First published in League Express, Monday 20th Sept 2010
MARTYN SADLER reflects on a hugely enjoyable Albert Goldthorpe Medal dinner at Warrington.
THIS season’s race for the Albert Goldthorpe Medal cost League Publications Limited rather more than we had perhaps anticipated.
It ended in a photo-finish, with Wigan’s Pat Richards and Sam Tomkins ending the regular season as joint leaders in the medal table after 27 rounds.
In only its third season, it was the first time that the Albert Goldthorpe Medal has been shared by two players, who both picked up 26 points.
Congratulations to Sam and Pat, who joined us in Warrington last Monday night to be presented with their medals.
Or perhaps I should say that Sam got his medal, while we are having another one made for Pat.
The medals are solid gold, and to produce them is quite a lengthy process. The medal has to go to the Assay Office to have its purity confirmed, and then it has to be hallmarked. I hope to be able to present Pat with his medal before he flies to Australia after the Grand Final.
The Goldthorpe Medal also carries a cash prize of £2,000, and, unlike the Medal itself, that can be split in half, so Sam and Pat are now each £1,000 richer.
And last Monday night we also made two other presentations.
Hull KR’s Liam Watts won the Albert Goldthorpe Rookie of the Year Medal, and a cash prize of £500, while Salford’s retiring captain Malcolm Alker was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his loyalty and unstinting service to Salford City Reds since making his debut in 1997.
Malcolm has had a great career, and his dedication to his club, which hasn’t enjoyed much success in those 14 seasons, has been an example to any young player who is currently starting out on a professional Rugby League career.
The three presentations were made by three people – Alex Murphy, Bev Risman and Ray French – who are legends of the game and, incidentally, very fine speakers.