|Full name||Michael Stephenson MBE|
27 January 1947 |
Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, England
|Source: Rugby League Project|
Stevo, the nickname that he is commonly known by 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 and for Great Britain, with whom he won the 1972 Rugby League World Cup. Stephenson played in the specialist hooker role for the vast majority of his playing career.
He was awarded an MBE (Member of the Most Excellent order of the British Empire), for his services to rugby league and sports broadcasting in the New Year Honours List 2017.
Stephenson began his professional playing career at his hometown club Dewsbury in 1966, after being signed from local amateur club Shaw Cross RLFC. 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 was being a member of Great Britain's victorious 1972 World Cup-winning side; 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 Championship final during the 1972–73 season. Stephenson played Hooker in Dewsbury's 9–36 defeat by Leeds in the 1972 Yorkshire Cup final during the 1972–73 season at Odsal Stadium, Bradford on Saturday 7 October 1972. He left Dewsbury after their championship winning season in 1973 to join Australian Rugby League outfit Penrith. He played 69 games for the Panthers between 1974 and 1978, 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.
Stephenson announced at the start of the 2016 season that he would be retiring from commentating at the end of the season after 26 years. His final game on the mic was the 2016 Super League Grand Final
- Harry Sunderland Trophy: 1973
- 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
Stevo: Looking Back, by Mike Stephenson ISBN 978-1-904091-23-3
|Rugby league transfer record
Dewsbury to Penrith Panthers