Captain Kurt Gidley has claimed the major award at the Newcastle Knights’ Awards Evening, the Danny Buderus Medal- 2015 Player of the Year.
Gidley became the Club's most capped skipper and the second most capped player in 2015 and showcased his leadership, skill and versatility playing in a number of positions throughout the season.
The medal is voted by the coaching staff after each game with the points tally coming down to the wire in the final rounds of the season.
“It means the absolute most to me,” Gidley told Knights TV shortly after accepting the award on Friday night.
“I still play footy today because I love my teammates and the greatest respect comes when you know you’ve played well and played the way they expect you to play.”
"The respected and celebrated skipper was honoured to accept the prestigious award from his former teammate and friend, Danny Buderus and was especially proud to be held in high regard by the Club legend.
“I’ve known Bedsy (Buderus) since I was about 15 years old, back in the day and he’s always been someone who I’ve looked up to, as a person number one before he made the big stage,” he said.
“Danny has been a great mate of mine and he played with Matt (Gidley), my oldest during his old career, from his school career to his first grade career.
“He’s someone I’ve looked up to on the field but certainly off the field as well.
“He’s been a really tough player and been a great leader for me.
“I really appreciate the medal.”
In his acceptance speech, Gidley acknowledged the raft of people in his life who have proved encouragment and support during his 15-year career at the Club.
“My parents have been a big influence on my life,” he said.
In what was his last presentation evening as a player at the Club before he departs to play in the English Super League, he said he treasured the occasion.
“I’ve had a ball and have been surprised by this medal because I think there’s been some great players during the year,” he said.
“It’s been a really tough year to be honest, emotionally, and for different reasons including injuries.
“It was not the year I was hoping for, but I just want to see the Club succeed and will be their biggest fan over the next couple of years until I come back home.”