Leigh Leopards head coach Adrian Lam received the prestigious award of Betfred Super League Coach of the Year as Rugby League staged its biggest and most inclusive Awards Night at Emirates Old Trafford.
Having won the award once before in 2020, Lam triumphed for a second time, ahead of fellow nominees, Wigan’s Matt Peet, Salford’s Paul Rowley, and Steve McNamara of Catalans Dragons.
Lam was unavoidably forced to miss the glittering occasion due to his commitments with the Australian national team who are preparing to meet Samoa in the Pacific Cup in Townsville this coming weekend.
Speaking by video link from Townsville Lam said: “What an achievement and what an honour. It’s a personal milestone for me.
“I was pretty emotional when I received the news. I want to thank the fans who have been there on a week-to-week basis enjoying the highs of the season, breaking records.
“And there was no bigger high than winning the Challenge Cup. What a moment and one we will remember forever
“I’d like to thank all my staff who work tirelessly to get the boys on the field and help develop and grow this team. They’ve done an amazing job and I’m forever grateful.
“I’d like to thank Chris Chester, who I work closely with, for all his help and support and Neil Jukes for his all year-round support.
“And finally, to Derek Beaumont for his continued support to me, our team, our club and our town and everything he does for us. I’ll be forever grateful.
“I know we’re building and have a big plan in place, and we are looking forward to 2024.
“But finally, thank you everyone. What a season! How good!”
Josh Charnley stepped up to receive the award in Lam’s absence from Paul Sculthorpe MBE and spoke of the personal impact Lam had made on him after he joined the club midway through the 2022 season.
“Adrian gave me confidence again as I was a bit low,” Charnley said. “Going into camp with the Leigh boys was a great experience and to see the way the team, the players and staff developed with Lammy at the front of it. I’ve got a very high regard for him and he’s a worthy recipient of this prestigious award.
“To win the Challenge Cup for the club after a gap of 50-odd years was special and it was great to see all the boys enjoy it, especially those who’d never experienced something like that before. To see ‘little old Leigh’ on the homecoming parade, when the town turned out in force, was the best thing I’ve ever seen.
“We were gutted we didn’t go all the way this year, but we are excited to see what next year will bring.”
Rugby League Awards Night 2023 – Winners
Steve Prescott MBE Man of Steel – Bevan French (Wigan Warriors)
Woman of Steel – Sinead Peach (York Valkyrie)
Wheels of Steel – Lewis King (London Roosters)
Betfred Championship Player of the Year – Dean Parata (London Broncos) and Lachlan Walmsley (Halifax Panthers)
Betfred League One Player of the Year – Reiss Butterworth (Dewsbury Rams)
Betfred Super League Young Player of the Year – Josh Thewlis (Warrington Wolves)
Betfred Women’s Super League Young Player of the Year – Caitlin Casey (Leeds Rhinos)
Betfred Wheelchair Super League Young Player of the Year – Josh Butler (Leeds Rhinos)
Betfred Championship Young Player of the Year – Bill Leyland (London Broncos)
Betfred League One Young Player of the Year – Ciaran Walker (Workington Town)
Betfred Super League Coach of the Year – Adrian Lam (Leigh Leopards)
Betfred Women’s Super League Coach of the Year – Lindsay Anfield (York Valkyrie)
Betfred Wheelchair Super League Coach of the Year – Tom Coyd MBE (London Roosters)
Betfred Championship Coach of the Year – Mike Eccles (London Broncos)
Betfred League One Coach of the Year – Liam Finn (Dewsbury Rams)
Foundation of the Year – Barrow Raiders (with commendations for Leigh Leopards and York RLFC)
Glen’s Spirit of Super League Award – The Burrow Family