Ospreys legend, Shane Williams, has spoken about his pride at becoming the first ever recipient of the Ospreys’ Lifetime Achievement Award at Friday.
Chairman, Roger Blyth, and Chief Executive, Andrew Hore, presented the flying winger with the inaugural award at the Brangwyn Hall on Friday night, along with Des Mann, Sales Manager from award sponsors Clarity Copiers.
It’s the latest honour bestowed on Williams in recognition of his long and distinguished career, and he says that to be the first recipient of the award is special achievement.
“I’m shocked to be honest, it’s not something I anticipated” said Williams.
“A Lifetime Achievement award is something special so I’m honoured to be the first Osprey to receive this award. There are so many other people who have been involved over the last 12 years who could have been worthy winners of this award so it’s pretty humbling.”
The Ospreys legend has been honoured for services to rugby throughout his long and distinguished playing career.
Having signed for Neath as a youngster from Amman United, Shane became an Ospreys ‘original’ at the inception of regional rugby in 2003. With 57 tries from 141 appearances, including a memorable brace in his final ever match for the region, the 2012 PRO12 Grand Final win over Leinster in Dublin, he leads the Ospreys all-time try scoring list by a clear 20 scores, and his 293 points makes him the sixth highest scorer ever. He won four league titles and one EDF Energy Cup with the Ospreys.
On the international scene, he is Wales’ record try scorer with 58 in 87 tests. With a further two for the Lions, having played in four tests over two tours, his 60 international tries see him placed third in the all time international list. Part of two Grand Slam winning teams, Shane was the 2008 IRB World Player of the Year.
The Lifetime Achievement Award will be awarded annually to an individual who it is felt has contributed to the Ospreys cause throughout their career, someone who has gone above and beyond the call of duty and truly helped to shape the region’s destiny.
After much discussion about the criteria for such an award, it was agreed that any winner must meet some or all of the following:
“Shane has represented the Ospreys superbly on and off the pitch over the years” said chief executive Andrew Hore.
“He has always been, and remains, a great ambassador for the Ospreys and is a great character. He is a very worthy first winner of this award.
“We are still very much a young organisation at just 12 years old but we are starting to create a pretty special history already, which is why we felt that now is the right time to introduce this award with a view to recognising those who have helped to make the Ospreys what we are today.
“There were a number of very worthy candidates, which is an indication of the hard work being done to make this region something special. Whoever follows in Shane’s footsteps to win this in future years, will have been a pretty special person.”