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Year Awarded: 2016
Category: AFL - Modesty, Generosity and Mateship
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Spirit Of Sport Award

Luke Beveridge - AFL - Modesty, Generosity and Mateship

When the Western Bulldogs broke a 62-year premiership drought, injury forced club captain and spiritual leader Robert Murphy to watch from the coach’s box.

Amid wild celebrations, and after the 22 competing players received their premiership medallions, Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge took to the podium, ending his speech with a remarkable gesture.

Removing his own premiership medallion, Beveridge invited the wounded skipper to the stage with the words "This is yours mate, you deserve this more than anyone."

Beveridge’s actions will go into sporting folklore and added a remarkable full stop to an historic day in Australian football.

Sport Australia Hall of Fame Chairman John Bertrand AO said Beveridge’s actions encapsulated exactly what the award was designed to recognise.

“We all watched it and it captured our hearts,” Bertrand said.

“Luke’s actions exemplify the spirit of sport and truly represent many of the values of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame including modesty, generosity and mateship.”

“It’s a fitting moment to be enshrined in the Sport Australia Hall of Fame via the ‘Spirit of Sport’ Award, which we only award sparingly and in select circumstances – and this is one of those moments,” Bertrand said.

 

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When considering the stature of an athlete or for that matter any person, I set great store in certain qualities which I believe to be essential in addition to skill. They are that the person conducts his of her life with dignity, with integrity, courage, and perhaps most of all, with modesty. These virtues are totally compatible with pride, ambition, and competitiveness.