Parliamentary Rugby League Group Names Annual Award after President Lord Lofthouse
Ahead of its annual dinner on 22nd January, the Parliamentary Rugby League Group has announced it has split its annual award for service to rugby league, creating the Geoff Lofthouse Award and the Outstanding Service Award.
The Geoff Lofthouse Award is named after one of the Group’s founding members, who for many years acted as Group Chairman and most recently its President. It will be presented every year at the Group’s Annual Dinner to an individual who has provided long-term and sustained support to rugby league at a high level.
It will not be awarded to Members of Parliament, past or present. Instead, Members of Parliament who have demonstrated sustained support for rugby league in Westminster will receive the Group’s Outstanding Service Award, and only when the Group feels there is a worthy recipient.
The Group has confirmed that both awards will be made this year, as well as the Group’s Super League Player of the Year, which will be announced and presented at a later date.
The awards will be made on behalf of the Parliamentary Group by its Chairman, Leeds North West MP Greg Mulholland alongside Lord Lofthouse’s family who are attending the dinner.
Mulholland said “Geoff provided tireless support to rugby league over the year he was an MP and a Peer. He is the only politician in Parliament to have ever played the sport professionally. He carried with him in both Houses of Parliament, the passion and commitment needed to be a professional rugby league player.
“His work in Westminster for rugby league, and the legacy he has left for our game cannot be underestimated and it is only right that an award from politicians recognising service to our great game is named after the best we’ve ever had.”
About the Geoff Lofthouse Award
Awarded annually to an individual who is not a Parliamentarian or former Parliamentarian, who has provided long-term and sustained support to rugby league.
About the Outstanding Service Award
Awarded for services to Rugby League and the Parliamentary Rugby League Group on an ad hoc basis to a Member or former Member of the Group who has made a significant contribution to the sport resulting in changes to policy or who has influenced the sport significantly at national or international level. Those selected will have normally served as an officer of the Group for several years or driven policy whilst in a frontbench position.