ADRIAN Morley has revealed for the first time how he was on the brink of joining Halifax as a teenager.
The Warrington captain - this country’s most capped player - makes the admission in his autobiograpy ‘Moz’, which is released nationwide on Monday.
In this exclusive extract from the book, he details just how close former coach Mal Reilly came to signing him in the early 1990s - but an act of deception left a bitter taste in his mouth, and he went on to launch his glittering career at Leeds.
He revealed: “Halifax invited me and Nathan (McAvoy) for talks – they were interested in signing us both. They picked us up outside my house and drove us the 30-odd miles across the Pennines to their ground.
“Unlike Swinton, Halifax were in the top flight, and the thought of playing for them was even more attractive because the Great Britain coach, Mal Reilly, was in charge. He was already a legend; my dad had told me what a great player he’d been.
“Mal showed us around the ground, asked us about our aspirations – ‘Just to make it,‘ I remember mumbling – and shook our hands as Nat and I split up to meet with the Halifax officials. A middle-aged man in a suit said they could offer me £4,000-a-year, for two years. The same as Nathan McAvoy, he said. Suddenly, Swinton’s record-breaking offer wasn’t quite as tempting.
“My mind was made up. I instantly set my heart on Halifax, but I’d promised my dad that I wouldn’t sign anything until I’d spoken to him first, so I reluctantly asked for a couple of days to think about it.
“Nat and I rode back in the same car.
“‘What do you think?’ he asked.
“‘Are you kidding? Mal Reilly’s the coach and I get four grand a year.’
“‘Four?’ he said. ‘They offered me eight.’
“‘Eight a year?’
“Nat was the better player and it didn’t bother me that he’d been offered more. But the fact that they’d lied to me left a bitter taste in my mouth. I was so pissed off at the way they’d tried to trick me – they must have thought Nat and I wouldn’t discuss figures – that I instantly went off the idea of playing for them.”