Hull FC have given official confirmation that club legend Gareth Ellis will be playing on in 2020.
Ellis has signed a one-year extension to his contract which will see him play on until he’s 39 years young. He’s currently 38.
The old warhorse came out of retirement last season, reigniting his hunger, and that means the boots have some miles to go yet.
Ellis’ role will be adapted to ones we’ve seen before. He will be Super League’s oldest and longest serving player next year.
The once in a generation player that has been Hull FC’s best signing of the modern era, Ellis brings invaluable leadership qualities to the side. His impact is unquestionable, his footwork is immense and he still hits you as hard as that big fella from the Longest Yard.
Speaking to the clubs official website, Ellis said: “After my initial comeback early in 2019, I didn’t expect to be in and around the squad for the rest of the season. I thought it would just be a bit of a final swansong for me.
“But I had that taste and it made me realise that I was still enjoying playing and that turned into me playing 20 games which is pretty much a full season for me.
“It was probably about 10 or 15 games into the season when people began asking me the question are to whether I thought I could go around again in 2020. And with how I was feeling, I was pretty sure I was able to do so.
“I was a bit reluctant at first to take on that role of being a senior player after coming out of retirement – I just wanted to enjoy what I thought where my final few games. But as time has gone on, I’ve realised there is a sort of leadership role for me to take on in the team and being an influential figure to those younger players in particular once again.
“My aim for pre-season is to get as physically fit as I can and go into 2020 with the mindset that I am going to be a key part of this squad, and there is more to it now than just enjoying a final few games in my career. It doesn’t matter how old I am, I’m out there to give it my all when I’m in a Black & White shirt.”
Only fools would play the age card. It’s Gareth Ellis. The man who chose Hull FC, changed the status quo, and played a huge part in winning two Challenge Cups in 2016 and 2017.
Ellis retired soon after. He says it was the right decision at the time, but it felt even then that there was more to give.
2019 showed there was. After playing for the Reserves a second club debut followed at Wigan and that was that.
Ellis was bending people at 38. He’s a machine, the shining example to the beneficiaries of professionalism both on and off the field.
Hull FC head coach Lee Radford will be careful in the way he uses Ellis and said: “The role Gaz is going to play for us is going to be different to the one he played a couple of years ago, but as he adapts and evolves he will be just as important.
“He brings a wealth of experience and leadership qualities that he will undoubtedly pass on to the rest of the squad and carries himself with the utmost professional, as we saw on and off the field last season.
“With everything he does and how he conducts himself around the club, it goes without saying that our squad will be better for having him around.
“His influence as a senior player is huge and he has the voice and respect amongst the group to make a difference.”
“Even at 38, I still think there is more development to come in his game. He has the skills and ball handling ability to promote the ball more going into contact and that is something we’re going to work on in the off-season.”