Man of Steel award to be re-named in memory of the late Steve Prescott
Super League's prestigious Man of Steel award is to be named after the late Steve Prescott.
Last Updated: 06/03/14 2:41pm
The Rugby Football League has announced that, from October, the player who makes the biggest impact on the season will receive the Steve Prescott Man of Steel Award.
The former St Helens, Hull, Wakefield, Ireland and England full-back, who was diagnosed with a terminal disease in 2006, was an inspiration to millions as he completed a series of tough, fund-raising challenges that raised over £500,000 for charitable causes up to his death last November.
RFL chief operating officer Ralph Rimmer said: "It is absolutely right that the player whose on-field heroics captured the imagination of his peers throughout a First Utility Super League season is presented with an award named in recognition of one of the sport's true heroes.
"Steve was not only a great player and an outstanding ambassador for the sport throughout his illness, he was much more than that. He was an exceptional human being who impacted upon many more lives than the ones he touched in rugby league."
The RFL responded to a public clamour to recognise Prescott and its proposal to rename an honour which has been awarded annually since 1977 received unanimous support from the 14 Super League clubs.
Steve's widow, Linzi Prescott, said: "The naming of the award for the winner of The Man of Steel is a fitting tribute to a man who showed so much grit and determination in face of adversity.
"Steve's name will forever live on and be known alongside such rugby league greats as Lance Todd and Harry Sunderland.
"We are extremely grateful to Super League and its clubs who have sanctioned this move and they have recognised how Steve has promoted this great game through his efforts, and we on behalf of his foundation will continue to do so."
Mike Denning, chairman of the Steve Prescott Foundation, added: "Stephen would be delighted, honoured and a little embarrassed by this announcement but we are all extremely proud."
The 2014 Steve Prescott Man of Steel award will be decided by a specially-convened selection panel following a poll of all Super League players at the end of the season and announced at the Man of Steel dinner at Lancashire County Cricket Club on Wednesday, October 8.