When all seemed lost for the Cowboys in the closing seconds of the 2015 grand final, Johnathan Thurston refused to surrender.
The champ shrugged off a couple of tackles, headed across field and found Michael Morgan whose magical flick found Kyle Feldt and the Cowboys still had a pulse.
JT famously missed the conversion but his ice cool field goal in golden point capped a magnificent performance and delivered the Cowboys their maiden premiership.
Thurston collected the Clive Churchill Medal on that emotional night and now he has been voted the best Churchill Medal winner in our NRL.com poll, picking up 35 per cent of the fans' vote to to knock off Andrew Johns (2001), Sam Burgess (2014) and Luke Keary (2018).
NRL.com recently launched the search for the Simply The Best players from 1990 to now to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the iconic Tina Turner promotional campaign, which was again featured in this year's advertisement for the Telstra Premiership, and is calling on the fans to have their say on a range of topics on the modern era.
Best Clive Churchill Medal winner
(in chronological order)
1987 Cliff Lyons (Manly Sea Eagles)
A Manly legend, Lyons was an attacking force against the Raiders in the '87 decider, making an early 70-metre line break and creating a couple of try-scoring chances before getting across the line himself with a trademark angled run. He was the difference in a tight two-tries-to-one contest, and would go on to star for the club for another decade – winning the premiership again in 1996.
1989 Brad Clyde (Canberra Raiders)
Clyde was just 19 when he was named the best player in one of the greatest grand finals of all, with Canberra defeating the Balmain Tigers 19-14. An all-action lock who redefined the position in rugby league, Clyde outshone a star-studded Raiders outfit that featured the likes of Gary Belcher, Mal Meninga, Laurie Daley, Ricky Stuart, Glenn Lazarus and Steve and Kevin Walters.
1992 Allan Langer (Brisbane Broncos)
The schemer, the master, the heartbeat of a Broncos side that won back-to-back premierships in 1992 and 1993, Allan Langer was at his brilliant best in the '92 grand final. The little halfback scored two tries himself as Brisbane ran out 28-8 winners over the Dragons, becoming the first Queenslander to win the Clive Churchill Medal. It was the perfect end to his first season as Brisbane captain.
1997 Robbie O'Davis (Newcastle Knights)
The moment most remember from Newcastle's miraculous finish to the '97 decider may have been Darren Albert's last-minute try, but before that the Knights' fullback O'Davis had scored twice himself to keep the underdogs in the contest against reigning premiers Manly. The second was the clincher – a spin, a dive and an outstretched arm just planting the ball on the line with six minutes left to lock up the scores and set up the grandstand finish. Two tries, one memorable try celebration and countless memories for the Knights' custodian.
2001 Andrew Johns (Newcastle Knights)
In 2001 the Parramatta Eels produced one of the greatest regular seasons of all time, shattering point-scoring records along the way, and they were considered short-priced favourites to cap the year with a premiership. Instead future Immortal Johns engineered a first-half ambush, with Newcastle running up an unassailable 24-0 lead. Not only did Johns finish with a try assist, a line break and five goals, he also led the Knights' tackle count with 30.
2003 Luke Priddis (Penrith Panthers)
The young Panthers outift were underdogs for the decider despite having finished the regular season in first place, with Priddis the only player in the team with grand final experience having won the 2000 premiership with Brisbane. Against a star-studded Roosters side they needed their hooker to lead from the front and he did, creating all three of Penrith's tries – scoring one himself and laying on two others – as well as running for more than 140 metres and making a team-high 44 tackles as the Panthers prevailed 18-6.
2004 Willie Mason (Canterbury Bulldogs)
A year after their grand final loss to Penrith, Ricky Stuart's Roosters were again favoured to win the decider after picking up the minor premiership – but this time were up against a Bulldogs team that boasted one of the toughest packs in the game. Leading that pack was big Willie Mason at his peak, who made 210 barnstorming metres from 21 carries as the Bulldogs pulled off a second-half fightback to win 16-13.
2014 Sam Burgess (South Sydney Rabbitohs)
South Sydney's bid to end a 43-year premiership drought appeared to get off to the worst possible start when their star forward suffered a broken cheekbone in the opening tackle of the match after a clash with fellow Englishman James Graham. But Burgess stayed on the field and played out the entire match, leading the Rabbitohs' hit-up and tackle counts as his team ran out clear 30-6 winners.
2015 Johnathan Thurston (North Queensland Cowboys)
In one of the great grand finals between two of the fiercest rivals of the modern era, who else could it be? Johnathan Thurson carried the weight of the Cowboys' premiership hopes on his shoulders and he was the man who delivered the club their first in 2015, slotting the field goal that finally sunk the Broncos in extra time. Before that he made the jinking run in the final second of regular time to find Morgan who found Feldt for the try that kept the game alive.
2018 Luke Keary (Sydney Roosters)
After a week of build-up focused on the fitness of Cooper Cronk, it was his halves partner who stepped up on grand final day to star as the Roosters defeated Cronk's old teammates at the Melbourne Storm. Cronk was nowhere near full fitness but it didn't matter as the Keary-inspired Roosters dominated from the start, scoring twice in the first 15 minutes and leading 18-0 at the break on the way to a 21-6 victory – Keary's field goal putting the cherry on top.