18th October 2020, 13:55 | ChallengeCup
Leeds Rhinos’ Richie Myler was voted the 77th winner of the Lance Todd Trophy towards the end of a gripping Coral Challenge Cup Final at Wembley Stadium.
Myler received 12 votes in the poll, conducted as always by members of the Rugby League Writers and Broadcasters Association although on this occasion with some online voting from those not in the stadium, because of the restrictions on media access.
Luke Gale, the Leeds captain whose drop goal five minutes from the end earned his side a dramatic victory, received eight votes.
Votes were also cast for Leeds’ two-try winger Ash Handley and Salford full-back Niall Evalds, who made an impressive return from injury for the Red Devils.
While Myler became the eighth Leeds player to win the Lance Todd Trophy, a Salford player is still to win an award which is nonetheless more closely linked to the Red Devils than to any other club.
It was introduced in 1946 in tribute to the New Zealander who had come to England as a Wigan player but became the driving off-field force of the Salford club in the pre-War years, culminating in their only Wembley win. He was killed in a road accident during World War II at the age of 59. Recipients were originally given cash with which to purchase their own memento, until in 1956 the Red Devils Association, which represents ex-Salford players, decided to pay for a permanent trophy. Jeff Stevenson of Leeds was the first recipient in 1957.
The previous seven Leeds players to have been awarded the Lance Todd Trophy are: Jeff Stevenson (1957); Steve Pitchford (1977); Leroy Rivett (1999); Gary Connolly (2003); Kevin Sinfield (2005); Ryan Hall (2014) and Tom Briscoe (2015).
Richie Myler 12
Luke Gale 8
Niall Evalds 2
Ash Handley 2