Manchester Evening News: Ellery Hanley has come close to making a surprise return to Rugby League with the Salford Red Devils. Hanley recently flew in from Spain and met with Salford owner Marwan Koukash and CEO Martin Vickers to discuss the possibility of becoming the club’s football director. Talks took place at the Worsley Marriott and involved Hanley’s representatives. The former Great Britain skipper and Saints coach was interested in returning to the professional game but Reds coach Iestyn Harris is believed to have objected to the move. Hanley later returned to Spain after being told there was no prospect of plans materialising after Koukash and Vickers had consulted Harris.
Look, no doubt we’re all in agreement here that, aside of signing Bobbie Goulding as coach, this was the move that had the potential to deliver silverware to Salford. You know it. I know it. Koukash heard it somewhere. Vickers knows it.
Salford needs winners. This guy was voted in 2007 as the greatest British rugby league player of all time, and of course he was. Scored 63 tries in one season. 17 medals at Wigan. A Golden Boot. 34 Tests. Premierships as coach. It’s a Koukash wet dream right there.
Of course Harris didn’t want him there. It’s possible Harris wants one voice at the club, because his is so boring, that if there’s two, people might stay awake.
But the main reason Harris doesn’t want him there is that Harris has heard the rumours. Ellery is a modern-day Lady Chatterley’s lover, who makes a stupendous living satisfying the between-the-sheets needs of upper-class British women and other unsatisfied wealthy housewives around the globe. Players and coaches from the past have needed to see therapists when they tried to satisfy their wives after Ellery had blazed those pastures.
That’s how he inspired Balmain to the 1988 Sydney grand final. Warren Ryan was driving the players into the ground, leaving their wives unsated, and team outside the playoff spots. Kevin Humphries jumped on a plane to England to recruit “Ellery Eats Celery”, and got what Ryan was looking for: someone to keep the wives and girlfriends and side-pieces exhausted while Ryan put on extra training sessions. It worked, the team gelled, and won eight straight to make the grand final, before Terry Lamb knocked Ellery out just before halftime and 27 women raced to the shed to fondle/check on him, disturbing Ryan’s half-time speech.
Anway: that level of inhuman testeosterone is exactly the jolt in the groin that Salford rugby league needs if its going to evade the syphilis-ridden boil of mediocrity its stuck in. If Harris can’t handle that, he should push off.
Harris will be gone by late March anyway, so all being well, Ellery will be able to move straight in after that, and hopefully start filling the needs of lonely Manchester City/United housewives as well on a full-time basis.
Relive Ellery’s on-field awesomeness here: