Castleford’s Clark crowned Man of Steel

Daryl Clark in action in his last game for Castleford Tigers against Warrington Wolves.
Daryl Clark in action in his last game for Castleford Tigers against Warrington Wolves.

Daryl Clark has become the third Castleford Tigers player to win the coveted Man of Steel award and only the third to also be named young player of the year in the same season.

The 21-year-old Airedale lad, who came through the academy ranks at the Tigers, was crowned 2014 Steve Prescott Man of Steel - presented to the player deemed to have made the greatest impact on the 2014 season - at the First Utility Super League Man of Steel dinner held at The Point, Old Trafford Cricket Ground, Manchester.

Clark, named at the weekend in the England squad for the Four Nations, has been in scintillating form for the Tigers this season, playing an instrumental role in helping them to their first Challenge Cup final since 1992 and finishing fourth in the Super League table, the Tigers’ highest-ever position.

Clark also became the third player to win Man of Steel and be named Super League Young Player of the Year on the same night since the awards’ inception in 1977.

He secured the Young Player of the Year award following a two-part selection process incorporating a ballot of every Super League player before the final decision was made by a specially convened five-man Man of Steel Selection Panel.

Clark received the Steve Prescott Man of Steel award ahead of Leeds Rhinos prop Jamie Peacock, Warrington forward Chris Hill and St Helens hooker James Roby.

Roby collected the Super League Hit Man Award for most tackles in the season; and his team-mate Luke Walsh picked up the Top Gun award for having the most successful kicking percentage over the course of the season.

Warrington Wolves won the Community Foundation of the Year Award, in recognition of the strong strategic partnerships they have forged with the local authority and other partners supporting a wide array of activities from Rugby League development to health, heritage, past players, and dance.

The Wolves also picked up two other awards with full-back Matty Russell receiving the Metre Maker award and team-mate Joel Monaghan crowned Top Try-Scorer.

Widnes rounded off the evening’s awards when they were named the 2014 Super League Club of the Year having demonstrated rich progress in areas of youth development and player pathways. Widnes also made good progress on the field in 2014, reaching the play-offs for the first time and having a debut representative in the Super League Dream Team in Kevin Brown.

Retiring Super League players Matt Diskin (312 appearance), Jon Clarke (354), Richard Horne (357), David Hodgson (338), Willie Manu (217), Martin Gleeson (304) and Francis Meli (211) were also presented with Outstanding Contribution Awards to mark their long service to the competition having made over 200 Super League appearances.