Matty Lees hell bent on Old Trafford glory after overcoming shocking injury
Matty Lees is hell bent on Grand Final glory after staring disaster in the face.
The St Helens prop was told he could have died after rupturing his bowel in a game against Leeds.
Even after surgeons saved his life, Lees was convinced his career might be over and asked his dad to get him a job.
And that’s why the 23-year-old is determined to squeeze every last inch of enjoyment out of Saturday’s Old Trafford showdown with Catalans.
He said: “I appreciate everything a lot more now. I’ve not played in a Grand Final at Old Trafford before but the greatest memories are made there.”
Saints are hoping to make it three titles on the trot by beating the Dragons, the League Leaders Shield winners.
Lees played in last year’s final, which was at the Hull KCOM stadium for Covid reasons, but wasn’t fit to play at Old Trafford in 2019.
He was still recovering at the time from suffering his horrific injury in an away game at Leeds weeks earlier.
He said: “It was quite scary when it happened and afterwards I got told it could have been fatal if I’d got on the coach home with the lads.
“An ambulance was called and at the hospital I was told I might have to have a colostomy bag which meant I wouldn’t be able to train or play for six months at least.
“I was quite upset because I thought my career had finished there and then. I’m a qualified electrical engineer so I asked my dad if there would be a job for me at his engineering works.
“But after the operation they said I’d got the best case scenario – three months off and then back to normal.”
It still meant though that he missed out on the Challenge Cup final, the Grand Final and selection for the Great Britain Lions tour.
He said: “I was with the lads for the Grand Final at Old Trafford and I was really happy for them but also gutted that I wasn’t involved.
“I was a bit down and remember Jonny Lomax coming to me in the changing rooms after, telling me that we’d get back in 2020 for me.
“That meant a lot and after last year’s win Jonny was the first person I went to and thanked.
“Now we’re back for the third year running and it means everything to me knowing my family can be there watching.
“Mum and dad, and my girlfriend, supported me massively through the difficult times. It’s every parent’s dream to see their lad play at Old Trafford. I just hope we win for them.”
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