Vodafone Warriors legend Stacey Jones says he’s proud to see another one of his club records go today.
Two weeks ago Shaun Johnson’s 57th career try took him past Jones’ all-time points-scoring record of 674 points.
And today against St George Illawarra, the 30-year-old former captain Simon Mannering, four games into his 13th NRL season, claims outright possession of the record for most appearances for the club after drawing level with Jones on 261 games last week.
Jones gathered with the whole club – players and staff – for a luncheon on Thursday to honour Vodafone Warrior #125 Mannering as he eyed his feat. Also there were Mannering’s partner Anna and their sons Zeke and Jack.
In a poignant moment Jones passed on the baton, as it were, by presenting Mannering with his specially-embroidered jersey for his record outing.
The pair played together briefly in Mannering’s rookie season in 2005 and again when Jones returned for his 12th and final campaign in 2009.
Jones marvels at Mannering’s ability and consistency.
“He’s the greatest player our club has had and he’s far from finished yet,” he said.
“It’s really special seeing him reach this mark. It wasn’t until this came around that it made me feel proud about what I’d done (in having the record for the most appearances).”
Other features at the event included video tributes from a collection of former Vodafone Warriors players plus the 19th Vodafone Warrior Sir Peter Leitch – who was also in attendance – while current squad members Manu Vatuvei, Shaun Johnson, Charlie Gubb and Isaiah Papali’i spoke at the lunch about what Mannering means to them.