Joint Gladiators cherish accolade

The Old Boys Gladiator of the Year Award was shared by Jeremy Smith and Sione Mata’utia in 2016, an honour that both players treasured for different reasons.

“I always left it all out on the field, and I loved playing at Hunter Stadium,” the retiring Smith said at the Club’s Awards evening.

“It’s pleasing to leave on this note knowing that I was a Gladiator.”

The Gladiator Award is unique in that it does not go to the best or fairest player, but the player that encapsulated the spirit of the Club with his toughness and resilience on the field.

“It’s the people that have donned this jersey before us, so to get their vote means that I can walk with my head held high knowing that I did leave it all on the field,” Smith explained.

“To walk away with something like this tonight tops it all off."

For Mata’utia, the fact that he could share an award with the retiring Smith was the biggest highlight.

“It’s obviously a big privilege to win any award, especially alongside the cuzzy,” he said of Smith.

“It being his last year, it’s something I’ll cherish.”