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Jamal Ford-Robinson named Gallagher Community Player of the Month

Jamal Ford-Robinson named Gallagher Community Player of the Month
GLOUCESTER RUGBY’S Jamal Ford-Robinson was today acclaimed as a “one-man lifter of spirits” when he was named the first-ever Gallagher Community Player of the Month.

With Gallagher Premiership Rugby currently suspended, there wasn’t any on-pitch action to allow our expert judging panel to select their Gallagher Premiership Rugby Player of the Month for March based on normal performance criteria. But there’s certainly been no shortage of inspiring social and community stories emerging across the country during lockdown.

So, together with our partner Gallagher, we renamed this award as the Gallagher Community Player of the Month – to find and applaud the Premiership player who has had the made the biggest social contribution to their local community in March.

Countless nominations produced a 12-strong shortlist of inspiring stories that Gallagher and Premiership Rugby then put to the public vote.

And Ford-Robinson emerged as the winner from a fans’ poll on the Premiership Rugby app which drew more than 5,000 votes as supporters applauded the individual actions of their players who are delivering real and meaningful difference across the country.

The Gloucester Rugby prop self-produced a series of hilarious and uplifting videos through his social media accounts in March, capturing the imagination of fans across the country, boosting morale and giving his followers a much-needed lift.

Leading the praise for his exploits was Gallagher ambassador and Rugby World Cup winner, Nolli Waterman who said: “At a time when we were all having to meet the many challenges associated with lockdown and the new reality of social isolation, Jamal and his hilarious homemade videos quickly became an unmissable daily feature on social media – a real one-man lifter of spirits, smile-spreader and day-brightener throughout the rugby community.

“Laughter is a powerful force that brings us all together, even when we are forced to be apart, and let’s just say Jamal’s Whitney impression is definitely a case of once seen, never unseen!”

With a player from each Premiership Rugby team shortlisted for this new award, Ford-Robinson emerged ahead of Bristol Bears’ Callum Sheedy and Northampton Saints’ Courtney Lawes to claim the prize and he wins courtesy of Gallagher:

A shirt signed by all the players from his club, Gloucester Rugby, to donate to a local charity of his choice

A donation to his local NHS trust

The Gallagher Premiership Rugby Player of the Month trophy

Click here to see all 12 shortlisted players

Former England star Waterman added: “Jamal’s infectious positivity and efforts to entertain make him a worthy and popular winner of our first Gallagher Community Player of the Month award, as we look to recognise players’ off-pitch performance while play itself has to pause. As one of his countless nominators put it: Jamal has been superb – a credit to himself, his sport and his club.

“I also want to take this opportunity to applaud all 12 nominated finalists across the Gallagher Premiership.

“From powerful community outreach programmes - such as #MakeThatCall #LockdownLetters and deliveries for housebound fans - to bite-sized fitness-for-all and ongoing engagement with local charities, the month of March has been marked with some amazing social contributions from our players. Never has the rugby community felt stronger, more connected and collaborative.”

Everyone at Premiership Rugby and Gallagher has been inspired to see the way our clubs and their players have responded in a time of national crisis with their work in the community. There were so many great stories just coming up with a shortlist of 12 was difficult enough.

Winners in the 2019-20 season

March – Jamal Ford-Robinson (Gloucester Rugby)
February – Charles Piutau (Bristol Bears)
January – Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins)
December - Louis Rees-Zammit (Gloucester Rugby)
November – Tom O’Flaherty (Exeter Chiefs)

Winners in the 2018-19 season

April – Francois Hougaard (Worcester Warriors)
March – Santiago Cordero (Exeter Chiefs)
February – Rory Hutchinson (Northampton Saints)
December – Cobus Reinach (Northampton Saints)
November – Ollie Thorley (Gloucester Rugby)
October – Alex Goode (Saracens)
September – Danny Cipriani (Gloucester Rugby)

Winners in the 2017-18 season

April – Vereniki Goneva (Newcastle Falcons)
March – Joe Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs)
February – Jack Willis (Wasps)
December – Josh Adams (Worcester Warriors)
November – Ruan Ackermann (Gloucester Rugby)
October – Jonny May (Leicester Tigers)
September – Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)

Winners in the 2016-17 season

April – Taulupe Faletau (Bath Rugby)
March – Christian Wade (Wasps)
February – James Short (Exeter Chiefs)
December – Tom Varndell (Bristol Rugby)
November – Freddie Burns (Leicester Tigers)
October – Mako Vunipola (Saracens)
September – Jimmy Gopperth (Wasps)

Winners in the 2015-16 season

October – Nick Evans (Harlequins)
November – Nathan Hughes (Wasps)
December – Maro Itoje (Saracens)
January – Thomas Waldrom (Exeter Chiefs)
February – George Smith (Wasps)
March – Francois Hougaard (Worcester Warriors)
April – Teimana Harrison (Northampton Saints)

Winners in the 2014-15 season

September – Kyle Eastmond (Bath Rugby)
October – Semesa Rokoduguni (Bath Rugby)
November – Thomas Waldrom (Exeter Chiefs)
December – Samu Manoa (Northampton Saints)
January – Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby)
February – Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs)
March – Elliot Daly (Wasps)
April – Joe Simpson (Wasps)

Winners in the 2013-14 season

September – Jacques Burger (Saracens)
October – Samu Manoa (Northampton Saints)
November - George Ford (Bath Rugby)
December – Nick Easter (Harlequins)
January – Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints)
February – Vereniki Goneva (Leicester Tigers)
March – Danny Cipriani (Sale Sharks)
April – Chris Ashton (Saracens)
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