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15.08.2014

// Smith Pays Tribute To Lance Todd

By Warriors Staff

Home » General News » Smith Pays Tribute To Lance Todd
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The Lance Todd Trophy has sat on Matty Smith's coffee table for almost a year but this week he had to take it back to headquarters ready for the next recipient on Saturday week.

But before he did, he took it, along with a basket of flowers, to Todd's grave in Wigan cemetery to pay respect to the player, coach and broadcaster, who gave his name to the trophy that is awarded to the man-of-match in the Challenge Cup Final.

Smith, who won the award in the Warrior's victory over Hull FC last season, said: "As soon as I heard about coming down to see Lance Todd's grave I jumped at the chance because it was a great honour to win the trophy at Wembley last year.

"I didn't realise that he was buried in Wigan and it was a good chance to come and pay respects as well as putting some flowers on his grave.

"To win this is a great honour and I hope it will be possible for future winners to do this and carry on what I have done, starting with next Saturday's final.

"The history of the trophy is fantastic with 14 other winners coming from the Wigan club and when I see my name added to the long list it sent shivers down my spine."

"I am a bit gutted that the trophy has to go back this week as it has sat on my coffee table for the past year but hopefully I can get a chance to win it again one day.

"We always associate Lance Todd with the Challenge Cup and Wigan but he was also played at Dewsbury and coached at Salford and there is a Salford scarf draped around the monument on the grave so all rugby league fans must come to see where he is buried", said Smith.

The idea to visit Todd's grave was initiated by the late Wigan stalwart Keith Mills and his brother Maurice was pleased that it had come to fruition.

"Keith first came up with the idea of the winner each year coming to put flowers on the grave but sadly he passed away before it could be done, so I thought I would try and get it started.

"So when the Warriors got to Wembley last year and Matty won the trophy it was a great chance to get the ball rolling", said Maurice.

Lancelot Beaumont Todd was born in New Zealand in 1874. As a player he represented his country in 1907 and 1908 and played for Wigan and Dewsbury. He later became the manager at Salford and led the club to three League Championships and one Challenge Cup victory.

Todd died on 14 November 1942, aged 59, in a motor accident. In 2007 Todd was inducted as one of the New Zealand Rugby League's inaugural "Legends of League".

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