Outstanding Manly Warringah Sea Eagles full-back Tom Trbojevic has tonight won the prestigious Dally M Medal for the Best and Fairest player in the Telstra Premiership.
Trbojevic became just the third Manly player to win the game’s highest individual honour after Cliff Lyons (1990, 1994) and Matt Orford (2008).
Trbojevic was also named the Dally M Fullback of the Year.
In a ceremony held in Brisbane for the first time ever, Trbojevic polled 35 points ahead of Penrith Panthers halfback Nathan Cleary (30), and Cody Walker (29).
Manly Captain and half-back Daly Cherry-Evans and Sydney Roosters fullback James Tedesco (both 23) rounded out the top five.
Trbojevic secured the Dally M Medal in Round 24 after polling three points in the win over the Bulldogs.
He polled an incredible three points in 11 matches in 2021 to finish the regular season with 25 tries, 30 line breaks and 27 try assists in 15 matches after missing the first five matches through a hamstring injury.
The Dally M Medal then capped off arguably the best ever season seen by an individual player by finishing the entire season with 28 tries, 28 try assists, 124 tackle breaks, and 33 line breaks from a combined 18 games.
"I'll start off by saying what an honour it is to win this award," Trbojevic said.
"I was just reading the past winners and to be recognised amongst that list is pretty special. I don't think it will ever sink in.
"I'll start my thank-yous to the NRL and Queensland government, what they've done for the past three months has been incredible.
"To the Manly boys, Dessie and Chez (Cherry-Evans), I couldn't have done it without you. This medal is a beneficiary for all your hard work and effort.
"To the family back home, mum and dad, I appreciate everything you've done for me over the years and this medal is on the back of everything you've done for me. Without you two I wouldn't be getting it so a big thank you."
The Dally M Medal follows on from Trbojevic winning the Roy Bull ‘Best and Fairest’ Award at Manly’s presentation night on Sunday. It was the second time Trbojevic won the award after claiming it in 2016.
Trbojevic also set a new Club record for Most Tries in a Season for Manly with 28 tries to break Phil Blake’s 1983 record of 27 tries in 24 games, including finals.
The Sea Eagles also had six players nominated for the nine positions in the Dally M Team of the Year, being Tom Trbojevic (full-back), Jason Saab and Reuben Garrick (wing), Daly Cherry-Evans (half-back), Jake Trbojevic (lock), and Haumole Olakau’atu (second-row).
Garrick took one of the two wing positions alongside Brian To’o for his phenomenal record-breaking season that saw him record 334 points.
Cherry-Evans was also nominated for Captain of the Year, won by James Tedesco.
Des Hasler was also nominated for the Coach of the Year award, won by Craig Bellamy.
2021 Dally M Award winners
Dally M Player of the Year – Tom Trbojevic – Manly Warringah Sea Eagles
Prop – Payne Haas – Brisbane Broncos
Prop – James Fisher-Harris – Penrith Panthers
Second Row – Viliame Kikau – Penrith Panthers
Second Row – Isaiah Papali’i – Parramatta Eels
Lock – Isaah Yeo – Penrith Panthers
Winger – Brian To’o – Penrith Panthers
Winger – Reuben Garrick – Manly Warringah Sea Eagles
Centre – Matt Burton – Penrith Panthers
Centre – Justin Olam – Melbourne Storm
Five-Eighth – Cody Walker – South Sydney Rabbitohs
Halfback – Nathan Cleary – Penrith Panthers
Hooker – Brandon Smith – Melbourne Storm
Fullback – Tom Trbojevic – Manly Warringah Sea Eagles
Rookie of the Year – Sam Walker – Sydney Roosters
Captain of the Year – James Tedesco – Sydney Roosters
Coach of the Year – Craig Bellamy – Melbourne Storm
Top Points Scorer – Reuben Garrick – Manly Warringah Sea Eagles
Top Try Scorer (Ken Irvine Medal) – Alex Johnston – South Sydney Rabbitohs
Peter Frilingos Headline Moment: Melbourne Storm’s 19-match winning streak
Provan-Summons – Josh Morris – Sydney Roosters
DrinkWise Try of the Year: Tom Trbojevic (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles)
YOUI Tackle of the Year: Xavier Coates (Brisbane Broncos)
VB Hardest Working Player of the Year: Isaiah Papali’i (Parramatta Eels)
Dally M Medal Honour Roll:
2021: Tom Trbojevic (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles)
2020: Jack Wighton (Canberra Raiders)
2019: James Tedesco (Sydney Roosters)
2018: Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (Warriors)
2017: Cameron Smith (Melbourne Storm)
2016: Cooper Cronk (Melbourne Storm) and Jason Taumololo (North Queensland Cowboys)
2015: Johnathan Thurston (North Qld Cowboys)
2014: Johnathan Thurston (North Qld Cowboys) and Jarryd Hayne (Parramatta Eels)
2013: Cooper Cronk (Melbourne Storm)
2012: Ben Barba (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs)
2011: Billy Slater (Melbourne Storm)
2010: Todd Carney (Sydney Roosters)
2009: Jarryd Hayne (Parramatta Eels)
2008: Matt Orford (Manly Sea Eagles)
2007: Johnathan Thurston (North Qld Cowboys)
2006: Cameron Smith (Melbourne Storm)
2005: Johnathan Thurston (North Qld Cowboys)
2004: Danny Buderus (Newcastle Knights)
2003: Not awarded
2002: Andrew Johns (Newcastle Knights)
2001: Preston Campbell (Cronulla Sharks)
2000: Trent Barrett (St George Illawarra Dragons)
1999: Andrew Johns (Newcastle Knights)
1998: Andrew Johns (Newcastle Knights)
1997: Not awarded
1996: Allan Langer (Brisbane Broncos)
1995: Laurie Daley (Canberra Raiders)
1994: Cliff Lyons (Manly Sea Eagles)
1993: Ricky Stuart (Canberra Raiders)
1992: Gary Freeman (Eastern Suburbs Roosters)
1991: Michael Potter (St George Dragons)
1990: Cliff Lyons (Manly Sea Eagles)
1989: Gavin Miller (Cronulla Sharks)
1988: Gavin Miller (Cronulla Sharks)
1987: Peter Sterling (Parramatta Eels)
1986: Peter Sterling (Parramatta Eels)
1985: Greg Alexander (Penrith Panthers)
1984: Michael Potter (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs)
1983: Terry Lamb (Western Suburbs Magpies)
1982: Ray Price (Parramatta Eels)
1981: Steve Rogers (Cronulla Sharks)
1980: Robert Laurie (South Sydney Rabbitohs)
1979: Steve Morris (St George Dragons)