Titan's rise from darkest times
A desire to be remembered for the right reasons has not only earned Luke Douglas plaudits for his work on the field but has him in line to win the NRL's most prestigious award for work in the community, the Ken Stephen Medal.
On Monday night Douglas was named the winner of the Paul Broughton Medal as Gold Coast's best and fairest player for 2015 but 12 months ago he was fighting innermost thoughts and avoiding public scrutiny after being caught up in the Sharks supplements scandal.
It was in Douglas's final season at the Sharks in 2011 that the ill-fated supplements program took place and in late August Douglas and four other former Sharks players accepted back-dated 12-month suspensions.
Despite steadfastly believing in his innocence, by accepting the ban that expired in late November Douglas's record run of 215 games in succession came to an end and his early preparations for the 2015 season were done in solitude.
"I've had a few ups and downs and the end to last year was pretty ordinary," Douglas said upon receiving his award.
"It was hard to find motivation. A lot of the pre-season I was training by myself and trying to find motivation to get fit and what-not.
"I had that thing in the back of my mind saying, I don't think I did anything wrong, and my main motivation was to come out and try and prove people wrong and remember me for the right reasons.
"That got me through some tough times."
An extremely popular winner amongst his teammates and the guests who attended the gala dinner, Douglas was also recognised for his work in the community and Ken Stephen Medal nomination.
The 29-year-old coaches the Burleigh Bears under-13s team and has been a key driver in the Titans developing an association with the Down Syndrome Association of Queensland and is conscious of the power of being a role model.
"I wanted to play well and set an example. So many people growing up these days don't have anyone to follow and don't have any real good role models and both on and off the field that's what I try and do," Douglas said.
"You don't set out to try and win these awards you just try to do your best for the team so to come away with the win is awesome.
"We've got some talented players in the team and a few guys out with injury allowed me to fly in under the radar and get a few points when they were out.
"I really wasn't expecting it. I was just rocking up to see a few blokes off so to win it is pretty special."