Dally M Medal
|Dally M Medal|
|Awarded for||The best and fairest player in the National Rugby League|
|Currently held by||Cooper Cronk (Melbourne Storm)|
The Dally M Medal is awarded annually to the player voted for as the 'Best and Fairest' over the entire National Rugby League (NRL) season. The award has existed since 1980, but has only been adopted as the official award for the Player of the Year in the NRL since 1998. Prior to that the official Player of the Year, in both the New South Wales and the Brisbane Rugby Leagues, received the Rothmans Medal whilst the Dally M Medal was awarded by the Daily Mirror newspaper.
After each game, rugby league sports commentators vote to award three votes to the best player, two votes to the second-best player, and one vote to the third-best player. Additionally, a player will lose three votes for each week of suspension that he incurs during the season. The votes for each round are made public up to Round 16 (26-round season), then are kept secret; this allows the final winner to be kept secret until the Dally M Awards ceremony.
The Rothmans Medal was the first official player-of-the-year award to be established in rugby league in Australia. The medal was sponsored by Rothmans, Benson & Hedges Inc., a tobacco production company. There were two Rothmans Medals awarded each year: one for the best player in the New South Wales Rugby League, and one for the best player in the Brisbane Rugby League. The voting for the Rothmans Medal was the same basic format as the modern day Dally M, except that the votes were determined by the referees, rather than the media.
The two Rothmans Medals were first awarded in 1968, and were awarded each year until 1996. In 1997, the Rothmans Medal in New South Wales became known as the Provan-Summons medal, because all tobacco advertising and sponsorship was prohibited in Australia in 1992, under the Tobacco Advertising Prohibition Act 1992; the medal then disappeared altogether in 1998 with the merger of the Australian Rugby League and the Australian Super League. The Queensland Rothmans Medal was also last awarded in 1996, as the Queensland Cup superseded the Brisbane Rugby League as Queensland's premier rugby league competition in 1997.
Dally M Medal
The Dally M Medal was named after Henry Herbert 'Dally' Messenger, who was instrumental in the establishment of rugby league football in Australia. The award was originally established in 1980 by The Daily Mirror newspaper in 1980. For many years, it was the second major individual award in the New South Wales Rugby League behind the Rothmans Medal. It was awarded each year between 1980 and 1996. With the Super League schism in 1997, the medal was not awarded.
Since the National Rugby League (NRL) was formed from the merger of the Australian Rugby League and the Australian Super League in 1998, the Dally M Medal has been the single official player-of-the-year award for that league, and the highest individual honour in Australian rugby league. The medal is awarded, usually by the Australian Prime Minister, at the annual Dally M Awards night where as well as honoring the player of the year, the NRL recognizes the premier player in each position, the best coach and the most outstanding rookie of the season.
The medal was notably not awarded in 2003, with the players first threatening to boycott the event, followed by the league cancelling the event, during a pay dispute between the league and the players association which was going on at the time. Penrith's Craig Gower, who led by one vote entering the final round and was unofficially considered man of the match in the final round, is the player thought to have missed out on winning the award as a result.
Venues & Broadcasters
|2003||No broadcaster||Not held|
|2004||Fox Sports||Sydney Town Hall|
|2005||Fox Sports||Sydney Town Hall|
|2006||Fox Sports||Sydney Town Hall|
|2007||Fox Sports||Sydney Town Hall|
|2008||Fox Sports||Hordern Pavilion|
|2009||Fox Sports||State Theatre|
|2011||Royal Hall of Industries,
The Entertainment Quarter
|2012||Fox Sports||Sydney Town Hall|
|2013||Fox Sports||Star Casino|
|This section requires expansion. (October 2009)|
Dally M Medal winners
NSWRL and ARL (1980–1996)
|1980||Robert Laurie||Five-eighth||South Sydney|
|1983||Terry Lamb||Five-eighth||Western Suburbs|
|1991||Michael Potter||Fullback||St George|
|1992||Gary Freeman||Halfback||Eastern Suburbs|
- Andrew Johns was the first player to win the Dally M Medal three times.
Peter Sterling, Gavin Miller, Cliff Lyons, Michael Potter and Jonathan Thurston have each won the Dally M Medal twice.