The early death of a former Rugby League star will always evoke sadness among many people, but the passing of Steve Prescott MBE in the early hours of Saturday morning was tremendously sad news.
Thousands of tributes have already been made in print, on air and online, and the one word which is common to almost all of them is ‘inspiration’.
Many of us were lucky enough to have met Steve over the course of his playing career and latterly during the period of his heroic and superhuman physical efforts with The Steve Prescott Foundation, to raise money for the Christies Hospital in Manchester and the Rugby League Benevolent Fund.
Steve was diagnosed with a rare form of stomach cancer in 2006, three years after he had retired as a player, and was given six months to live. He lived a lot longer than that and put the time he had left to the best of uses. During that time he came to inspire everybody with whom he came into contact. He was deservedly appointed an MBE in the 2010 New Year’s Honours List.
It is estimated he raised around half a million pounds during those seven years until the disease finally got the better of him. Our sympathies, and we are sure we echo the sentiments of all or readers, go out to his wife and his young family.
Steve Prescott’s memory will be with us for many, many years, and a campaign which has been building for several weeks to re-name the ‘Man of Steel’ award the ‘Steve Prescott Award’ is now certain to build momentum. Supporters of the move have set up an online petition. England fullback Sam Tomkins is just one high-profile individual who has given his support to the idea and we at League Express would consider naming the game’s most celebrated individual accolade after Steve Prescott a fitting tribute to a man whose name deserves to live on and on.
League Express Editorial, first published Monday 11th November 2013
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