LIKE Scott Naylor, Pete Carey, Scott Law and Ritchie Hawkyard before him, Paul Crook leaves Oldham with the club’s sincere thanks for his contribution to the promotion push and the chairman’s best wishes for whatever he does in the years ahead.
The 33-year-old stand-off, who is hanging up his boots to concentrate on a new career in coaching, has even said he might return to Roughyeds some day “in one capacity or another.”
He has accepted a role as assistant coach to the St Helens reserve team in a home-town job where his career in rugby league began when he was a teenager and at a venue which is “just down the road” from where he lives.
“I can’t thank everyone enough for making my family and I so welcome at Oldham.
“I might be back one day, who knows, but for now I’ve got to learn my (coaching) trade and it’s a great opportunity for me to do that at St Helens.
“We are expecting another little one in January and that was another reason why I couldn’t turn down the chance of a job like this which is on my doorstep.”
He messaged Oldham chairman Chris Hamilton to say how much he had enjoyed his two seasons at Oldham and to plant the seed about a possible return to the club further down the line.
“Paul, who was both a player and a member of our coaching panel in 2019, wasn’t in the team in the first few weeks of the season, but when he did return to the side he quickly made a big difference.
“We appreciate all he did for us and wish him well in his new job at Saints. It’s really nice when a player tells us what it meant to him to play for a club like ours.”
Crook took to social media to say that, after a brilliant Grand Final, there could be no better time to bow out.
The job at Saints, he said, was in the best possible environment and was simply too good an opportunity to turn down.
He said he and his family had enjoyed an “amazing” two years at Oldham and he wished to thank his team mates, coaching staff, chairman and fans. What a special group of people!
“I’m grateful for having had the opportunity to play for such an historic club and pleased that I could contribute to the year’s success in getting the club back into the Championship where it belongs.
“I wish you all the best for next season and beyond.”