Tommy’s courageous comeback is the stuff of fairytales

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Courageous with a capital C is the best way to describe Tommy Makinson - only the fifth Englishman to win the coveted Golden Boot.

Turn the clock back to the spring of 2016 and as I accompanied the forlorn figure of the St Helens winger (on crutches after suffering an anterior cruciate injury ligament) to a press conference his career seemed at the crossroads.

He already knew that the injury, which he picked up at Widnes on Easter Monday that season, ruled him out for the remainder of the year but he never lost faith in his ability to make a 100 per cent recovery - sometimes coming in to training at the crack of dawn and ploughing a lonely furrow in the treatment room.

It could arguably have been soul-destroying but with the continual encouragement of the staff and players he emerged from a dark tunnel and since has gone from strength to strength.

Neither, in his wildest dreams. could he have envisaged two years ago that he would be crowned winner of the 2018 Golden Boot award, as well as belatedly earning international recognition at 27 years of age and scoring a hat-trick of tries in the clinching of the three-match Test series against New Zealand.

It’s the stuff fairytales.