BULLS head coach John Kear admitted it was an emotional occasion when Ant Walker won the Fans’ Player of the Year award on Wednesday, four years after the prop was told he’d never play again.

The Wales international had to retire in 2017 due to a brain abnormality, but after eventually being cleared to resume his career, he signed for Bradford at the start of this season.

His fitness and performances have improved with each passing week, to the point where the club handed him a contract extension to take him until the end of 2022.

Kear said: “It was emotional for Ant when he won the fans’ award, as you could see how much it meant to him, and how tough it’s been for him over the last four years.

“To be told he couldn’t do it any more in 2017 was clearly a bitter pill for him to swallow, so this award is testament to his resilience and desire to get back out there.

“I was already fully aware of how good a player he was because of the time we’d spent together at Wales, so his ability was never in question when I brought him here to Bulls.

“But there was the question of whether he could get back to his previous levels, but he’s shown he can still do it, and he’s a key player in our quest for Super League.”

Tom Doyle scooped the T&A and Young Player of the Year awards on Wednesday, and Kear said: “Tom’s improving as a player all the time.

“Those awards are recognition for what he’s achieved but we believe there’s bigger things to come.

“We hope he can get us into Super League and then stay put. He could get a move elsewhere, but he’d have to re-establish himself in another team, whereas he can nail down that number nine spot here.”

As for the other awards handed out at Bulls' presentation night, Brandon Pickersgill won Players' Player of the Year, Jordan Lilley scooped the Coaches' Player of the Year prize, while Brad England was crowned Hitman of the Year.