FORMER Bradford Northern star Ellery Hanley was a guest at the launch of this year's Super League season to announce a new format for the prestigious Steve Prescott Man of Steel Award.

The ex-Great Britain captain and coach is the only three-time winner of the award, having won it in 1985, 87 and 89, the accolade being introduced in 1977.

He will chair a panel of 21 former players who will pick a one-two-three from each game throughout the season which will determine the winner in October.

Hanley said: “When you win anything the first time, it’s spectacular, it surrounds itself with the achievement that you played well for the whole competition.

“I think it’s a tribute to the players you’ve played with and against, because they make you a better player.

“I was stunned by it, I remember winning it the second time and I thought to myself it can’t be happening and then to win a third time, I just thought it was a dream.

“I think it’s fantastic and the panel that’s been drawn up and the list of players that are actually distributing the points for each game and round.

“You couldn’t pick better players they’ve got so much experience, they’re knowledgeable and well placed.”

Full details of the panel will be unveiled next month.

Meanwhile, former England captain Stuart Pearce and world boxing champion Josh Warrington were also guests at the launch.

Former Nottingham Forest defender Pearce had no hesitation in describing rugby league as the most demanding, and honest, discipline of them all.

"If someone said to me 'what is the toughest profession to play?' I would say it's probably this one," Pearce said.

"You get smashed every week, technically you've got to be very good at it as well, right across the board you're recovering from car crashes.

"This gentleman (Warrington) plays a sport that is tough and rugby league is right up there with that - and probably jump jockeys, they're the three sports that make me think 'wow... I'm glad I was a footballer."