Paul Van-Zandvliet is soon going to receive the RPA Blyth Spirit Award. The award function will take place on Wednesday.
The announcement in this regards has been made by the Rugby Players’ Association (RPA).
The association has announced that, it will honor Paul Van-Zandvliet the former Newcastle Falcon the award. This is the 2017 RPA Players’ Awards and the award is the joint collaboration of RPA and England Rugby.
The player was known by the name ‘The Tank’ during his playing days and he was also the member of Premiership-winning Newcastle team in the year 1998.
In his career with the team, the player made more than 160 appearances for the Falcons. It was done in the period from 1992 to 1999. In an accident, Paul Van-Zandvliet met with an accident and he left his career ended prematurely.
In the face of adversity that recognizes his bravery, Paul Van-Zandvliet has been confirmed as the receiver of 2017 RPA Blyth Spirit Award.
Another reason why this player deserves this award is, he was diagnosed brain tumor (an inoperable one) and cancer in his liver and kidney in 2016, the player battled the disease and also raised money for many causes, and that includes Restart Rugby as well, the Rugby Players' Association official charity.
Van-Zandvliet said in an interview “After I was diagnosed with my illness, I got the support from Restart Rugby and not only that but also from the wider rugby community. I’ve been overwhelmed by looking at the support I have received from these bodies."
He further added that, "Doing the work of charity has been like therapy for me and it has allowed me to come back into the game that I have loved always. Receiving the honor of this type is like everything to me.”