Voting for Fan of Pride 2014 has now closed and the votes are being counted and verified.
Each club Fan of Pride winner will be announced in August, but in the meantime you can still read the stories of each club’s nominees below.
The club Fan of Pride winners will be then put to an expert panel who will decide on the National BRUT Fan of Pride 2014, who will win £5,000 for their Super League club’s community foundation, a pair of 2015 season tickets, a Super League club signed shirt and an invitation to the Man of Steel awards.
Susi is not only a massive Bulls fan but has also given a huge amount back to the local community, particularly around getting young people fit and healthy. She has assisted at many Bradford junior rugby league clubs, as well as educating over 1,000 children about healthy living. Susi is a Junior TLM fitness trainer and delivered the Heart project with the the Bulls Foundation and Heart Research.
Alwyn has frequently shown his dedication to the Bulls. His never wavering optimism and support through even the toughest of times are clear for all to see. For the past 13 years, Alwyn has collected and sold both the club lottery and the matchday draw. He has also given his time to the next generation of Bulls fans by coaching youth rugby in the local community .
Colin is a true Bulls fan, not only has he remained positive during some of the tougher times at Odsal, he does his upmost to rally other fans into sharing his positivity. Colin’s enthusiasm has rubbed off on his family, whom he takes on the mammoth drive to every Bulls game, both home and away fixtures, all the way from Morecambe.
Bryan is a truly dedicated Cas fan, whose support for the club extends to attendance even when unwell. Each of Bryan’s Castleford matchdays are begun with with his pre-match ritual of a cup of tea, before he picks his son and grandson up and takes them to the match. Bryan has followed Castleford through the good and the bad times since the 1940s, and has a proud record of attending to every final involving Cas.
As her nominator says, Leanne loves Castleford with a passion. She attends all matches whether home or away, following the team around the country to add her support. Not only does Leanne attend all and every Cas match, she also supports the club financially in any way she can.
According to his nominator, Ronald is the very definition of a dedicated fan. Having attended his first Castleford game aged 10, a staggering 74 years on Ronald still sits in the stands as excited and as passionate as if it was his first visit all those years ago. Nominated by his daughter, she believes Ronald deserves the recognition for his many years service to his beloved Cas.
Mark not only supports the Giants as a year-in, year-out family season ticket holder, he also does all he can to help with the club’s charity events. As manager at the local Morrison's, Mark works long hours, but he also organises in-store gift donations that can be used by the club’s chaity to raise much needed funds. His work commitments understandably take up a lot of his time, but he always makes the effort to catch the Giants matches.
Fred has worked tirelessly for the last 30 years for his local rugby league club, Hollinwood ARLFC. At the club, Fred is the kit man, groundsman, treasurer, secretary, first aider and all around go to man! He is a true sportsman who, according to his nominator should win the BRUT Fan of Pride award in recognition of his years of dedication and hard work.
Despite suffering from fibromyalgia and tendinitis, Claire, her husband and carer, Graham, and their two young boys are Giants season ticket holders who very rarely miss a Huddersfield match. Not only this, Claire and Graham also bring both boys for ball boy duty at first team and academy games, come rain and snow, hale and wind. Claire’s philosophy is that the responcibility of being a ball boy for the first team must be earned by working at academy matches and, as her nominator says, the boys do so with ‘passion and never complain about the cold, wind and rain!’
Lisa is not only a massive Hull FC fan – she never misses a match - but she also organises events for fellow fans. As secretary of the Hull FC supporters group Lisa has organised many fundraisers for various groups by walking over 630 miles! She strives to make supporting Hull FC and rugby league in general as enjoyable as possible for everyone. Admirably, Lisa finds time for all of her rugby related work and fundraising despite having a challenging full-time job. Her nominator has described her loyalty to Hull FC as “unquestioned, whilst her dedication to rugby league and the great causes that she supports is unflinching.”
Gary is a massive Hull FC fan who always makes the effort to get to as many games as he can. This is especially impressive as he travels to Hull all the way from Portsmouth - a 500 mile round trip!
Graham is a well recognised fan around not only Hull but amongst rugby league fans across the length and breadth of the country. It was Graham who conceived of the idea to rename the Man of Steel Award after former player Steve Prescott and through his hard work and dedication he has, according to one of his nominators “honoured Steve Prescott eternally”. Graham has been a huge Hull FC fan for over 35 years and attends as many games as he can to support the club. Graham has “a heart of gold”, working tirelessly behind the scenes for the community and local charities.
Graham is a well recognised fan around not only Hull but amongst rugby league fans across the length and breadth of the country. It was Graham who conceived of the idea to rename the Man of Steel Award after former player Steve Prescott and through his hard work and dedication he has, according to one of his nominators “honoured Steve Prescott eternally”. Graham is unique amongst this year’s nominees in that he has received his nomination for Hull KR despite supporting their bitter rivals.
Despite retirement, heart attacks & diagnosis of serious illness, Alan dedicates hours of his time to rugby league. Known in and around Hull simply as ‘Mr Rugby League’, Alan now performs an administrative role for young people in the city. His nominator believes Alan deserves to be recognised for all his time, energy and hardwork. “For these reasons”, he says, “he merits the title of BRUT Fan of Pride 2014”.
Paul lives and breathes rugby league and Hull KR. An avid fan for 50 years, he has got both his sons hooked on the sport. Furthermore, Paul has volunteered for over ten years and the started East v West youth game, which he encourages to be played in the correct way - he sits on the disciplinary panel for the match afterall!
Aside from being a huge Leeds Rhinos supporter, Russell puts a great deal of his time and effort into the running of the LS16 Rhinos Supporters Club (Lanswood Arms). Russell is a Rhinos ambassador and keeps himself busy by organising a Leeds line lotto. His nominator tells how Russell “lives and breathes the Rhinos” and does his absolute most to promote the Rhinos in all areas of home and work life.
Cheryl gives a great deal back to her local community, both for her local club, the Easterhouse Panthers, and for the wider community. Additionally, she voulnteers at Credit Union and runs a food bank collection. Cheryl is always thinking of others and works tirelessly to aid the local community - all this is especially admirable considering she is a single parent with a full time job!
Andrew has been nominated by his daughter who describes him as “a hero”. Tragically he recently lost his brother to cancer but he has remained positive and strong for others. As a huge Leeds Rhinos fan Andrew can be seen in the Headingley Carnegie stands come sun, rain or snow. The struggles that Andrew has faced combined with his love for the Rhinos means he should be considered for the BRUT Fan of Pride award. “He’s the biggest rugby fan I know” another nominator comments.
Paul goes further than the ordinary London Broncos fan, using social media to try and increase recognition for the club. He has also done his bit for charity - in 2010 he got a shirt signed by all the Broncos players and donated it to charity. Paul is also set to play a role in the local community as he is due to help at Rainham Touch Rugby when it starts this season.
Aaron is a truly loyal London Broncos fan. He not only sponsors some of the Broncos players but has also remarkabley attended every Broncos home and away game this season! Aaron is a fully dedicated fan who has supported the club through thick and thin this season. His support for his club is absolute and nothing gets in the way of it.
Stuart is a big London Broncos fan and volunteers to be the club mascot. He also writes for the club match day programme and helps promote the Broncos through the ‘Buck and Dusty’ Twitter page. As one of his nominator’s says, “it's not easy being a mascot for a club which has lost every game this season!”. Stuart’s contribution to the London Broncos is massive and deserves to be recognised by both London Broncos and Super League fans.
“Martin is a true inspiration, role model and to us a superhero!”, writes Becky Rossall, who nominated Martin Owens. Martin is Chairman and co-founder of the Manchester Canalsiders, the world’s first first-ever lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rugby league club. The Canalsiders aim to be a fully inclusive rugby club and enable anyone who wants to take up and continue playing rugby the opportunity and facilities to do so, with teams specifically aimed at the LGBT community. The club have also attracted the interest of a some famous rugby personalities, with stars from both codes, Gareth Thomas and Ben Cohen, praising its work.
Wayne is a big Salford Red Devils fan who attends all their matches. However, his dedication to rugby league doesn’t stop at support for the Red Devils. Any spare minute he has he dedicates his time down at his local club, Langworthy Reds. Not only does he coach the juniors at Langworthy, but he also plays a big hand in the upkeep and running of the club’s facilities.
Paul is an exceptionally dedicated Salford Red Devils fan, so much so that he dipped into his own pocket and gave money to the club during its recent financial difficulties. Paul is extremely passioniate about Salford, boasting excellent knowledge on past scores, players and games. And he has decided to turn this knowledge into something tangible – by starting, and currently being in the process of writing a book about rugby. As a mark of his dedication to the club, his nominator even revealed that Paul’s first tattoo was a Salford one!
Will Hunter is not only a huge Saints fan but spends a great deal of time helping his local community by training the Egremont Rangers Under 11 team. Both children and parents alike are in agreement that Will deserves to be the BRUT Fan of Pride as he has built up a great youth team.
Liam volunteers at Saints every Saturday, as well as during his university holidays, helping young people. He balances his university work with regular coaching in the local community. He loves Saints and attends every match whether home or away. One of his nominators states that, “you will never meet a more dedicated, loyal young fan who goes above and beyond for his beloved club.”
Nominated by his son, Christopher has been a dedicated St Helens fan for more than 30 years. His son says that he deserves recognition not only for his support of the Saints but also for his role within his family. Astonishly Christopher fosters two young children as well as looking after seven of his own!
Steve is a true Wakefield supporter doing everything he can to support the players out on the pitch. He has given hundreds of hours to repair barriers, exits and such like to ensure the stadium reaches the required standards and his nominator feels he deserves recognition for putting the game before himself. Steve’s work has been instrumental in the upgrading of the capacity of Belle Vue and guaranteeing that it satisfies Health and Safety laws and there are very few who can match the time he spends volunteering for the club.
Gaz volunteers each week at the Wildcats to ensure that pre-match junior games take place and run smoothly, and his commitement to the club extends to support in any form necessary. Gaz also coordinates away matchday travel and is an ever willing volunteer to help the community team.
When the club was suffering financial problems Ryan spearheaded a fans group to come together to raise funds to sponsor a player. While many people had ideas of how they could support the club, Ryan was the driving force in making them happen. To generate the player sponsorship he sold raffle tickets to bring in the funds. Once this happened, he raffled the perks that came with being a player sponsor such as player appearances.
A huge Wolves fan who attends every game, Pam arranges a supporters coach to all away games, including Catalan, and treats the supporters who travel with her as family, baking cakes and buying sweets for every journey for a small fee, with funds collected being donated to charity. In 2013 Pam was diagnosed with cancer with her resulting treatment unfortunately keeping her away from the Wolves’ Grand Final, watching, instead, from her hospital bed. During this time Pam was determined to spend a minimal amount of time away from Wolves games and despite ongoing treatment is now back in the stands.
Nominated by his son, James Shaw has been a season ticket holder for many many years. Despite being aged 74 James still attends all Wolves matches, home and away. His love of rugby league does not stop with Warrington however - he follows his grandson who plays regularly at Woolston Wizards.
Keith is not only a massive Widnes Vikings fan but dedicates much of his time to his local community. He unselfishly does a lot of social work around the Halton area, is always extremely friendly and has a permanent smile on his face. Keith has supported the Vikings for many years and his dedication even extends to supporting the club financially.
Marcus gives up his own time encouraging others to believe in Widnes in the same way that he does. He is an inspirational fan whose enthusiasm rubs off on others around him. In a display of his commitement to his much loved Vikings team, Marcus travelled from Bangkok to Widnes for the first game back in Super League against Wakefield!
Leam’s love of rugby league goes beyond his beloved Widnes Vikings. He plays a key role at Halton Simms Cross ARLFC, organising many events and frequently taking part in charity work - he is seen by many around the club as a “knight in shining armour”. “No-one is more deserving of this award than Leam”, his nominator proudly states, “he is a fantasic person to be around our club”.
Greg displays his love and commitment to the Wigan Warriors by travelling down from Glasgow to watch them play, meaning every game is like an away game for him! He has been a huge rugby league fan since he was introduced to it in the summer of 2004, with 2014 making this year his 10 year anniversary of his love for the sport.
Aaron is not only a Warrior hero but a national hero. Having fought for the British Army in Afghanistan, Aaron was tragically forced to have one of his legs amputated. Despite this, he still makes the effort to make it to the DW stadium week in, week out. As his nominator states, Aaron “gave his leg for us” and is therefore deserving of the BRUT Fan of Pride award.
David plays a big role in the local community taking part in a great deal of charity work. He encouarges and helps men change their lives, whilst also doing some important work with children. David is involved with ‘Trim Down, Shape Up!’ the free fitness and health service to encourage people to get out and healthy.
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