Saints legend Paul Wellens and Thatto Heath Crusaders Chairman Mike Denning have been recognised by the Parliamentary Rugby League Group at their recent Annual Charity Dinner.
The pair were presented with Honorary Life Membership of the Parliamentary Rugby League Group in recognition of their longstanding service to the sport. Previous recipients include Ray French, Sir Rodney Walker, Eddie Hemmings and Mike Stephenson.
St Helens South and Whiston MP Marie Rimmer, who is the Secretary of the group, presented the awards in front of a crowd of Lords, MPs, the RFL and rugby league sponsors and supporters.
Speaking after the event, Marie Rimmer said: “It was a real privilege to welcome Mike and Paul to Westminster to present them with their awards.
“Paul has been a tremendous ambassador for the Saints, our town and for Rugby League. As our guest speaker for the evening, it was great to hear more about Paul’s current work with Saints and England rugby league as well as some of the highlights from his illustrious playing career.
“Every time I visit Thatto Heath Crusaders I am always impressed at how professionally the club is run and how passionate the volunteers are. Under Mike’s stewardship, the club has gone from strength to strength and is one of the biggest rugby clubs in the country.
“Too often grassroots rugby league does not get the recognition it deserves so it was wonderful to see Mike’s hard work recognised with this award.”
The charity dinner is an annual event hosted by the Parliamentary Rugby League Group. As well as naming the Group’s Super League Player of the Year – which this year went to Hull’s Danny Houghton – awards are also presented to those who have made outstanding commitments to the Parliamentary Group or the sport more widely.
Richard McCauley, Thatto Heath Councillor and Crusaders Committee member added: "As Chairman, Mike has given so much of his time to help make the club the success story it is. This award is a fitting tribute to his commitment and dedication to both the club and the entire Thatto Heath community."