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Connor Watson 2020 Winner

The 2020 Ken Stephen Medallist is Newcastle Knights' Connor Watson - a champion on and off the field!

Sparked by losing his 17-year-old cousin Parker to suicide, Watson, his parents Mark and Jodie and their Cultural Choice Association (CCA) have worked to make Boots for Brighter Futures a hallmark of Indigenous Round and a catalyst for important conversations in the Indigenous and broader community.

Several Youth Justice Centres were involved in creating artwork across 56 pairs of boots for various teams in 2020. The match-worn boots were auctioned online, raising $24,000 and bringing the total raised to $51,000 since inception.

On top of his club commitments, Watson was making regular fortnightly visits to Indigenous boys at the Kirinari hostel. Read more about Connors' story on NRL.com

Watson was honoured in a ceremony at ANZ Stadium before the Telstra Premiership grand final on Sunday. Watch the ceremony on the website!

2020 Ken Stephen Medal Finalists

  • Martin Taupau - Manly Warrgah Sea Eagles
  • Reed Mahoney -  Parramatta Eels
  • Roger Tuivasa-Sheck - New Zealand Warriors

2020 Ken Stephen Medal Nominees

To learn more about each of the 2020 Ken Stephen Medal nominees, read the article.

  • Adam Elliot - Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
  • Angus Crichton - Sydney Roosters
  • Chris Lawrence - Wests Tigers
  • Cody Walker - South Sydney Rabbitohs
  • Connor Watson - Newcastle Knights
  • Dale Copley - Gold Coast Titans
  • Dale Finucane - Melbourne Storm
  • James Tamou - Penrith Panthers
  • Jarrod Croker - Canberra Raiders
  • Kyle Feldt - North Queensland Cowboys
  • Martin Taupau - Manly Warrgah Sea Eagles
  • Reed Mahoney -  Parramatta Eels
  • Roger Tuivasa-Sheck - New Zealand Warriors
  • Ronaldo Mulitalo - Cronulla Sutherland Sharks
Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.