- for the rugby union footballer, see Michael Stephenson (rugby union)
Michael "Mike" Stephenson, also commonly known as Stevo, (born 27 January 1947 in Dewsbury, West Riding of Yorkshire) is an English former rugby league footballer, a 1972 Rugby League World Cup winner, and current commentator for Sky Sports.
Stevo, the nickname that he is commonly known as on TV and in rugby league circles, played at club level for Dewsbury and Australian side Penrith, and also played representative rugby league for the Yorkshire county team. Stephenson played in the specialist hooker role for the vast majority of his playing career.
Stephenson began his professional playing career at his hometown club Dewsbury in 1966, after being signed from local amateur club Shaw Cross Sharks ARLFC . He went on to make his Great Britain debut in Castleford in 1971, against the touring New Zealand side. His greatest moment in international rugby league, however, was being a member of Great Britain's victorious 1972 World Cup-winning side that won the trophy in France; Stevo scored a try against Australia in the final.
Stephenson's time in the Dewsbury first team coincided with an upturn in the club's fortunes on the pitch, culminating with the team winning the British Rugby Football League Championship in the 1972–73 season. He left Dewsbury after their championship winning season in 1973 to join Australian Rugby League outfit Penrith. He played 169 games for the Panthers 1974-78, scoring 21 tries. Stevo was also player-coach of the side for a brief, unsuccessful spell. He ended his playing career in 1978 and settled in Sydney.
Stevo began his broadcasting career in Australia with brief spells at radio and television stations in Sydney. He first appeared on British airwaves in 1988, when he was invited to co-commentate on the rugby league Ashes series in Australia for BBC Radio 2 with Eddie Hemmings.
In 1990, Stevo joined the new British satellite television broadcaster BSB as a match summariser for its Rugby League coverage. At BSB, he joined up again with Hemmings, who had also been signed up by the broadcaster. The pairing were kept together when BSB and Sky Television merged to form BSkyB in 1991; the combined satellite TV network inherited BSB's rugby league TV contract.
Stevo was a massive supporter of the creation of Super League, the elite northern hemisphere club rugby competition which started in the British spring of 1996.
Eddie & Stevo are still the main presenters and commentators on Sky Sports' Super League coverage.
- Harry Sunderland Trophy: 1973
- "Statistics at rugbyleagueproject.org". rugbyleagueproject. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
Stevo: Looking Back, by Mike Stephenson ISBN 978-1-904091-23-3
- Great Britain Statistics at englandrl.co.uk
- Statistics at rugbyleagueproject.org
- Penrith Points
- Playing at Smales pace sank champions - article at yorkshirepost.co.uk
- When Great Britain won the World Cup
- Tracking down the heroes of 1972