|Full name||Martin Gleeson|
25 May 1980|
Wigan, Greater Manchester, England
|Height||6 ft 1 in (185 cm)|
|Weight||14 st 13 lb (95 kg)|
Martin Gleeson is an assistant coach at the Salford Red Devils in the Super League, and an English former professional rugby league footballer. He represented both Great Britain, and England internationally as a centre, or stand-off/five-eighth. His previous clubs include Wigan, Huddersfield, St. Helens, Warrington, Hull F.C., and Salford. His honours include winning the European Super League in 2002 and 2010 and the Challenge Cup in 2004.
Gleeson was banned for three years (with half being suspended) in 2011 for failing a drugs test. His ban expired on 12 November 2012.
Gleeson was born in Wigan on 25 May 1980. Much of his early rugby development took place in Australia, where he emigrated with his family at age 10 to live in Queensland, where he played his junior rugby league for the Slacks Creek Red Lions club based in Daisy Hill, Queensland. He also played alongside future Australian, and Queensland representative Brad Meyers at Brothers St. Paul, in Brisbane. In 2005, Gleeson revealed his desire to represent Queensland in State of Origin. He returned to England aged 17 and embarked on a professional career, signing for Huddersfield Giants in 1999.
Huddersfield Giants (1999–2001)
St Helens (2002–2004)
Gleeson made his début for Great Britain against Australia in Sydney in July 2002, also participating in the test series against New Zealand at the end of the season. At the end of his first season with St Helens Gleeson played as a centre and scored a try in their 2002 Super League Grand Final victory against the Bradford Bulls. Having won Super League VI, St Helens contested the 2003 World Club Challenge against 2002 NRL Premiers, the Sydney Roosters, he played as a centre in Saints' 38–0 loss.
Injury lay off disrupted him in 2003. Although he missed seven games between July and September, he came back at the end of the 2003 season to win back his place in the Great Britain squad after a fine performance for England A against the touring Australians.
He opened the 2004 season for St. Helens, and won the Challenge Cup against Wigan at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff. He and teammate Sean Long were later involved in a betting scandal that saw both players fined and suspended for the last four months of the 2004 season.
Warrington Wolves (2005–2009)
Whilst serving his suspension, Gleeson was signed by Warrington for a club record fee reported in the region of £200,000, and he made his début for the Wire in the 2005 season. Gleeson enjoyed a fine first season for the Wire, recording a personal best scoring tally of 17 tries in 27 Super League appearances, and he was named as a centre in the Super League Dream Team 2005. Gleeson was also heavily involved in providing scores for his wing partner, New Zealand international Henry Fa'afili.
He was chosen for the England team to face Wales at the Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster prior to England's departure for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup. In Group A's first match against Papua New Guinea he played as a centre and scored a try in England's victory.
Gleeson signed a two-year extension until 2011. However, on 4 April 2009 he signed for local rivals, Wigan, on a three and a half-year deal.
Wigan Warriors (2009–2011)
Seven rounds into the 2009's Super League XIV, with both Warrington and Wigan at the time drifting outside of play-off positions, Gleeson was transferred to Wigan on a 3½ year contract, with fullback Richie Mathers moving the other way in return. Gleeson was an integral part of Wigan's 2010 season, scoring two tries as they claimed the Grand Final victory over his former club St. Helens.
His start of the 2011 season came against St Helens in the first regular round. He also featured in the side's win at Bradford Bulls but had to be taken off in the first half due to a hamstring injury. He recovered in time for the World Club Challenge fixture against St George Illawarra Dragons, but was ineffective and again had to be withdrawn during the match due to the injury. Prior to the match, the Manchester Evening News reported that in December 2010, Gleeson had contacted the police alleging he was the victim of blackmail but had decided to drop the charge. Amid growing speculation, the club released a statement saying he had left his hometown club with immediate effect citing his injury, disciplinary problems and a "serious distraction in his personal life" as the reasons for the departure.
Hull F.C. (2011)
Gleeson signed for Super League club Hull F.C. on Thursday 15 April 2011 on an 18-month contract, keeping him at the club until the end of the 2012 season. He made a try scoring début in the 36–18 thrashing of bitter city rivals Hull Kingston Rovers in the Good Friday derby at the KC Stadium. In June it was announced that Gleeson was suffering a stress related illness and he was granted leave by the club. His contract with the club was terminated in September. In December it was announced that Gleeson had failed a drugs test on 13 May in a game against Salford in which he scored two tries. He was subsequently banned for 3 years (with half being suspended) from 12 June which was his final game for the club against Harlequins.
Salford City Reds (2013–14)
In November 2012, Salford City Reds announced they had signed Gleeson on a 2-year contract for the 2013–14 and 2014–15 seasons. Gleeson scored his first try for Salford in the Magic Weekend fixture against Widnes Vikings on 26 May 2013 at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester.
Gleeson announced his retirement in September 2014.
Gleeson is the cousin of the rugby league footballer of the 2000s and 2010s; Sean Gleeson.
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- "Profile at loverugbyleague.com". loverugbyleague.com. 31 December 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
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- "Great Britain Statistics at englandrl.co.uk". englandrl.co.uk. 31 December 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
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- "St Helens 10–22 Wigan". BBC News. 2 October 2010.
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- "Bradford 10 Wigan 44: match report". The Daily Telegraph. London. 20 February 2011. Retrieved 7 May 2011.
- Wilson, Andy (27 February 2011). "Wigan Warriors make brave attempt but Dragons are still worlds apart". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 7 May 2011.
- Keegan, Mike (25 February 2011). "Wigan rugby league star Martin Gleeson 'received death threats in blackmail plot'". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 7 May 2011.
- "Wigan Warriors part with troubled Martin Gleeson". BBC. 4 March 2011. Retrieved 7 May 2011.
- "Martin Gleeson: Salford centre retires and takes academy role". BBC Sport. 30 September 2014. Retrieved 15 December 2014.