Liam Kay Leaves the Wolfpack
16/07/2020 by admin
Toronto Wolfpack can confirm that Ireland International Liam Kay will be leaving the club. Kay will join up with Super League side Wakefield Trinity ahead of the season re-start, where he made the first of his 154 career appearances in 2012.
Kay has proved a huge fan-favourite in his time with the club, and he leaves behind a legacy that stands alone. When the Wolfpack adventure began back in 2016, the exciting winger was the first player sign a professional contract with the team. In recognition of this Kay has been assigned Player Heritage Jersey #1 with the club.
Four years later, the decision to sign Kay has been proven a masterstroke as he leaves the Wolfpack as the club’s most prolific try scorer. He is also one of only five players from the 2017 squad to have appeared each season through to the 2020 Super League campaign.
Wolfpack Head Coach Brian McDermott commented:
“This is a great move for Liam to be able to progress his career. As the first ever signing for Toronto Wolfpack he will always be the club’s Heritage Jersey #1, which not many in our sport can boast of.
“While the fans will remember Liam for his incredible strike rate for games played and tries scored, everyone inside the Wolfpack bubble will also remember his commitment to the cause for the first ever transatlantic professional sports team.
“We all wish Liam well, and I’m sure I speak for everyone in expressing our gratitude to his efforts over the last 4 years.”
A remarkable tenure with Toronto is punctuated by consistently superb performances as Kay stood tall each time his team-mates looked to him on the wing. When reflecting on his time with the Wolfpack, it is an ability to perform on historically significant occasions that truly stands out. He added:
“I would just like to thank all the fans for your loyal commitment over the last 4 years, that’s including Wolfpack fans in the UK and of course the ones in Canada. It has been a privilege to represent you and I have cherished every moment of it.
“I will always be a fan of the Wolfpack and would like to place on record my respect for Brian McDermott and my appreciation for his honesty and candour. I wish him and the team all the best for the future.
“I’m grateful to Wakefield for the opportunity and I’m looking forward to working under Chris Chester.”
In the club’s first ever fixture, a 2017 pre-season friendly against Hull FC, Kay hit the scoreboard with a try in celebration of the birth of an exciting new venture. He then registered a double in the club’s first game for League points, a 2017 victory over London Skolars. Rounding out the Wolfpack’s debut season by scoring in five of seven post-season fixtures, Kay helped ensure his side gained promotion to the Championship at the first time of asking.
Kay began life in the Championship with an even bigger bang, scoring a hat-trick in a comeback win in round one against Leigh Centurions. Only an ankle injury sustained on the cusp of playoffs could slow him down in 2018. Despite missing the final seven games of the year, Kay ended as Toronto’s, and the Championship’s, leading try-scorer.
Almost 10 months out of the game followed as Kay committed his time and energies to rehab. He returned to the fold for the Wolfpack’s second game in Toronto, on May 4 against Bradford Bulls. Marking his return with an acrobatic try in the corner that ignited the crowd, it was clear that Kay had lost none of his incredible ability to impact games.
From there he couldn’t be stopped, tallying a further 11 tries from 16 appearances, including a vital four-pointer in the thrilling Semi-Final win against Toulouse Olympique at the Den. After the disappointment of missing the Grand Final defeat a year earlier, the first player ever signed by the Wolfpack celebrated on-field as they won promotion to the Super League with an 18-point triumph over Featherstone Rovers.
Speaking just before the start of the 2020 Super League season Kay had said:
“I joined the team not knowing the players or how everything would work, so it was a big leap of faith, and I’m probably reaping the rewards of that a bit now. It was a big decision at the time but an easy one as well. I wanted a new challenge, and it’s not a decision I regret. When you look at the team now and the quality of player we’ve signed, I’m buzzing that I was an original member that has seen how far the club’s come.”
Fittingly Kay then became the first player to score in the top division for the Wolfpack when he opened the scoring against Castleford Tigers on February 2. In the face of a tough beginning to life in the Super League for Toronto, Kay has given his all every single time he has pulled on the Wolfpack jersey.
A player and person that fans, teammates, coaches and staff have loved and respected throughout his journey with the Wolfpack, Liam Kay has been the ultimate team man every step of the way.