Martin Coyd became the sixth recipient of The Mike Gregory Spirit of Rugby League Award when he was taken by surprise by the announcement at The Rugby League Cares Dinner at The John Smiths Stadium, Huddersfield on Friday 01 November 2013.
Rugby League Cares was staging a dinner, coinciding with the Rugby League World Cup to formally induct the four new members of the RL Hall of Fame, Mick Sullivan, Lewis Jones, Gary Schofield and Martin Offiah.
The Mike Gregory Spirit of Rugby League Award is presented to recognise and acknowledge individuals whose career or work within the game has consistently reflected the values of the sport over an extended period of time and who have made a significant positive contribution to Rugby League in this way.
The inaugural award was made posthumously to the former Great Britain and Warrington captain Mike Gregory who passed away in 2007. Both players and non-players are eligible to receive the award, which is judged by a panel from the sports’ governing body, the RFL.
- 2008 Mike Gregory
- 2009 Steve Prescott MBE
- 2010 Ray French MBE
- 2011 Harry Jepson OBE
- 2012 Jamie Peacock MBE
- 2013 Martin Coyd
Martin Coyd said afterwards ‘This is amazing, I am truly humbled to be thought of in the same way as the previous recipients and I am trying to get my head around the honour. I have had the fortune and privilege to be involved with hundreds of great people over many years, all of whom make a difference to peoples lives’
‘My time with Army RL and Combined Services RL was one of breaking down barriers, establishing our great sport in a new environment and making friends and earning respect around the UK and the world. The challenges and opportunities in London and the South have been very different yet equally rewarding. There is a goldmine of talented people, not just players, in the Regions who can undoubtedly make a difference to our great game and create a future full of hope’.
‘Wheelchair Rugby League has given the simplest and strongest pleasures, seeing people achieve the almost impossible, playing our game with the same courage and spirit which the running game is renowned for. I am also very grateful that I am around the wonderful world of Masters Rugby League. Masters can keep people involved in our game for decades after they might have finished and the brotherhood and fun is truly infectious’
‘This recognition is really for all of those people I have met, worked with and have a shared love of Rugby League, those who have worked hard to create opportunities, smiled in adversity and just got on with making a difference’
Updated 17:58 - 4 Nov 2013 by Martin Coyd