DESPITE celebrating its 70th year, the Lance Todd Trophy has never been awarded to a current Salford Red Devils player. There are, however, quite a few former Devils on the winners’ list. Quays News reporter Andie Riley attended this year’s gala dinner night.
Every season, the man of the match for the Challenge Cup final is presented the Lance Todd trophy by the Salford Reds Foundation.
Presented in memory of the legendary former manager, who turned the Salford team from close to folding into a successful and formidable side during the 1930s, the prestigious award has never been won by a current Salford player.
It was the turn of former Red Devils player Mark Sneyd after his man of the match performance during the thrilling 2016 final at Wembley stadium.
This year, Hull FC narrowly beat Warrington Wolves 10-12 to win the Challenge Cup.
Receiving his award from last year’s winner, Leeds Rhinos’ Tom Briscoe, at the AJ Bell stadium, Mark was still in shock at the accolade, which is voted for by the press who attend the game.
He said: “It still hasn’t sunk in to be honest. It’s all a bit surreal.
“I turned up tonight, and looking at the names on that board (of previous winners) and seeing my name on it is unbelievable, to be honest.”
Prior to this match, there had been a hoodoo over the club, who although they had won three Challenge Cup finals previously, none had been won at the national stadium.
Mark was asked what it felt like to be part of the team that finally broke the curse of Hull FC and Wembley:
“Everyone is just buzzing, I don’t think the club has been on such a high like they are at the minute, still being at the top of Super League, and in a great position to go on and do something else.”
In its 70th year, the award commemorates Rugby League icon Lance Todd.
After a career in the sport with Wigan, where he scored 128 tries in 185 games, and after a transfer to Dewsbury, he left the game to join the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps to fight in the First World War.
During his time at Salford, he won three League championships, five Lancashire League championships, four Lancashire Cups and the Challenge Cup.
Todd is also remembered as the voice of Rugby League, and actually died returning from Oldham having commentated on a game for the BBC.
Lance Todd died in a car crash in 1942. He is buried in Wigan Cemetary.
The commemorative awards was introduced in 1946 and went to William “Billy” Stott of Wakefield Trinity.