Peter Sterling rejects NRL medal bid from Clive Churchill, Cliff Lyons, Rod Churchill and Latrell Mitchell

Manly Sea Eagles legend Cliff Lyons is expected to present the Clive Churchill Medal for best player on the ground at the NRL Grand Final after Parramatta hero Peter Sterling told the league he has other plans.

The Clive Churchill Medal is named after one of the greatest players of all time and was awarded by a member of the little master’s family, most recently Rod Churchill.

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But after Churchill got into trouble for his comments to Latrell Mitchell in which he called it The Bunnies’ current full-back “An embarrassment for the No. 1 jersey,” “lazy” and “a cancer for the club” were all comments panned across the league – The NRL and the family have agreed that a former champion will present the award.

Churchill had requested that Sterling be the first recipient of the medal that year.

The award has been presented since the 1986 Grand Final, a year after the death of Clive Churchill, with Eels legend Peter Sterling the first winner following Parramatta’s 4-2 victory over Canterbury.

But here’s where the problem arises – Sterlo has plans.

Sterlo is an Eels legend. Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images
Sterlo won four grand finals. Image: SUPPLIEDSource: News Limited

Speaking of Triple M’s Rush Hour with Gus, Jude & Wendell On Tuesday, Sterling revealed the NRL had not actually made contact.

“To be honest, gentlemen, no one has talked to me about it, no one has contacted me about it and I actually have plans for this weekend,” Sterling said.

“I haven’t spoken to anyone at the moment.”

After the hosts were shocked, they asked what he was planning to do.

“I’m going away for a golf weekend,” Sterling said. “(I’m going) north. It’s all a bit crazy.

“My daughter actually called me this morning and said it’s all in the papers.”

Host Gus Worland said: “This is ridiculous.”

Asked if he would do it if they asked, he said: “I don’t know, I honestly don’t know because I have things that have been in use for quite a while. It’s far from ideal and I think that will be a conversation I will have if anyone gets in touch.”

Bolton said: “This shocks me.”

Cliff Lyons last year. Image: Richard DobsonSource: News Corp Australia
Cliff Lyons in action.Source: News Corp Australia

The Sydney Morning Herald confirmed the NRL had now interviewed Lyons, the 1987 award winner, after Sterling announced his golf weekend.

Sterling is expected to be selected for next year’s grand final.

Sterling told the SMH that the NRL had not asked until Tuesday evening.

“When it was in the paper this morning I didn’t know anything about it and my first reaction was that I have plans this weekend,” he said.

“I don’t want to seem disrespectful, but I have everything under control and it was like that for a while. I won’t make it to the grand final and I don’t see how that will change.

“It may be disrespectful for me to be expected to accept such an honor, but unfortunately I have plans.” Peter Sterling rejects NRL medal bid from Clive Churchill, Cliff Lyons, Rod Churchill and Latrell Mitchell

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