely no chance!' I turned on the radio and there it was.

Total shock. Then there were all the media stories about his past and we were like: 'This bloke's a total nutter. What are we doing!'

Basile Boli
Friend and former French team-mate

The first time I went over to see Eric in Manchester after he'd signed, he was beaming.

'Come out with me now, you've got to see this,' he urged.

We walked in the city streets and people everywhere were coming up to him, with delight on their faces, simply wanting to see him amongst them in person.

Eric just grinned and turned to whisper to me: 'You see You see They love me here. They love me!'

Wembley winner: Cantona (right) poses with Mark Hughes (left) after United beat Chelsea 4-0 in the 1994 FA Cup final

Wembley winner: Cantona (right) poses with Mark Hughes (left) after United beat Chelsea 4-0 in the 1994 FA Cup final

Richard Shaw
Crystal Palace defender fouled by Cantona at Selhurst Park on January 25 1995. Cantona was sent off and, as he left the field, attacked Simmons with a kung-fu kick. He was subsequently banned by the FA for eight months.

WHAT BECAME OF THE THE MAN HE KUNG-FU KICKED
Agressive streak: Cantona lunged at a fan, receiving a lengthy ban from football

Matthew Simmons was just 20 when Cantona launched his infamous kung-fu kick at Selhurst Park on January 25, 1995.

Aged 17, Simmons was convicted of attempted violent robbery after he attacked a petrol station attendant with a spanner.

After the Cantona incident he lost his job and lost contact with his family.

He was charged in May 2011 for attacking his son's football coach.

He currently works in the construction industry and occasionally watches football at Chelsea and Fulham.

The ball was going over the top, I chased it back and Eric sort of kicked out.

It was just one of those crazy moments. That's just Eric's way. He was getting frustrated and maybe at times the red mist came over him.

He was sent off but I didn't see his kung-fu kick. We looked back on the Betamax afterwards and thought: 'Wow'.

Everyone was just in shock at what happened. Eric probably thought: 'Hang about, this guy's coming down abusing me.

'What gives him the right to do that Maybe I'll do something about it.'

And he did. That's what makes these players so great. They've got this devilment inside them.

I played at Old Trafford after that and got booed. For something which wasn't really my fault, I get kicked and I get booed!

I expected it because Eric is a hero. It was amazing. It happened in 1995 and people still talk about it.

I'll probably still get the blame for it. I don't think it hindered Eric as he came back as good as ever.

I'd played against Eric before and I played against him afterwards.

He was a great player. He always had time on the pitch. I don't know how he did it.

He was so intelligent that he could drift into areas where the centre-half didn't want to go.

People talk about this man-in-the-hole now as if it's a new phenomenon. Eric was doing that 20 years ago.

Jamie Redknapp
Liverpool midfielder who gave away the penalty from which Cantona scored on his comeback game on October 1 1995.

I was penalised for pulling down Ryan Giggs but it was a dubious decision as I won the ball.

Eric had not done much against us before that but you knew he was going to score.

He then famously ran behind the goal and swung off the stanchion to celebrate.

Sky, as is often the way, got so lucky that they were broadcasting that game.

When Cantona walked out, it was like a gladiator entering an arena. There was always something special about him.

Having said that, we passed them off the park that day.

Manager's dream: Cantona had his best years under Ferguson

Manager's dream: Cantona had his best years under Ferguson

Roy Keane
Manchester United midfielder 1993-2005

I liked him immediately. He tended to do his own thing in training, something Alex Ferguson permitted.

He also had a temper that would flare up. He and Schmeichel often found themselves at odds. Fists were raised on one or two occasions.

But behind the enigma he was a great pro, serious and knowledgable.

The players loved him. I had never seen anybody finish like him and still haven't. He was different but bloody brilliant.

In private he was funny and loved a drink, champagne rather than lager. He was a good lad, one of the best.

No conceit, no bulls***. The eccentric loner was just the public mask. I remember when he was sent off in Istanbul.

A policeman was laying in to all of us. Eric got involved. In the dressing room he went crazy.

We all wanted to get out of there but Eric wanted to go back out and sort out the rogue cop with the truncheon.

Eric was a big strong lad and insisted he was gonna 'kill that f****r'.

The manager, Brian Kidd and a few players had to restrain him.

I played in the game at Crystal Palace. My immediate reaction was: So what Fair play to Eric. I may have done the same myself.

It was a nasty incident, out of order. But my heart went out to him.

All the lads felt the same. There was no way we were gonna turn our backs on him.

Heated rivalry: Cantona leaps over a Robbie Fowler tackle during a match against Liverpool at Old Trafford in 1996

Heated rivalry: Cantona leaps over a Robbie Fowler tackle during a match against Liverpool at Old Trafford in 1996

Gary Neville

Manchester defender 1992-2011

We were in the Bulls Head in Hale on a team day out. It was December 1996 and Eric had pulled up a seat next to me and Becks.

We were in awe of him. Over a beer Eric told us we were gonna be Kings of Europe.

It was a big claim but Becks and I left the pub feeling invigorated, and not just because of the beer.

For Eric there wouldn't be many chances left to dominate Europe as he had the Premier League.

The rest of us weren't to know it but Eric had staked everything on winning the Champions League.

We fell short that season [United lost in the semi-final to Dortmund] and, at the age of 30, he'd decided he'd given it his best shot. Time to quit.

A few days earlier I had seen him and he had just said: 'Have a good summer. See you later'.

The way he left was typical Eric.

Inspirational: Gary Neville says he was 'invigorated' when Cantona told him they would win the Champions League

Inspirational: Gary Neville says he was 'invigorated' when Cantona told him they would win the Champions League

Ryan Giggs
Manchester United forward 1990-present

Eric confirmed his retirement a week before his 31st birthday. Were we surprised

Life with Eric was one long surprise. You never knew what he would do next.

There were no farewells or anything like that. I didn't actually really believe he meant it until he failed to turn up the following season.

Legend: Cantona was joined by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (left), Dwight Yorke, Andrew Cole, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Edwin van der Sar as Ferguson's statue was unveiled at Old Trafford

Legend: Cantona was joined by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (left), Dwight Yorke, Andrew Cole, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Edwin van der Sar as Ferguson's statue was unveiled at Old Trafford

Arsenal and Manchester United Frank Stapleton on why he was Robin van Persie of his day

I was the Van Persie of my day and I just had to quit, says former Arsenal and United star Stapleton

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UPDATED:

23:07 GMT, 2 November 2012

Long before Robin van Persie, there was Frank Stapleton.

The best centre forward in the country rejected a new contract at Arsenal, concerned about the club’s ambition, and ended up at Manchester United.

Stapleton became a byword for greed and disloyalty among supporters, and still is. Here he relives the move 30 years on.

Glory hunter: Frank Stapleton (far right) celebrates Arsenals 1979 FA Cup victory in a United shirt

Glory hunter: Frank Stapleton (far right) celebrates Arsenals 1979 FA Cup victory in a United shirt

I’d been talking to Arsenal for most of
that final season. We finished fourth in the league but we didn’t look
like we were going to sign any big players.

Liam Brady had left the year before. They tried to replace him but it was impossible. They should have looked after him and kept him at the club.

There was this big hullabaloo when I left but when Liam left it was OK because he went into Europe with Juventus, not another big team here.

My contract was up and I’d spoken to Liverpool in early June. I even had a meeting with Bob Paisley, Peter Robinson and John Smith and agreed terms. The only thing to be agreed was the fee, but that never happened.

Arsenal wanted 2million and Liverpool were not prepared to pay and not prepared to go to a tribunal. United offered 700,000 and when it came round to the tribunal they settled on 900,000. I don’t think they wanted to sanction a million-pound transfer. Only Trevor Francis had moved for that kind of money and he’d been under contract.

Moving clubs: Stapleton celebrates United's 1983 Charity Shield win against Liverpool

Moving clubs: Stapleton celebrates United's 1983 Charity Shield win against Liverpool

It has evolved a long way since then. We’re used to the Bosman rules now but it wasn’t the same. I always thought it was unfair. It was a restriction of trade. You’d get to the end of your contract and clubs could offer players whatever because if the player said no it was too bad. There was no negotiating. It was take it or leave it.

Liverpool didn’t work and there was very little happening. The papers were mostly full of cricket and then, out of the blue, I got a call from a reporter asking if I wanted to meet Ron Atkinson, who had just taken the job at United.

Famous days: Stapleton in action for United against Brighton in the 1983 FA Cup final

Famous days: Stapleton in action for United against Brighton in the 1983 FA Cup final

You didn’t have to ask permission in
those days but Liverpool had approached Arsenal. United came straight to
me and that produced a bit of animosity. It was long and drawn out. For
a short period, I had to go back for pre-season training but when they
went off to Scandinavia on tour I ended up training with the reserves.

You make the decisions that are right for you. It’s your future. Whatever goes with it, you have to take.

I didn’t expect it to be rosy when I went back to Highbury a few games into the new season. I knew I’d get some stick. I was accused of being greedy, that sort of thing.

They were saying they’d strengthen the team and bring in new players but I’d been there since I was 16 and we felt the players coming through the system were taken for granted.

I’d done nine years at the club and got to 25 thinking this contract has to be the best. It didn’t work out that way. I ended up looking for teams I thought were better.

Atkinson didn’t tell me any names but when we met he said the chairman had promised him money and he was going to bring in five players. He went and bought John Gidman, me, Bryan Robson and Remi Moses.

I never wanted to leave Arsenal. I felt they forced me. Liam never wanted to leave either. We both felt we were taken for granted. Players who had never kicked a ball for the club were coming in and we weren’t in their bracket when it came to wages.

In the end I was nine years at Arsenal and six at United, two of the top teams in the world. I don’t look back with any regret.

Arsenal were in the same situation with Van Persie. The end of his contract was coming round and if you don’t have an agreement in the last year you have to move him on.

What a coup: Ferguson with Van Persie after United's dramatic summer capture of the Dutchman

What a coup: Ferguson with Van Persie after United's dramatic summer capture of the Dutchman

The move was something Van Persie wanted. The fans were upset but they got very good money for a player of his age. It was an unusual signing for Sir Alex Ferguson. He usually goes for younger players with a sell-on value but they needed extra firepower in the short term.

Arsenal fans will give him stick and they’ll try to put him off his game. He’s been in enough big games to cope but that doesn’t mean he won’t be nervous. I scored against Arsenal at Highbury in a League Cup semi-final. It was always a special game for me. It didn’t matter if both teams were in mid-table.

Martin O"Neill stayed at Tony Pulis" house after last season"s game

O'Neill sleeping with the enemy: Pulis gave Sunderland boss a room for the night during snow storm

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UPDATED:

22:03 GMT, 26 October 2012

Martin O’Neill and Tony Pulis make very unlikely flatmates.

But Sunderland boss O'Neill has revealed that the managerial pair were forced to share the Stoke manager’s house after last season’s clash at the Britannia Stadium because snowstorms blocked his route to his family in London.

Sunderland won the game thanks to James McClean’s winner, so perhaps it is no wonder Pulis refused to watched Match of the Day with his opposite number. The pair had also clashed on their different interpretations of a David Meyler tackle in Sunderland’s 1-0 win.

Looking for a win: Martin O'Neill is hoping Sunderland can repeat last season's result and beat Stoke

Looking for a win: Martin O'Neill is hoping Sunderland can repeat last season's result and beat Stoke

O’Neill said: 'I didn't mean to stay at
his house. Do you really think I wanted to, particularly after we’d won
the game If it wasn’t for my dodgy knee, I’d have walked home.

'I was heading to London to see my daughters and I was getting a lift with his coach Gerry Francis his coach, who said he would take me to the station, but we couldn't get out of the snow and were stuck for about two hours so we trudged back to the ground and Gerry and I stayed with Tony. We didn’t get there until late because of the snow.

'We didn't entertain ourselves very well. Tony's not a great loser so we didn't watch Match of the Day together. Would I be sat there shouting at the TV as we won the game as McClean skipped in and put the ball in the net No. The TV was conveniently switched off.

Come in: Tony Pulis put a roof over O'Neill's head last season

Come in: Tony Pulis put a roof over O'Neill's head last season

'Tony's ok but that length of time with him is too much for me, however much I like him. I do have a lot of time for him because he's done very well at Stoke.

'It's a tough old job. He got them promoted and they were expected to struggle but he kept them up and got them to a cup final and the Europa League. It's been a great time for them in the last couple of years, and they'll be ok regardless of the set of results they get.’

O’Neill would take a repeat of that scoreline as he looks for his side to find some form and momentum after an unconvincing start to the season which has seen them lose only one game, to champions Manchester City, but score just six goals – five from Steven Fletcher.

Battle: James McClean and Sunderland fought back from a goal down to earn a draw against Newcastle in their last game

Battle: James McClean and Sunderland fought back from a goal down to earn a draw against Newcastle in their last game

He has a full strength squad for the first time this season and automatic choices Adam Johnson, Stephane Sessegnon and James McClean are under pressure to start producing after an unexpectedly quiet start to the season.

The form of 10million England winger Johnson is the biggest mystery but O’ Neill is certain the 25-year-old will start to find his feet and his form on Wearside soon.

The Sunderland manager added: `When he arrived his opening game against Morecambe was fantastic then we travelled down to Swansea and he couldn't really get into it. Since then he's been away with England, got injured, came back with a niggling thigh injury and missed games.

'There's nothing more annoying to have those kind of injuries and that's had some sort of effect but once he has a run of games, he'll be fine.

'Coming here and maybe feeling that he's expected to win games on his own could have affected him. That's a thought, it's not necessarily something he'd believe but that's something he should concern himself less with if it is.

'You come here and you want to do well for yourself and the club and prove that he's a really good player. I'll always want to have flair players in my side if I can.

'Trevor Francis did it when he arrived at Forest for 1m. He was a great player but still very anxious when he arrived to prove to everybody that he was worth the money and he just turned out to be brilliant.

'I think all of those things will happen. I genuinely don't have a major problem with it. When I'm talking about anxiety I'm talking about the fact he wants to please and do well. He's a favourite here with the fans.'

Francis Jeffers in talks with Maltese side Floriana

Journeyman Jeffers on the move again… this time to join Maltese side Floriana

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UPDATED:

16:35 GMT, 10 October 2012

On the move: It looks like Jeffers is heading to Malta

On the move: It looks like Jeffers is heading to Malta

Former Arsenal, Everton and England striker Francis Jeffers is in talks with Floriana over a potential move to the Maltese outfit.

Jeffers joined Arsenal from Everton for 8million in June 2001, but his career in north London failed to take off.

He exited the Gunners three years later before joining Charlton, Rangers, Blackburn and Ipswich, Sheffield Wednesday and Motherwell.

His one international cap came in 2003 and was England's goalscorer as the Three Lions were humiliated 3-1 by Australia at Upton Park.

Jeffers,
31, was released by Australian A-League side Newcastle Jets in the
summer and now looks set to join the Maltese Premier League outfit.

'We
hope to finalise all contract terms before the eagerly anticipated
derby against Valletta on 20 October,' said a statement on Floriana's
website.

Warrington Wolves turn attention towards first Grand Final

Wolves keeping emotions in check as they turn sights on first Grand Final

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UPDATED:

13:31 GMT, 30 September 2012

Warrington are through to their first Grand Final but the champagne is staying on ice for now.

The Challenge Cup winners came from behind to secure an impressive 36-18 semi-final victory over St Helens to set up a Wembley rematch with defending champions Leeds at Old Trafford on Saturday.

The celebrations at Langtree Park were muted, however, as the Wolves quickly turned their thoughts towards becoming the first team to achieve the double since St Helens won the Cup final and Grand Final in 2006 and pulling off their first league championship for 57 years.

Whoosh: Trent Waterhouse scores a try

Whoosh: Trent Waterhouse scores a try

'We're made up that we've got there but we've still a lot of hard work to do,' warned hooker Mickey Higham.

'Fair play to Saints, they had a real strong start and got us in an arm wrestle but we stuck in there and turned it around.

'We got back to something like (acceptable) with the ball and defensively and hopefully we can take that into next week.

'We won't be satisfied with just getting there. We've earned the right to get there now and we want to kick on and finish it off.

'It would be just reward for a long, consistent season.'

Tries from wings Tommy Makinson and Francis Meli and skipper Paul Wellens put Saints into a 14-4 lead and on course for a seventh successive Grand Final appearance, but Warrington crucially pulled a try back just before half-time through Simon Grix.

The Wolves then dominated the second half, with Australian second-rower Trent Waterhouse clinching victory with two tries in a decisive three-minute spell.

Gunning for silverware: Ryan Atkins celebrates at full time

Gunning for silverware: Ryan Atkins celebrates at full time

Waterhouse was an NRL Grand Final winner with Penrith Panthers in 2003 while Higham has to go back even further for his last showpiece victory, a nailbiting 19-18 success with St Helens over Bradford in 2002.

'It's my 10th anniversary,' he said. 'Personally it's been long overdue. I've been striving to get back there and I've finally done it.

'Hopefully I can have a repeat of the last one, but not as close as the last result. I'd take a one-point win but hopefully we can get the job done a bit before that.'

Warrington beat Leeds 35-18 in last month's Challenge Cup final – they were also 30-6 winners over the Rhinos at Wembley in 2010 – but the Yorkshiremen have a proud record at Old Trafford, where they are aiming for a fifth success in the last six years.

Leeds have once more defied all logic by reaching the final from fifth place and Higham admits he did not expect them to get past league leaders Wigan in Friday's first semi-final at the DW Stadium.

On the ball: Chris Riley dives into score a try

On the ball: Chris Riley dives into score a try

'Truthfully, probably not,' he said. 'I did fancy Wigan. It could have gone either way at the end but it went for Leeds.

'That's why they are a champion team, they've been there the last six or seven years.

'They had a defeat in the Challenge Cup so they have quite a few things to motivate them this week.

'It's going to be a tough one but, if we can stick to our strategies and our guns, hopefully we can get them again.'

Leeds will have half-back Danny McGuire back for the final after he sat out the Wigan tie through suspension while Warrington will also be at full strength.

England second-rower Ben Westwood, who is on the Man of Steel award shortlist, made his comeback from a knee injury sustained at Wembley and coach Tony Smith also has the option of recalling prop Garreth Carvell.

The former Leeds front-rower has recovered from a back injury but was surprisingly left out by Smith for the semi-final.

St Helens 30 London Broncos 0: Wellens double inspires Saints

St Helens 30 London Broncos 0: Wellens double inspires Saints

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UPDATED:

21:39 GMT, 31 August 2012

Saints skipper Paul Wellens struck at the double to move his side nearer a top four play-off spot.

Mark Flanagan also crossed twice for Saints who led only 6-0 until just before the break.

The Broncos were in confident mood
after three wins in a row – the last a 62-18 hammering of cup winners
Warrington a fortnight ago.

Going over: Paul Wellens scores the fourth try for St Helens

Going over: Paul Wellens scores the fourth try for St Helens

London were missing Chris Bailey, Chris Melling and Michael Witt, with Dan Sarginson still out after a month's absence with an ankle problem.

Saints welcomed back Jon Wilkin and Josh Jones to compensate for the loss of Michael Shenton and Chris Flannery.

Saints, who won 34-24 at the Stoop on the opening day of the season, took only three minutes to go ahead when Tony Puletua burst on to a James Roby pass to score near the posts and Jonny Lomax converted.

Saints took advantage of a high tackle by Tony Clubb on Roby in the build-up to Puletua's opener.

Clubb made amends by intercepting a Lomax pass to deny Saints a second try and Broncos hit back to apply pressure.

Referee Richard Silverwood awarded 10 penalties in a stop-start opening 17 minutes. Saints introduced Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook off the bench midway through the first half and he immediately made his presence felt against his old club with some tough tackling.

A storming burst by Sol Soliola tested the Broncos defence, which was equal to the task until another penalty allowed Lomax to carve out a try for Mark Flanagan after 35 minutes.

Lomax missed the straightforward conversion to leave Saints ahead 10-0 with Paul Wellens having a try disallowed just before the break for a forward pass.

Saints made a storming start to the second half with Luke Dorn, making his 200th appearance in the British game, forced to race back to pull off a try-saving tackle on Francis Meli.

But a blunder by Omari Caro, who failed to collect a Lomax kick, led to Flanagan's second try after 45 minutes to make it 14-0.

Then Wellens added Saints' fourth touchdown to score for his fifth successive match but Lomax missed his third conversion from four attempts.

Clubb was held up over the line for the Broncos before Wellens took Puletua's pass to grab his second try and make it 24-0 on the hour.

Dorn almost notched a Broncos try in front of the 13,262 crowd but was recalled for a forward pass from Chad Randall.

London held out until Anthony Laffranchi crashed over for the final try in the last minute

St Helens 12 Warrington 22 – match report

St Helens 12 Warrington 22: Wolves end rotten run at Saints to all but secure top two

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UPDATED:

21:22 GMT, 6 August 2012

Warrington effectively wrapped up a top-two finish and kept the pressure on Stobart Super League leaders Wigan with a first win in St Helens since 1994.

The Wolves could not manage a win in 15 years of trying at Saints' old Knowsley Road ground but enjoyed their first visit to Langtree Park as they cruised to only a fourth win in 42 meetings with St Helens in the Super League era.

Old maestros Brett Hodson and Lee Briers were the architects of an impressive Warrington performance that enabled them to open up a five-point gap on their derby rivals and move to within three of Wigan, their next opponents.

Try and you will succeed: Chris Riley helped end Warrington's hopeless run at Saints

Try and you will succeed: Chris Riley helped end Warrington's hopeless run at Saints

Saints went into the game on the back of an unbeaten seven-match run going back to May but they were always second best against opponents running into form at the right time.

Double-chasing Warrington, who have now won their last five games, lived up to their reputation as quick starters as they made the most of Tommy Makinson's enforced goal-line drop-out inside the first minute.

Half-backs Richie Myler and Briers worked the ball out wide for Hodgson to scythe through for the opening try and it was 10-0 on seven minutes after prop Chris Hill picked up a loose ball to touch down.

Saints simply had no answer to the pinpoint kicking of Briers and, had Joel Monaghan's 15th minute try been allowed to stand, they would surely have been out of sight by then.

But video referee Phil Bentham ruled the Australian winger had lost control of the ball in claiming Briers' high kick and the home side made the most of the let-off to claw their way back into the game, aided by a string of penalties.

They missed a glorious opportunity when Francis Meli broke down the left wing only to see Jonny Lomax spill the final pass – but centre Michael Shenton got over the line midway through the first half when he took Paul Wellens' pass to twist and turn his way through a series of attempted tackles and touch down.

Makinson's conversion cut the gap to 10-6, which is how it remained up to half-time, but the Wolves restored their 10-point advantage within three minutes of the restart and went on to dominate the second half.

Second rower Trent Waterhouse timed his burst to perfection to run onto Hodgson's short pass and score his side's third try, with Hodgson kicking his second goal.

The visitors were denied another try when slow-motion replays indicated winger Chris Riley had put a foot in touch but it only delayed the inevitable.

A desperate tackle by St Helens stand-off Lance Hohaia denied Myler a long-range try and Riley had another effort disallowed for a forward pass but he finally got his reward when he picked up a looping pass from Ryan Atkins to go over on 62 minutes.

Hodgson kicked his third goal but St Helens gained some consolation when Wellens supported a break by substitute Mark Flanagan to score his side's second try six minutes from the end.

Makinson kicked his second goal but Warrington were still attacking at the end and Briers was the latest player to have a try disallowed.