We have our own Player of the Year award the DDCWWFCSCPOTY – the POTY standing for “Player of the Year”. Each member votes for his or her “Man of the Match” for every game they attend (they must have seen the match in person to vote). Every vote counts and, come the end of each season, the player with the most votes is proclaimed as the DDCWWFCSCPOTY.
It is customary to present our POTY at our Annual Dinner, unfortunately this does not always happen if players can’t be persuaded to come along, and we rely on our honorary members to influence their attendance. But generally we are fortunate and the player concerned turns up to receive his award
Last season’s winner is Kevin Foley, and as honorary member has the job of persuading himself to attend the dinner in January! We have had only two players win the award more than once. Joleon Lescott in recent years has received our plaudits – although he never came to the dinner, but the first was Mark Rankine who collected the yellow dog in 1992-93 season (and promptly lost it) and again two years later in 1994-95 season when the yellow dog failed to re-appear!
What’s all this about a yellow dog I hear you ask? Well, it comes back to our President Richard Meacock. We needed a trophy for our first Player of the Year (Ken Hibbitt back in the promotion winning season of 1976-77), but we had no idea of what to get. Then, Meacock appeared in the Dun exclaiming that he’d found us a trophy!
“What is it?” we demanded.
“A wolf.” he replied.
“How big?” we asked.
“Wolf size!” he answered.
“Where is it?” we asked.
“In a shop in Kettering.” was his retort.
So, an expedition was planned to Kettering to buy this wolf. Coxy and Meacock were accompanied by our old chum Doey Lodge for the trip and, after a couple of hostelries en route, we parked up near the shop. The others raced ahead as Coxy locked the car and, as he rounded the corner, he was amazed to see Doey lying in the middle of the road laughing his head off. Positively wetting himself! Yes, he had seen The Wolf!
It was white…well…it had been once. In fact, it was a bit white although it was a horrible grimy colour white, but even worse were the ears! The ears were huge (like a donkey or ass) and completely out of scale to the rest of the “wolf”.
“That’s it!” Meacock proclaimed.
“You’re ******* joking” we said.
But, it was purchased and we went for a curry. After the curry, while walking back to the car, Coxy was carrying the wolf none too carefully, managed to bang it against some railings, and knocked an ear off.
Now we had a horrible, grimy, white “wolf” with only one ear and the other ear nearly as long as one of it’s legs. “Don’t worry,” said Meacock, “I’ll fix it up – or get my brother Tim to, anyway,” and he did. The transformation was almost unbelievable. They knocked off the other ear, washed it several times, modelled two new ears in proportion to the body, and, when all was dry, painted it a fantastic gold (well…all right…yellow) colour. Then to cap it all, Meacock got one of the members at that time, Robin Invernizzi, to mount it on a wooden base (which had been part of Rugby Police Station counter – no, don’t ask – please!) and we had a presentable trophy, or as it is always known: “The Yellow Dog”.
The Richard Meacock Trophy is also presented to the POTY winner of the DDCWWFCSC and is a much more conventional cup engraved with all of the winners through the years. It’s a nice trophy, but some how doesn’t really match up to our infamous Yellow Dog!
You’ll see a list of winners down the years somewhere nearby, and in the various photo galleries pictures of the many winners down the years. One interesting quirk with the POTY is that 2 brothers both won the award; but 10 years apart! Alan Birch and the late Paul Birch both won the trophy and both came to collect their award.
So if you are a member make sure Coxy gets your vote in his book to record your vote, so that you can influence your own Player of the Year.