Golden Boot winner Tommy Makinson reveals he could have quit rugby league

Golden Boot winner Tommy Makinson reveals he could have quit rugby league

Golden Boot winner Tommy Makinson admits he considered quitting rugby league during the dark days of his injury nightmare.

Makinson broke his ankle and tore his cruciate ligament in separate incidents that meant he played just nine times in almost two years.

But this week he completed a stunning comeback story by being crowned the sport’s best international player after three sparkling performances against New Zealand this year.

Last Sunday he scored a match-winning hat-trick in the 20-14 series clinching win at Anfield, but revealed that he almost gave up on his rugby league dream after the second serious setback.

Makinson said: “After the ACL injury I really began to question emotionally whether I could come back from it.

Makinson jumps for joy in last weekend’s win at Anfield (Image: PA)

Read More Jamie Peacock column – Forget Aussie critics, Tommy Makinson deserves Golden Boot

“Physically, that’s never been a problem as I’ve always trained well and come back from injuries well, but it was emotionally, what it was doing to me

“It’s not a sob story because lots of people have been through injuries – and I remember Jonny Lomax being in a similar boat when he got three back-to-back

“Seeing what it does to people – it’s your dream, this is the pinnacle of what you want to do

“You get through the dark days with good people around you

“My girlfriend and kids – it’s a cliche, but they’re the people who see you through it

“You get up at 7am for rehab and don’t get in until 3pm.

Makinson had an outstanding Super League season with St Helens (Image: PA Archive/PA Images)

“Things could be much worse of course, but when you grow up and want to be a professional player and that dream is slowly being snatched away from you with ankle and ACL injuries, you think things couldn’t be worse.

“You think the dream is going and you’re going to have to get out there in the real world, but luckily enough, those tough people around me gave me the confidence to continue

“All the people who helped me, I’m so thankful for.”

Makinson will again line up on the left wing at Elland Road today as Wayne Bennett’s side look to complete a series whitewash against a Kiwi team that beat world champions Australia last month.

Oliver Gildart and England have left the Kiwis behind so far in this series (Image: PA Wire)

And Makinson believes that England’s progress this year cannot be fully measured until they take the Kangaroos on again.

He added: “New Zealand are a great side and they beat them, but Australia will always be classed as the best team in the world for me

“It is what it is – their record proves it and for us to get a shot at them would be nice.

“The future is huge for the international game.

“Hopefully we can play more international games and those great teams like Tonga, Samoa and Australia – let’s take the game and build it

“You can see it with these games that there’s only one way from here, and that’s forward

“But we’ve got another Test against the Kiwis before then, though.”

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