THE HONOUR of winning the Golden Boot award paled in comparison to the feeling of lifting the World Cup for Sebastien Bechara.
The England star was the second player to win the wheelchair award, after fellow countryman Jack Brown scooped the inaugural prize in 2019.
But unlike fellow 2022 Golden Boot winners Joey Manu and Raecene McGregor, the New Zealand pair who received the men’s and women’s awards respectively, Bechara also experienced World Cup glory.
It completes a silverware-laden year for the professional trumpet player, who was born in Nottingham but moved to France as a child, after winning league titles in both France and England with Catalans Dragons and Halifax Panthers.
“It’s been amazing, probably the best season of my life, and it ends with the best result ever,” said Bechara.
“It’s an honour (to win the Golden Boot) but there are loads of other amazing players. This moment right now (winning the World Cup) feels much more important than that.”
Bechara admitted he was “crying my eyes out” at the final whistle of the final at Manchester Central on Friday, when a 28-24 win over France was secured in front a world-record crowd for a wheelchair game of 4,526.
“It was absolutely incredible. We’ve been fighting for this for so long,” he said of the support.
“It wasn’t just English people, there were a lot of French people there also. It was great to have a mixed crowd and to hear all that noise.
“We fed on it for the whole game, It was absolutely amazing, breathtaking.
“It keeps the momentum going. Hopefully from this it will grow throughout the UK and the whole world.
“Hopefully people around the world will watch this and think I want to play this in my country as well. It’s got potential to grow everywhere.”