Championships sponsor Kingstone Press has awarded the Ultimate King of the Fans title to Susan Dodds, from Keighley Cougars.
Susan, from Riddlesden, who is recognised by Cougars fans by her trademark red, white and green beanie cap with matching glasses, was nominated for her unwavering support for the club. She has not missed a game since February 1979 home or away, even bringing her daughter to a match five days after she was born.
Championships Finals Day on Sunday 29th September saw Susan crowned with her title in front of over 6,000 fans at Leigh Sports Village.
Susan said: “I feel very humbled to have received the award of Ultimate King of the Fans. Being welcomed onto the pitch at Championships Finals Day and standing alongside many other dedicated fans was an honour.
“I first got into rugby league when eight years old when my parents took me to my first Keighley game and I’ve been hooked ever since. Now I bring my daughter to as many games as possible to keep the family tradition going.”
As the Ultimate King of the Fans, Susan won a VIP experience at Finals Day and will receive a year’s supply of Kingstone Press cider. In addition, Susan was offered a money can’t buy prize and has chosen to go to the Rugby League World Cup closing ceremony at Old Trafford, where she and a guest will be treated to hospitality.
The crowning of Susan was the culmination of Kingstone Press Cider’s season long hunt to find the best rugby league Championships supporters.
Susan makes up one of the 23 King of the Fans who represent each of the clubs across the Championship and Championship 1, having either put themselves forward for this accolade or being nominated by a fellow fan.
Entries were judged by representatives from Kingstone Press Cider, The RFL and LoveRugbyLeague.com, who were looking for those that stood out for their loyalty and dedication to their clubs, as well as the sport.
The King of the Fans will all receive a crate of Kingstone Press Cider and were welcomed to Finals Day, along with their family and friends, where they were invited onto the pitch at the beginning of each Championships final game to fly the flag for their club.
Glen Friel, Sales and Marketing Director at Kingstone Press Cider, said: “Our congratulations go out to Susan for winning this accolade. The standard of the 23 King of the Fans was extremely high and we were impressed with the dedication and passion showed by everyone, but it was Susan’s outstanding 33 year record that really made her stand out.
“It was great to welcome all the King of the Fans to Finals Day and we hope they all enjoyed the occasion.”