Chris Mayor says winning the Premiership title as a player with Sale Sharks is the best moment in his career.
Mayor played over 80 times for the Sharks across a six-year period, but also appeared in England’s top division for Northampton Saints and Wasps.
More recently, Mayor has tasted elation with National League side Sale FC after the club secured two promotions in four years including last season where they were crowned National Two North champions.
But his time at Edgeley Park always stands out for Mayor. The back came off the bench in the 2006 final against Leicester Tigers and scored to wrap up a 45-20 victory and Mayor will never forget lifting the Premiership at Twickenham.
“It is one of the things I get asked; ‘What was it like to win the Premiership’ and it is a really hard question,” he said.
“People imagine it as the best thing ever and it is just elation, but you can’t actually put your finger on what it feels like.
“It will stay with me for all my life as the best time in my career. Playing for England Sevens and the Barbarians are up there as highlights, but having only done it once, winning the Premiership is top of the list because some players will never experience that throughout their careers.
Mayor’s love affair with Twickenham continued this season as he played a part in Lancashire’s 31-16 Bill Beaumont Cup win over Hertfordshire, but now he has decided to move into a player/coach role for the upcoming season.
The 36-year-old has joined Cheshire/Lancashire Division One side Southport after leaving Sale FC following another successful stint in Manchester.
He added: “It was good to finish on a high. It did make it harder for me to leave because I wanted to carry on in National One and build on what we achieved the year before.
“I enjoyed a good few years as a professional player at Sale Sharks and obviously, the Sharks originated years and years ago from Sale FC. At FC, we trained at Carrington where the Sharks train and Heywood Road is a treasured place by both clubs.
“It was a massive decision to leave everybody because with Sale FC, they are now out quite a pinnacle of the club’s heritage now they are in National One, but I am not getting any younger and I think it’s about time I let the young kids have a go!”
Sale FC are now preparing to make their maiden bow in National One and they begin the new campaign away at Cambridge on September 1st.
Over the last two seasons, the men from Heywood Road have been extremely strong in National Two North and despite them taking the next step up this term, Mayor believes his old club will compete.
Huge congrats to the dogs again. Dug really deep to see out the game and make it 23 wins in a row. Absolutely fantastic effort all season & all at the club are immensely proud of each & every one of you - bring on Nat 1 (after a well deserved rest of course) #honthedogs #onesale— Sale FC Rugby (@SaleFC) May 12, 2018
“Nobody thinks they are going to suddenly come and tear that league apart, but if it happens, that is what everyone would want!”, Mayor said. “That would be the dream!
“However, they are very grounded. They have made some good signings and they have got a good mix of youth and some older heads. They have also got quite a few Sharks players from the academy who are going to be involved heavily this year.
“It is not something you necessarily always say, but if you can avoid relegation in your first season, you can build after that but to finish around mid-table or higher would be a success Sale would take.”
Mayor may have the title of player/coach at his new side Southport this season, but he still has his sights set on being involved on the pitch as much as he can whilst also honing his skills as a coach.
He continued: “The way it works at the moment is that myself and Neil bounce ideas of each other. I input things in the backs and help Neil where I can.
“I think my influence in the first year will be massively on the pitch. I am involved in training, but my experience and guidance I will bring will be during games.
“Coaching is something I have thought about. The opportunity came about and I thought it is now or never.
“I am going to build on my coaching badges and then if it is something I like, I might pursue it and hopefully progress, but if not, I have given it a good go and I will be happy with where I am.”
Widely regarded as the most competitive rugby union league in the world...it can only be the Gallagher Premiership.
12 teams compete in the league over a season, playing every team both home and away, before four move into the playoffs and one is relegated.
The division is becoming more and more exciting as each year passes by so who will be lifting silverware at Twickenham in May?
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