11th February 2019, 20:00 | super_league
As part of Betfred Super League’s ‘New Beginnings’ campaign, a new 21-man voting panel for the Steve Prescott MBE Man of Steel award was announced by Panel Chairman Ellery Hanley MBE.
Hanley, a three-time winner of the prestigious award, was joined by Linzi Prescott and panel members; Paul Sculthorpe MBE, Phil Clarke, Eorl Crabtree, Robbie Hunter-Paul, Barrie McDermott, Jason Robinson OBE, Garry Schofield OBE, Keith Senior, Denis Betts and Johnny Whiteley MBE at an event in Leeds to unveil the full list of former players who will be awarding points throughout the season, leading to the crowning of the 2019 Betfred Super League Steve Prescott MBE Man of Steel at a new look event in October.
Hanley said:“The major new approach will see a panellist allocated matches to watch from the Betfred Super League and award points to his three outstanding players: 3 points for their chosen Man of the Match, 2 points for the runner-up, and 1 point for the third-ranked player.
The panel is an outstanding group of former players from across the generations who have experience of playing at the very top of the game, with seven of the group being Man of Steel winners and five inducted into the Hall of Fame. Their insight is priceless and will shape the worthy winner of the game’s ultimate individual accolade.”
Fans will be able to follow the season long narrative when the scores are published each week of the season until Round 22 in mid-July. After that, the leaderboard will be hidden until the Awards Ceremony in October. Further details of that Awards Ceremony will be released during the season.
Super League Chief Executive, Robert Elstone followed:“It feels wholly appropriate that the Game’s highest individual award, with over forty years of heritage, be selected by a panel of iconic and multi-decorated former players.
Clearly, we couldn’t have done this without the support of the panel and I would like to thank all of them for injecting the rigour and authenticity to make the 2019 Steve Prescott MBE Man of Steel the ultimate Rugby League accolade.
It was also really important for us to have the support of Linzi Prescott, wife of our ultimate Man of Steel. We thank Linzi and her family for working with us throughout this process.”
Linzi Prescott said of the award:“This is a fantastic initiative from Super League! The judging panel assembled features some of the greatest names in Rugby League and all of whom Stephen had the greatest of respect for. It is a testament to Stephen’s legacy the level of respect the Man of Steel award is being given by the game.
The Prescott Family would like to thank all who have revamped the voting process and we are really looking forward to the season and welcoming the new Steve Prescott MBE Man of Steel.”
The Steve Prescott Man of Steel MBE Panel
*denotes previous Man of Steel winner: ^ denotes inducted into Hall of Fame
Ellery Hanley MBE*^ (Panel Chairman)
During his 19 year-long playing career, Hanley made 482 appearances across five clubs, scoring 396 tries and 1772 points. He also earned 37 caps and scored 20 tries for Great Britain before retiring and coaching the national side. Hanley is currently the only player to have won the Man of Steel award on three occasions. He also won the 1998 Golden Boot and was inducted into the Rugby League Hall of Fame in 2005.
Betts played for Wigan during their period of great success in the 1980s and ‘90s, where he won six Championships, seven Challenge Cup Finals, and two World Club Challenges. On an individual basis, Betts was awarded the Lance Todd Trophy in 1991 and then was named the Man of Steel in 1995. Internationally he won four caps for England and 32 for Great Britain.
Clarke was part of the almighty 1980s and ‘90s Wigan team, winning five consecutive Challenge Cup Finals, six consecutive Championships and two World Club Challenges. During his time, he also represented both England and Great Britain, making six and 16 appearances respectively. Clarke later returned to Wigan as Chief Executive of the club when they won the inaugural Super League Grand Final in 1998, before becoming a Sky Sports commentator in 1999 – a role he continues to fulfil in 2019.
During Cooke’s career he made 400 appearances, scoring 1383 points across five clubs. Cooke led Hull FC to Challenge Cup victory in 2005 scoring the match winning try in the final. At an international level, he represented England on three occasions.
Crabtree committed his entire playing career to the Huddersfield Giants, where over 16 years he made 424 appearances and scored 316 points. In 2013, Eorl was part of the Super League Leaders’ Shield winning team, earning himself a position in the Super League Dream Team for that season. He also represented England on 14 occasions, scoring three tries for his country.
Jonathan Davies OBE*
At club level, Davies spent most of his career playing for Widnes where he made 126 appearances, scoring 1192 points. In 1993 Jonathan signed for Warrington and won player of the season. He was awarded the Man of Steel in 1994. At international level, Davies represented Wales on 9 occasions, scoring 75 points, and a further 76 points for Great Britain across his 10 appearances.
At club level, Guisset started his senior career in Australia playing for NRL side, Canberra Raiders. In 2000, he moved to Super League where he made almost 300 appearances; playing for Warrington Wolves, Wigan Warriors, and Catalans Dragons. Guisset also made 33 appearances for the French National team. Following his retirement as a player, he returned to his home town of Perpignan as assistant coach for the Catalans Dragons for seven years.
In a career lasting 19 seasons, he represented New Zealand on 29 occasions, plus 456 club appearances. The vast majority of his playing career was spent at Bradford Bulls, where Robbie won the 1996 Lance Todd Trophy. Hunter-Paul has won three Super League Grand Finals, two World Club Challenges, and captained the Bulls to winning the treble in 2003. Since retirement he has presented Rugby League for BBC Sport.
At club level, Joynt made a total of 416 club appearances, including 381 for St Helens. He also made 21 appearances for Great Britain. He won numerous titles with St Helens, including back to back Super League Grand Finals in 1999 and 2000. He also won the Harry Sunderland Trophy in 1993 and 2000.
At club level, Lynch made nearly 500 appearances, representing Bradford Bulls, Castleford Tigers, and Hull FC. During his career, Lynch received recognition on numerous occasions, including earning a place in the 2003 Super League Dream Team. Lynch played one game for Great Britain and five England games.
McDermott spent most of his club career at Leeds Rhinos, with 282 of his 366 appearances being made for the club. In total, he won one Super League Grand Final, one World Club Challenge, and one Challenge Cup. He also made 15 appearances for Great Britain. Following his on-pitch success, McDermott is now working at Sky Sports as a pundit.
Morley had a stellar career, making 489 appearances for Leeds Rhinos, Sydney Roosters, Bradford Bulls, Warrington Wolves, Swinton and Salford. In total, he won four Challenge Cup finals, one Super League Grand Final, one World Club Challenge, and one NRL Championship, making him the first ever British player to win both NRL and Super League championships. In addition to his, Morley also made 23 appearances for Great Britain and 30 for England.
As well as 398 club appearances for Salford, Wigan and Widnes. O’Connor represented and captained Ireland 11 times and Great Britain 14 times. Not only did he win both Challenge Cup and Super League Grand Final trophies during his time at Wigan, but he was named in the Super League Dream Team on four occasions. Since retiring as a player, he is now a commentator on Sky Sports.
Martin Offiah MBE*^
During his career, Offiah scored 446 tries for six clubs, making a total of 424 club appearances, scoring 1,791 points. He scored a further 138 points at international level, having played for Great Britain 33 times. In 1988, his debut season, Offiah led the try scoring charts for Widnes and was awarded Man of Steel. Offiah was also inducted into the Rugby League Hall of Fame in 2013.
Jamie Peacock MBE*
Peacock is regarded as one of the most successful players in Super League history, having won a total of nine Super League Grand Finals and four Challenge Cup winners medals. With a total of 503 games played, Peacock was also recognised on an individual level, receiving a position in the Super League Dream Team on 11 occasions and was crowned Man of Steel award in 2003. At international level, Peacock captained both England and Great Britain, making 21 England appearances and 26 for Great Britain.
Mal Reilly OBE^
During his playing career, Reilly represented England, Great Britain, Manly and Castleford where he won two Challenge Cup finals and the Lance Todd Trophy. His successful career goes far beyond his own playing time, as he coached Castleford, Leeds, Halifax, Huddersfield Giants, Hull KR, Great Britain and NRL team Newcastle Knights; taking Newcastle to their first ever Premiership in 1997. Reilly was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2014.
Jason Robinson OBE
Robinson spent most of his Rugby League career at Wigan, making 281 appearances for the club, scoring 685 points. In total, Robinson won two Challenge Cup finals, one Super League Grand Final and one World Club Challenge. Individually he earned a position in the Super League Dream Team four times, the Harry Sunderland trophy in 1998 and the Lance Todd Trophy in 1995. At international level, Robinson represented England seven times, and Great Britain 21 times.
Garry Schofield OBE*^
By the time of Schofield’s retirement, he was the most capped GB player of all time, with 46 appearances, and a further 3 England caps. At club level, Schofield made over 500 appearances for seven clubs. Individually, he was named in the Rugby League Hall of Fame in 2013, won the Golden Boot in 1990, and was named the Man of Steel for 1991.
Paul Sculthorpe MBE*
After 78 appearances for Warrington where he earned himself a position in the 1996 Super League Dream Team, ‘Scully’ moved to St Helens for a further 260 appearances, scoring 1246 points. With Saints Sculthorpe won four Grand Finals, four Challenge Cups, two World Club Challenges, a spot in the 2002 Super League Dream Team and became the only player to ever win the Man of Steel award in consecutive years (2001 & 2002). At international level he earned 4 England caps and 26 Great Britain caps.
Senior made 505 appearances for just two clubs Sheffield Eagles (140) and Leeds Rhinos (365), as well as 10 for England and 33 for Great Britain. He played in the Sheffield team that shocked the world by beating Wigan Warriors in the 1998 Challenge Cup final. During his Leeds Rhinos career, Senior won the Super League Grand Final four times, the World Club Challenge and was named in the Super League Dream Team five times.
Johnny Whiteley MBE^
Whiteley is a Rugby League legend, especially in Hull where he spent his entire career. He made 417 appearances in a Hull shirt, scoring 156 tries and captained the team to Championship glory in 1957. Whiteley can boast an impressive international career with 15 Great Britain appearances as well as coaching GB to victory against Australia in 1970. Whiteley was inducted into the Rugby League Hall of Fame in 2018.