Jackson Hastings has been named the 2019 Steve Prescott MBE Man of Steel at the Super League Awards last night.
Hastings, who became the first Salford Red Devil’s player to pick up the illustrious award, was roared on by 250 Salford fans at the Lowry Theatre on Sunday night.
I’ll cherish this moment for life.
This is for everyone that’s rode the wave with me,
Honoured to have my name alongside some of the ?’s of the game.
Can’t believe it. Never give up. #MOS ? pic.twitter.com/5sy0XF3k0a
— Jackson Hastings (@JackoHastings) October 6, 2019
“It’s an honour. I was sat up there with my mum and I had sweaty hands and she grabbed me when she saw me come up.” Hastings said.
“It’s probably the greatest achievement I’ve had in my career and in my life. From where I was about sixteen months ago, everyone’s heard the story and I don’t really want to talk about it again but I thought I’d never play rugby league again at a professional level.”
Hastings joined Salford in 2018 after off-field issues forced him to move from Australia, however, he has quickly become a hero among Salford fans.
As the Man of Steel winner was announced, the Lowry burst into song in support of the half-back.
Before being a Red Devils hero however, Hastings’ rugby career was almost over and the Australian opened up about his regrets as he left his home country.
“I’ve dedicated my whole life to it [rugby league]. It’s a great equalizer rugby league. I soon found out that it could be taken away from you as soon as you’re given it.”
“I probably didn’t respect it or appreciate it as much as I should have.”
“I found myself sitting on my couch watching guys my age doing things I wanted to do.”
It has been a long road for Hastings and there are a few people Hastings wanted to thank for allowing him to have the successful season he enjoyed in 2019.
“My housemate Joey [Lussick], without him I’d be lost, he does all the washing, all the cooking and his performances this year have been unbelievable too.
“My mum, two little sisters and my granddad there, we’re just missing one more – nana who will be looking down on me very proud right now. Without the five of them I don’t know what I’d be doing.”
Salford face St Helens in the Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford on Saturday.