TONIGHT WILL be an emotional occasion for Salford Red Devils forward Adrian Morley when he makes his final appearance at Headingley Carnegie.
Morley, who is set to retire at the end of the season, is originally from Salford, but Leeds is where his career began in the mid-1990s.
The former England and Great Britain hardman made his first team debut for Leeds in 1995, aged 17 and went on to play 149 times for the club before leaving to join Sydney Roosters at the end of the 2000 season.
After winning an NRL Grand Final he later had spells with Bradford Bulls and Warrington Wolves, before joining his hometown club last year.
Morley, now 38, played for Bulls in their 2005 Grand Final win over Rhinos and was a member of the Warrington team which beat Leeds at Wembley in 2010 and 2012, as well as Huddersfield in 2009. Rhinos gained revenge in the 2012 Grand Final.
Morley was signed by Doug Laughton during the 1994-95 season, but credited Dean Bell and Graham Murray as the coaches who shaped his career.
“It was a quick rise to making the first team as a 17-year-old,” Morley recalled ahead of tonight’s game. “For a couple of years I was still improving, but then I got to the stage where I was one of the more experienced forwards out there. Dean Bell and Graham encouraged me to play the game aggressively, which suited me down to the ground. I loved my time at Leeds and have some very special memories.”
Morley was a member of Rhinos’ 1998 Grand Final team and played in the following year’s Challenge Cup triumph, as well as the loss in 2000.