Paul Sculthorpe gives away trophy to ‘future Man of Steel’

The Man of Steel trophy is the most prestigious individual award in domestic rugby league, granted to the player of the year at the end-of-season awards making it a very exclusive club for those who possess one.

In spite of this, one former winner has given one of his two awards to a young player to serve as inspiration for him to succeed and make it to Super League one day, like his hero.

That hero is Paul Sculthorpe who won back to back awards in 2001 and 2002, becoming the first and only man to retain the title and one of just four multiple winners.

The award was renamed as the Steve Prescott Man of Steel for the 2014 award onwards in honour of Sculthorpe’s former teammate who sadly passed away from cancer aged 39 in 2013, but has been a feature in English rugby league since 1977 making Sculthorpe’s achievement on winning it back to back even more impressive.

One person who is inspired by Sculthorpe is Jamie Billsborough, a young lad who has represented Warrington Wolves at his age group and is clearly aiming to make it all the way, something which Sculthorpe has tried to inspire by gifting him his 2001 award but on one condition.

Jamie’s Dad, Kieron, had tweeted an image of his son with the award thanking Sculthorpe for the gift, to which the former Warrington and St Helens man responded that he expected to receive Jamie’s first Man of Steel award as thanks.

Sculthorpe earned the the first of his two trophies, the one now possessed by Jamie, in the 2001 season where Saints placed fourth in the league and prior to the season he had helped secure Saints World Club Challenge victory over Brisbane Broncos with a try and field goal in their 20-18 victory.

He currently works as a coach in the England set-up following his retirement from the game in 2008 but that clearly hasn’t stopped his love for the sport or the sense of community as he hopes to inspire Jamie with this incredible gift.

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