Lance Todd Trophy

Lancelot Beaumont “Lance” Todd (26 May 1883 – 14 November 1942) was a New Zealand-born rugby league footballer and manager of the early 20th century.

Originally from Otahuhu where he played rugby union, Todd later joined the Parnell club and from here made the Auckland side. He did not make the All Blacks but this was due to the tremendous talent in front of him and he was still regarded as being a special player in the Auckland scene.

He was picked for the professional All Blacks 1907–1908 rugby tour of Great Britain and Australia and subsequently, like all members of the tour, received a life ban from the New Zealand Rugby Union. Todd had been involved in organising the tour and served on the Management Committee. During the tour he excelled at the game of rugby league, playing in four Test matches, and scoring eight tries in all games. He was one of five players who opted to stay in Great Britain at the tour’s end. He was signed by Wigan after the tour for £400 and the captaincy, and he became an outstanding centre, making 186 appearances for the club.

Lance Todd played left-centre in Wigan’s 10-9 victory over Oldham in the 1908 Lancashire County Cup Final during the 1908–09 season and played left-centre and scored a try in the 21-5 victory over Rochdale Hornets in the 1912 Lancashire County Cup Final during the 1912–13 season.

In 1928 he became the team manager at Salford, achieving legendary status. Salford were close to folding when he joined but his management turned them into a formidable and successful team. During the 1930s Salford won three League Championships, five Lancashire League Championships, four Lancashire Cups, and was the coach in Salford’s 7-4 victory over Barrow in the 1938 Challenge Cup Final.

Todd died on 14 November 1942, in a motor accident. An inquest into his death determined a verdict of “accidental death”.

During World War II Todd was serving as a commandant to the Salford section of the Home Guard but it would be on a return home from duty in Oldham that the accident happened. A car he was driving swerved to avoid a collision with a tram, but crashed into a lampost. Todd died along with his colleague Colonel Frank Sewell in the front passenger seat. Two passengers in the rear seats of the car survived. Todd is buried in Wigan (Ince) cemetery.

For his work as a manager and as a radio commentator resulted in the Lance Todd Trophy being named after him. This trophy is awarded to the man of the match in the Challenge Cup Final.

In 2007 Todd was inducted as one of the New Zealand Rugby League’s inaugural “Legends of League”.

Winners List

Season Winner Club
2021 Niall Evalds Castleford
2020 Richie Myler Leeds Rhinos
2019 Daryl Clark Warrington Wolves
2018 Tony Gigot Catalans Dragons
2017 Marc Sneyd Hull FC
2016 Marc Sneyd Hull FC
2015 Tom Briscoe Leeds Rhinos
2014 Ryan Hall Leeds Rhinos
2013 Matty Smith Wigan Warriors
2012 Brett Hodgson Warrington Wolves
2011 Jeff Lima Wigan Warriors
2010 Lee Briers Warrington Wolves
2009 Michael Monaghan Warrington Wolves
2008 Paul Wellens St Helens
2007 Leon Pryce & Paul Wellens St Helens
2006 Sean Long St Helens
2005 Kevin Sinfield Leeds Rhinos
2004 Sean Long St Helens
2003 Gary Connolly Leeds Rhinos
2002 Kris Radlinski Wigan Warriors
2001 Sean Long St Helens
2000 Henry Paul Bradford Bulls
1999 Leroy Rivett Leeds Rhinos
1998 Mark Aston Sheffield Eagles
1997 Tommy Martyn St Helens
1996 Robbie Paul Bradford Bulls
1995 Jason Robinson Wigan Warriors
1994 Martin Offiah Wigan Warriors
1993 Dean Bell Wigan Warriors
1992 Martin Offiah Wigan Warriors
1991 Dennis Betts Wigan Warriors
1990 Andy Gregory Wigan Warriors
1989 Ellery Hanley Wigan Warriors
1988 Andy Gregory Wigan Warriors
1987 Graham Eadie Halifax RLFC
1986 Bob Beardmore Castleford Tigers
1985 Brett Kenny Wigan Warriors
1984 Joe Lydon Widnes Vikings
1983 David Hobbs Featherstone Rovers
1982 Eddie Cunningham Widnes Vikings
1981 Mick Burke Widnes Vikings
1980 Brian Lockwood Hull KR
1979 David Topliss Wakefield Trinity
1978 George Nicholls St Helens
1977 Steve Pitchford Leeds Rhinos
1976 Geoff Pimblett St Helens
1975 Ray Dutton Widnes Vikings
1974 Derek Whitehead Warrington Wolves
1973 Steve Nash Featherstone Rovers
1972 Kel Coslett St Helens
1971 Alex Murphy Leigh Centurions
1970 Bill Kirkbride Castleford Tigers
1969 Malcolm Reilly Castleford Tigers
1968 Don Fox Wakefield Trinity
1967 Carl Dooler Featherstone Rovers
1966 Len Kileen St Helens
1965 Brian Gabbitas & Ray Ashby Hunslet & Wigan Warriors
1964 Frank Collier Widnes Vikings
1963 Harold Poynton Wakefield Trinity
1962 Neil Fox Wakefield Trinity
1961 Dick Huddart St Helens
1960 Tommy Harris Hull FC
1959 Brian McTigue Wigan Warriors
1958 Rees Thomas Wigan Warriors
1957 Jeff Stevenson Leeds Rhinos
1956 Alan Prescott St Helens
1955 John ‘Jack’ Grundy Barrow
1954 Gerry Helme Warrington Wolves
1953 Peter Ramsden Huddersfield Giants
1952 William Ivison Workington
1951 Cecil ‘Cec’ Mountford Wigan Warriors
1950 Gerry Helme Warrington Wolves
1949 Ernest Ward Bradford Northern
1948 Frank Whitcombe Bradford Northern
1947 Willie Davies Bradford Northern
1946 William ‘Billy’ Stott Wakefield Trinity

† = denotes a player who won the trophy but played on the losing team in the final.