Of all the signings Melbourne Storm made for its inaugural year Glenn Lazarus was the most important and as it turns out at the time, the most risky.

Storm signed the then 32-year-old who by then was a Brisbane Broncos legend and one of the greatest forwards of the 1990s.

However he was just coming off an horrific injury though that saw him break his ankle in gruesome circumstances whilst playing for the Broncos during the 1997 Super League season.

There were high hopes when the veteran first walked through the doors of the newly formed Storm HQ however those early days had some significant doubts.

"He nearly didn't get through the first pre-season because he was having too much pain in the ankle but we kept encouraging him," Storm founder and inaugural CEO John Ribot said.

"In the pre-season he was going through a lot of pain. He is a big guy and it was difficult for him but he just hung in there.

"In private conversations he said he was not sure about it but we kept the medical team on him so it was a great team effort but he was a great driver of it all.

"He wanted to do it and players see that and it motivates them. Here was a guy who was a legend of our game and he believes what our Club is all about so is willing to push himself through the pain barriers."

Not only did Lazarus make it onto the field, he did so in fearless fashion.

He delivered everything the Club could have possibly asked of him and more when the Storm hierarchy first sat down to map out its maiden playing list in May of 1997.

"Lazzo was high on the list because he was a mature player that knew how to win and had a great attitude to the game," Ribot said.

"He was just really important to us. He became Club captain and set a great standard for all the other players when they came into the Club."

"He was a risk, there was no doubt. He is a great guy though and a personal friend of mine. I knew that if we could get him fit and get him on the football field he was going to be a winner for us."

The risk well and truly paid off.

44 games in the purple jersey, one glorious Premiership and one unforgettable cartwheel.