John Holmes Award Shortlist announced

The Award is a fitting tribute to John Holmes

The short list of candidates for the second John Holmes Memorial Award has been announced.

The judging panel received nominations from all sectors of rugby league throughout the city of Leeds, who put forward for inclusion volunteers who have performed above and beyond the call of duty.

The winner will be announced next week at the Fourth annual ‘City of Leeds Celebration of Rugby League Dinner’ on 2nd July, in the Long Bar at Headingley Carnegie Stadium in front of around 300 people.

The evening brings together all constituents of the rugby league family in Leeds to recognise and celebrate the many successes and local achievements in the sport and this award – along with the Lifetime Achievement Award – are the centrepieces of the evening.

Kirkstall-born John Holmes was Leeds’ greatest ever servant, appearing 625 times in the famous blue and amber colours, winning every domestic honour in the sport and a World Cup in 1972.

Commenting on the short list, organiser Sam Horner of the Leeds Rugby Foundation noted, “It has been such a difficult choice that we have ended up with six outstanding candidates rather than the five we originally envisaged.” “That is indicative of the amount, strength and quality of work going on throughout the city to help foster, deliver and promote rugby league in every area.”

The 2011 John Holmes Award short listed candidates are:

PETER NICHOLSON – A founder of WEST LEEDS and still working as hard today as he did 15 years ago; coaching the under 8s or the open age team, painting the changing rooms, tiling the kitchen or cleaning up after functions.

DOUGIE SMITHSON – The heartbeat at QUEENS, has been a huge part in their successes; playing, coaching and as treasurer and administrator, is also heavily involved with Leeds & District and BARLA.

BRIAN SOWDEN – Has been at STANNINGLEY for more than 32 years encompassing coach, groundsman and treasurer and played a big part in the lottery bid that enabled the club to build their excellent facilities; continues to work there even in his retirement.

RICHARD THORPE – A stalwart at OULTON RAIDERS, willing to undertake any role at any time, believes passionately in children playing sport whatever their abilities.

MALLY WAITE – One of the original members who built EAST LEEDS, working as coach and chairman and was there again to steer the ship and help rebuild the new club and its facilities.

MARIA WATTS – Always goes about her numerous and onerous unsung duties at MILFORD MARLINS with a smile, constantly willing to do all she can for the success of the club she loves.

The inaugural recipient last year was Guiseley Rangers’ chairman David Clayton.