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Martin Gleeson

Martin Gleeson

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Martin Gleeson is an English professional rugby league
Rugby league
Rugby league football, usually called rugby league, is a full contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular grass field. One of the two codes of rugby football, it originated in England in 1895 by a split from Rugby Football Union over paying players...

 footballer, who plays for Hull in the Super League
Super League
Super League is the top-level professional rugby league football club competition in Europe. As a result of sponsorship from engage Mutual Assurance the competition is currently officially known as the engage Super League. The League features fourteen teams: thirteen from England and one from...

. A Great Britain
Great Britain national rugby league team
The Great Britain national rugby league team represents the United Kingdom in rugby league football. Administered by the Rugby Football League , the team is nicknamed "The Lions" or "Great Britain Lions"....

 and England international
England national rugby league team
The England national rugby league team represent England in international rugby league football tournaments. The team has now seen a revival, having largely formed from the Great Britain team, who also represented Wales, Scotland and Ireland. The team is run under the auspices of the Rugby Football...

 representative , and /, he previously played for Wigan Warriors
Wigan Warriors
Wigan Warriors is an English rugby league club based in Wigan, Greater Manchester. The club's first team squad competes in the engage Super League and the team are the current Challenge Cup holders as of the 27th August 2011....

, Huddersfield Giants
Huddersfield Giants
Huddersfield Giants are a professional rugby league club from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire who play in the European Super League competition. They play their home games at the Galpharm Stadium which is shared with Huddersfield Town F.C....

, St. Helens (with whom he won the 2002 Super League championship and 2004 Challenge Cup
Challenge Cup
The Challenge Cup is a knockout cup competition for rugby league clubs organised by the Rugby Football League. Originally it was contested only by British teams but in recent years has been expanded to allow teams from France and Russia to take part....

) and Warrington. His brother, Mark Gleeson
Mark Gleeson
Mark Gleeson is a rugby league player from Wigan, Greater Manchester, England. He is currently contracted to Halifax until the end of the NL1 2008 season...

, is also a rugby league player who plays for Halifax
Halifax RLFC
Halifax RLFC is one of the most historic rugby league clubs in the game, formed over a century ago, in 1873 in the Yorkshire town of Halifax. Known as 'Fax', the official club colours are blue and white hoops, blue shorts and blue socks . They share The Shay stadium with football club FC Halifax Town...

.

Early life


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
Queensland
Queensland is a state of Australia, occupying the north-eastern section of the mainland continent. It is bordered by the Northern Territory, South Australia and New South Wales to the west, south-west and south respectively. To the east, Queensland is bordered by the Coral Sea and Pacific Ocean...

, where he played his junior rugby league for the Logan Brothers club based in Woodridge, Queensland
Woodridge, Queensland
Woodridge is a suburb of Logan City in the South East of Queensland, Australia, located within the Brisbane metropolitan area and had a population of 18,039 as of the 1996 census....

. He returned to England aged 17 and embarked on a professional career, signing for Huddersfield Giants
Huddersfield Giants
Huddersfield Giants are a professional rugby league club from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire who play in the European Super League competition. They play their home games at the Galpharm Stadium which is shared with Huddersfield Town F.C....

 in 1999.

St Helens RLFC (2002–2004)


After three seasons with the Giants he left the club after their relegation from Super League
Super League
Super League is the top-level professional rugby league football club competition in Europe. As a result of sponsorship from engage Mutual Assurance the competition is currently officially known as the engage Super League. The League features fourteen teams: thirteen from England and one from...

 in 2001, and signed for St. Helens. In 2002 he won the Super League Grand Final.

Injury lay off disrupted him in 2003. He opened the 2004 season for St. Helens, and won the Challenge Cup
Challenge Cup
The Challenge Cup is a knockout cup competition for rugby league clubs organised by the Rugby Football League. Originally it was contested only by British teams but in recent years has been expanded to allow teams from France and Russia to take part....

 against Wigan Warriors
Wigan Warriors
Wigan Warriors is an English rugby league club based in Wigan, Greater Manchester. The club's first team squad competes in the engage Super League and the team are the current Challenge Cup holders as of the 27th August 2011....

 at the Millennium Stadium
Millennium Stadium
The Millennium Stadium is the national stadium of Wales, located in the capital, Cardiff. It is the home of the Wales national rugby union team and also frequently stages games of the Wales national football team, but is also host to many other large scale events, such as the Super Special Stage...

, Cardiff
Cardiff
Cardiff is the capital, largest city and most populous county of Wales and the 10th largest city in the United Kingdom. The city is Wales' chief commercial centre, the base for most national cultural and sporting institutions, the Welsh national media, and the seat of the National Assembly for...

. He and teammate Sean Long
Sean Long
Sean Long is an English former professional rugby league and current rugby union footballer with Preston Grasshoppers. He has played for Wigan, Widnes and Hull but is best known for playing for St Helens in the Super League. Internationally he has represented England and Great Britain at /...

 were later involved in a betting scandal
2004 rugby league betting scandal
2004 saw a scandal in the sport of rugby league involving Great Britain international players Sean Long and Martin Gleeson. Both players were playing for St Helens at the time; the match in question was between Bradford Bulls and St Helens on Easter Monday, April 2004.St Helens were scheduled to...

 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 Wolves
Warrington Wolves
Warrington Wolves are a professional rugby league football club based in Warrington, England that competes in Super League. They play at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, having moved there from Wilderspool in 2003....

 for a club record fee reported in the region of £200,000, and made his debut for the Wolves in the 2005 season. Gleeson enjoyed a fine first season for the Wolves, 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
Super League Dream Team
The Super League Dream Team is an award given each season to the players deemed to have been the best in their position in the Super League by a panel of journalists and broadcasters....

 2005. Gleeson was also heavily involved in providing scores for his winger partner, New Zealand international Henry Fa'afili
Henry Fa'afili
Henry Fa'afili is a Samoan rugby player. He originally played Rugby league but switched codes in 2007 to play rugby union for Biarritz Olympique. He is currently signed to Connacht Rugby in the Celtic League after departing Leeds Carnegie in June 2011. Fa'afili's position of choice is on the Wing...

. Gleeson signed a two year extension until 2011. However on the 4th April, 2009 he signed for local rivals, the Wigan Warriors, on a three and a half year deal.

Wigan Warriors (2009–2011)


Seven rounds into the 2009 season
Super League XIV
The 2009 Super League season is the fourteenth season of rugby league since the Super League format was introduced in 1996...

, with both Warrington and Wigan at the time drifting outside of play-off positions, Gleeson was transferred to the Wigan Warriors on a 3½ year contract, with fullback Richie Mathers
Richard Mathers
Richard 'Richie' Mathers is an English rugby league footballerwho currently plays for the Castleford Tigers of Europe's Super League competition...

 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
2011 Wigan Warriors season
The 2011 Wigan Warriors season is the club's 16th season in the Super League, since its launch in 1996.Michael Maguire carried on as head coach in what would be his last season, and Ian Lenagan continued as the club's chairman and owner. Wigan reverted to using a solo captain in Sean O'Loughlin,...

 came against St Helens RLFC in the first regular round. He also featured in the side's win at Bradford Bulls
Bradford Bulls
Bradford Bulls is a professional rugby league club based in the city of Bradford, West Yorkshire, England. They play in the European Super League and are currently joint 10th in the league....

 but had to be taken off in the first half due to a hamstring injury. He recovered in time for the World Club Challenge
2011 World Club Challenge
The 2011 World Club Challenge was contested by Super League XV champions, Wigan Warriors, and 2010 NRL Premiers, the St. George Illawarra Dragons...

 fixture against St George Illawarra Dragons
St George Illawarra Dragons
The St George Illawarra Dragons is an Australian professional rugby league football club, representing the St. George and Illawarra regions. They have competed in the National Rugby League since 1999 as a joint venture between Sydney's historic St. George Dragons club and 1982 expansion club, the...

, but was ineffective and again had to be withdrawn during the match due to the injury. Prior to the match, the Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
The Manchester Evening News is a regional daily newspaper covering Greater Manchester in the United Kingdom. It is published every day except Sunday and is owned by Trinity Mirror plc following its sale by Guardian Media Group in early 2010. It has an average daily circulation of 90,973 copies...

 reported that in December 2010, Gleeson had contacted the police alleging he was the victim of blackmail
Blackmail
In common usage, blackmail is a crime involving threats to reveal substantially true or false information about a person to the public, a family member, or associates unless a demand is met. It may be defined as coercion involving threats of physical harm, threat of criminal prosecution, or threats...

 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 FC (2011–present)


Gleeson signed for Super League club Hull FC on Thursday 15th April on an 18 month contract, keeping him at the club until the end of the 2012 season. He made a try scoring debut in the 36 - 18 thrashing of bitter city rivals Hull KR in the good Friday derby at the KC Stadium.

Representative career


He made his debut for Great Britain
Great Britain national rugby league team
The Great Britain national rugby league team represents the United Kingdom in rugby league football. Administered by the Rugby Football League , the team is nicknamed "The Lions" or "Great Britain Lions"....

 against Australia in Sydney in July 2002, also participating in the test series
Baskerville Shield
The Baskerville Shield is a trophy awarded to the winner of rugby league test series between Great Britain and New Zealand. It named in honour of Albert Henry Baskerville, who organised the first ever tour by New Zealand of Great Britain in 1907....

 against New Zealand
New Zealand national rugby league team
The New Zealand national rugby league team has represented New Zealand in rugby league football since intercontinental competition began for the sport in 1907. Administered by the New Zealand Rugby League, they are commonly known as the Kiwis, after the native bird of that name...

 at the end of the season.

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.

In September 2008 he was named in the England training squad for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup
2008 Rugby League World Cup
The 2008 Rugby League World Cup was the thirteenth staging of the Rugby League World Cup since the inauguration of the tournament in 1954, and the first since the 2000 event...

, and in October 2008 he was named in the final 24-man England squad.

He was chosen for the England
England national rugby league team
The England national rugby league team represent England in international rugby league football tournaments. The team has now seen a revival, having largely formed from the Great Britain team, who also represented Wales, Scotland and Ireland. The team is run under the auspices of the Rugby Football...

 team to face Wales
Wales national rugby league team
The Wales national rugby league team represent Wales in international rugby league football matches. Currently the team is seventh in the RLIF World Rankings. The team were run under the auspices of the Rugby Football League, but an independent body, Wales Rugby League, now runs the team from...

 at the Keepmoat Stadium prior to England's departure for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup
2008 Rugby League World Cup
The 2008 Rugby League World Cup was the thirteenth staging of the Rugby League World Cup since the inauguration of the tournament in 1954, and the first since the 2000 event...

.

External links