Benji Marshall wins 2010 Golden Boot

Regarded as one of the games most exciting players, Wests Tigers and New Zealand five-eighthBenji Marshall has added the Golden Boot to his ever-growing list of accolades throughout his career.

The award, which is in its 25th year is given to the player that is seen as the world’s best player. Marshall beat out Shaun Kenny Dowall, Paul Gallen, James Graham, Billy Slater and Sam Thaiday for the award.

“To win this award, after coming back from three shoulder reconstructions, winning the Four Nations, and having my best ever year since I’ve started in the NRL, is pretty overwhelming,’’ Marshall said.

“I’m pretty excited. It is something I definitely won’t take for granted.”

The voting panel contained three former Golden Boot winners in Wally Lewis, Hugh McGahan and Stacey Jones as well as former Great Britain international Garry Schofield, former England Rugby League coach Phil Larder, ex NSW coach turned Nine commentator Phil Gould, former France coach Louis Bonnery and also journalists from around the world.

As the winner was being announced, John Drake, the editor of Rugby League World Magazine has declared that Marshall was a dominant and worthy victor.

“It was a landslide victory for Benji Marshall who achieved maximum points from 11 of the 13 members of the voting panel,’’ Drake said.

“The Golden Boot award recognises a whole year of performances at domestic and international level.

“Benji’s match-winning performance in the biggest game of the season, the Four Nations final against Australia, proved his undoubted class. The very best players produce their very best performances on the biggest stages.”

Marshall was the catalyst in the Tigers charge towards the preliminary final, and in a rare feat for the five-eighth given his previous injuries in the past, Marshall played in each and every one of the Tigers games in the 2010 season.

Marshall is set to be a Tiger for life, with a contract with the club until the end of the 2015 season.

“I’m delighted for Benji and it is richly deserved,’’ Sheens said.

“Things were not always going his way. There was a time in the middle of the season when people were on his back and the pressure was really on him.

“To come through that and win this award is a credit to him and it exemplifies his determination and perseverance to get the job done.”

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