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NOT INVITED: NRL legends snubbed from Dally M Awards

Several rugby league legends, including former Rothmans Medal winners, were sensationally snubbed from this year’s Dally M awards because the new venue was too small.

This year’s awards were held at the Overseas Passenger Terminal at Circular Quay, a departure from the event’s long-standing home of Star Casino.

Due to the smaller venue, and other guests taking priority, a number of former player of the year award winners were left off the guest list.

Giants of the game like Mick Cronin, Ray Price, Gary Freeman and the first ever Rothmans Medalist Terry Hughes all felt the cold shoulder of the NRL.

On the day before the Dally M awards, 1983 Rothmans Medal winner Michael Eden received a “one-liner” email from the NRL informing him he would not be welcomed to this year’s night of nights.

“I thought it was a bit poor. I did notice there were a lot of staff from the NRL there. I noticed there were a lot of media,” Eden told Macquarie Sports Radio‘s Cam Reddin.

Eden found it unusual his regular invite to the awards had not arrived. After inquiring with the league, Eden was notified there would be no seat for him on the night.

“Over past years I’ve taken my wife, my four sons, my father. I’ve also taken a number of volunteers from the bush football club I’m involved with,” Eden said.

“Not just for me, but for the history of the game, it’s pretty important for people to remember players that played in the past and helped grow our game,” he said.

The NRL on track to record a surplus close to $50 million for this season. Michael Eden says he is very disappointed the NRL could not make players of the past more welcome.

“They can’t find money for [extra seats], they can’t find money for the referees. It really is that I don’t think the NRL should be going in and I’m making sure I’m being heard,” Eden said.

Eden contacted NRL boss Todd Greenberg personally to ask for an explanation, but is yet to receive a reply.

“I haven’t had a reply. Normally he does ring back, he’s a good bloke and he is a football person,” Eden said.

“Eventually, I think he’ll get back to me.”

The NRL has been contacted for comment.

Click below to hear the full interview and listen to the Weekend Warm-Up with Cam Reddin 4.00am-7.00am Saturday and Sunday mornings