HE'S a man who is considered part of rugby league royalty in the Western region and St Pat's are now making sure that the name Paul Sams will be known by generations to come as well.
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The Saints are currently in the process of decorating their clubhouse with memorabilia and this week were presented with the blazer Sams wore after winning the 1975 Group 10 premiership.
It will no doubt hold pride of place to honour the memory of the late, great fullback who died on November 22 last year.
Sams was a member of the famous 1974 Western side which won the Amco Cup, entering league folklore when beating Penrith 6-2 in the decider.
He also lined up for Western in the legendary brutal match against Great Britain that year. Though Sams and his team-mates didn't win, they pushed their rivals before going down 25-10.
That huge season when Sams and his fellow Western talents became the unlikeliest of heroes was also his second playing club football with the Saints.
His career actually began with Charlestons at under 18s level and while Sams' maiden season came and went without a win, it did see him wear the number one jersey he went on to make his own.
"They asked me to have a game and I went down to training. The coach asked me where I played and I said five-eighth or lock," Sams recalled decades after he retired.
" 'Sorry mate' he said, 'The only position we've got open is fullback'."
In his second season Sams' side copped a massive 99-0 hiding by St Pat's, but come 1972 he was in the blue and white of the Saints himself.
They were colours and a club he came to love.
"I played for the fun of it. Even after '74 we were getting $25 a win," Sams told author Ian Heads in his book The Night The Music Died.
In 1973 Sams was a member of the side which beat Ex-Services 24-10 on Group 10 grand final day.
Though Sams was not amongst those to contribute to the score that afternoon - team-mates Ian Toohey, Roger Toohey and Peter Sikora crossed for tries while Toohey and Paul Dowling booted goals - he was still a key member of the Saints' line-up.
Sams also coached the under 18 Saints to premiership glory in 1977.
While Parramatta tried to lure Sams to Sydney, he stayed in Bathurst for his whole career and often said how much he loved the place.
The city has a lot of love and respect for Sams too and with his blazer on display at the Saints' clubhouse more people will have the chance to learn about a past hero.
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