One in a series of articles checking out the careers of Warrington's sporting legends, who take a much deserved place in our Hall of Heroes

Warrington Guardian:

AUGUST 1, 2005, will always be remembered as the day the eyes of the rugby league world fixed their gaze on Warrington.

An “Immortal” had come to town.

On the back of a chance meeting at an Ashes Test match of Wolves majority shareholder Simon Moran and agent John Fordham, legendary Newcastle Knights, New South Wales and Australia scrum half Andrew Johns was on his way to The Wire in what was probably the most heralded short-term deal in rugby league history.

Three games, one try, 12 goals and a bond formed that would stand the test of time, Warrington had fallen in love with Johns and the feeling was mutual.

“I’ve made no secret that I’ve got fond memories of being here,” he reflected.

“The first game when we beat Leeds, I think in my book I said it’s up there in the top five games I’ve ever played – so I’ve got great memories.”

Warrington Guardian:

In a memorable debut, his first kick in primrose and blue was spilled by Rob Burrow, leading to a scrum which eventually saw Henry Fa’afili score in the corner.

The 33-10 win, in which “Joey” kicked six goals from seven attempts as well as a drop goal, was a special occasion and Johns was the star attraction, with Great Britain’s new vice-captain Brian Carney commenting that people had turned up “even just to see him warm up.”

This was a man who had won the Golden Boot award twice – something only three people have done.

This was a man who had won the Dally M medal, awarded to the NRL’s Player of the Year, three times – something only two people have done.

This was a man who went on to be named “The Greatest Player of All Time” in 2008 by the publication “Rugby League Week”, beating legends like Wally Lewis, Brad Fittler and Darren Lockyer.

Warrington Guardian:

Johns arrived in England to great fanfare and went on to inspire a 30-16 win at Hull FC the week after to snatch the final play-off place for Wolves.

It looked a possibility that Johns could end his stint by walking out at Old Trafford, but Hull got their revenge with a 40-6 win at The Halliwell Jones Stadium to end Johns’ time in England after three games.

After breaking into the Newcastle Knights first grade in 1994, it seemed clear early on that he was a potential superstar.

His effortless kicking style, incisive running game and the ability to fire out bullet passes to his teammates set him out as a match-winner.

In his first full game against South Sydney, he scored a club record 23 points. He had a happy knack of dispensing with invincible-looking statistics.

Records continued to tumble – most points scored in a season in his rookie year followed by a record 30 individual points on his Test debut for Australia against South Africa – Johns was in a class of his own.

Despite Grand Final heartbreak and a crippling groin injury that hampered him in the following season, Johns was still able to pick up the Golden Boot award.

After picking up a Grand Final win and Golden Boot award in 2001 along with his third and final Dally M award in 2002, serious injuries threatened to ruin the career of one of the game’s greats.

After missing the entire 2004 season, Johns returned but the Knights finished last in a disappointing campaign, leading Paul Cullen to snap him up on a short-term deal for Wolves.

He played the last of his 24 games for Australia in a 50-12 win over New Zealand in 2006 before a bulging disc in his neck forced his retirement from the game in 2007.

Warrington Guardian:

His love for Warrington, though, remains strong. He is a regular visitor to the HJ and even helped out at the club’s pre-season training camp in Tenerife earlier this year.

Those three games he played in 2005 will always be remembered fondly in these parts. The time when the greatest player of all came to Warrington.