Harry Sunderland Trophy

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Harry Sunderland Trophy
Harry Sunderland
SportRugby league
CompetitionChampionship (1965–1973)
Premiership (1974–1997)
Grand Final (1998–2023)
CountryUnited Kingdom
Presented byRugby League Writers and Broadcasters' Association
First award1965
Final award2023
First winnerTerry Fogerty
Most recentJake Wardle

The Harry Sunderland Trophy was awarded annually to the man of the match in the Super League Grand Final and its predecessors, the Championship Final and the Premiership Final, between 1965 and 2023. Named after Harry Sunderland, who was an Australian rugby league football administrator in both Australia and the United Kingdom, the Trophy was first awarded in the Rugby Football League Championship Final of the 1964–65 season following Sunderland's death.[1][2]

After the 1972–73 season the play-off system was dropped as the League went to two divisions. The Trophy's use was continued in the Rugby League Premiership and Super League Premiership finals until Super League III, when a play-off system was re-introduced to determine the Champions through the Grand Final.

The trophy's winner is determined by the Rugby League Writers' Association and presented on the field immediately following the conclusion of the match. In 2011, Rob Burrow of Leeds Rhinos became the first player to achieve the unanimous votes of all 37 judges when winning the award.[3]

In February 2024 the Rugby Football League announced that the trophy will be replaced by the Rob Burrow Award.[4] In announcing the new award, RFL vice-president Trevor Hunt said "I am certain that rugby league players and supporters will agree that the name of Rob Burrow is a fitting one to recognise, ... We believe that now is the right time to make a change that brings the award recognition into the new era, and Rob Burrow is the right man."[5]


Season Awarded in Recipient Team
1964–65 Championship Final Terry Fogerty Halifax
1965–66 Albert Halsall St. Helens
1966–67 Ray Owen Wakefield Trinity
1967–68 Gary Cooper Wakefield Trinity
1968–69 Bev Risman Leeds
1969–70 Frank Myler St. Helens
1970–71 Bill Ashurst Wigan
1971–72 Terry Clawson Leeds
1972–73 Mike Stephenson Dewsbury
1973–74 Premiership Final Barry Philbin Warrington
1974–75 Mel Mason Leeds
1975–76 George Nicholls St. Helens
1976–77 Geoff Pimblett St. Helens
1977–78 Bob Haigh Bradford Northern
1978–79 Kevin Dick Leeds
1979–80 Mal Aspey Widnes
1980–81 Len Casey Hull Kingston Rovers
1981–82 Mick Burke Widnes
1982–83 Tony Myler Widnes
1983–84 John Dorahy Hull Kingston Rovers
1984–85 Harry Pinner St. Helens
1985–86 Les Boyd Warrington
1986–87 Joe Lydon Wigan
1987–88 David Hulme Widnes
1988–89 Alan Tait Widnes
1989–90 Alan Tait Widnes
1990–91 Greg Mackey Hull
1991–92 Andy Platt Wigan
1992–93 Chris Joynt St. Helens
1993–94 Sam Panapa Wigan
1994–95 Kris Radlinski Wigan
1996 Andrew Farrell Wigan
1997 Andrew Farrell Wigan
1998 Grand Final Jason Robinson Wigan
1999 Henry Paul Bradford
2000 Chris Joynt St. Helens
2001 Michael Withers Bradford
2002 Paul Deacon Bradford
2003 Stuart Reardon Bradford
2004 Matt Diskin Leeds
2005 Leon Pryce Bradford
2006 Paul Wellens St. Helens
2007 Rob Burrow Leeds
2008 Lee Smith Leeds
2009 Kevin Sinfield Leeds
2010 Thomas Leuluai Wigan
2011 Rob Burrow Leeds
2012 Kevin Sinfield Leeds
2013 Blake Green Wigan
2014 James Roby St. Helens
2015 Danny McGuire Leeds
2016 Liam Farrell Wigan
2017 Danny McGuire Leeds
2018 Stefan Ratchford Warrington
2019 Luke Thompson St. Helens
2020 James Roby St. Helens
2021 Kevin Naiqama St. Helens
2022 Jonny Lomax St. Helens
2023 Jake Wardle Wigan Warriors

† = denotes a player who won the trophy but played on the losing team in the final.

Winners by club[edit]

Club Awards (winners)
Bradford Bulls 6 (6)
Dewsbury 1 (1)
Halifax 1 (1)
Hull F.C. 1 (1)
Hull Kingston Rovers 2 (2)
Leeds Rhinos 12 (9)
St Helens 13 (11)
Wakefield Trinity 2 (2)
Warrington Wolves 3 (3)
Widnes Vikings 6 (5)
Wigan Warriors 12 (11)

Seven players have been awarded trophy twice.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "What makes a Harry Sunderland Trophy winner?". Sky Sports. 7 October 2016. Retrieved 14 October 2018.
  2. ^ Room, Adrian (2010). Dictionary of Sports and Games Terminology. p. 72. ISBN 978-0786442263.
  3. ^ "Who was Harry Sunderland?". Rugby Football League. 15 September 2016. Retrieved 14 October 2018.
  4. ^ Walker, Callum (7 February 2024). "Harry Sunderland Trophy to be replaced by the Rob Burrow Award". Total Rugby League. Retrieved 7 February 2024.
  5. ^ "Rob Burrow: Super League Grand Final award renamed after former player". BBC Sport. 7 February 2024.