WIRE players old and new have been recognised for their outstanding 2019 campaigns in the Betfred Championship.

Speed machine Matty Ashton, who has been signed by Steve Price from Swinton for 2020, has added the league's Young Player of the Year title to the Championship top try scorer honour.


Warringtonian Gareth O'Brien, who moved from his hometown club to Salford before joining 2019 Championship league leaders Toronto Wolfpack, is the newly crowned Championship Player of the Year.


And ex-Wire hooker Mickey Higham, who has retired for a second time at the end of this season, has been recognised for his service to the game with an Outstanding Achievement Award.


Presentations have been made at a glitzy Betfred Championship and League One awards event in Manchester tonight.

Ashton, 21, finished as the second tier’s top try scorer for 2019 having crossed 30 times for Swinton Lions - three tries clear of former Wire winger Matty Russell, who touched down 27 times for league leaders Toronto Wolfpack.

Ashton rounded off his season in style by scoring five tries in the Lions’ 48-16 victory over 1895 Cup winners Sheffield Eagles.

He was up against Widnes Vikings centre Keanan Brand – a player who is widely expected to join the winger at The Halliwell Jones Stadium next year – and Leigh Centurions’ Joe Cator for the award.

O’Brien and former Warrington academy hooker Andy Ackers were part of an all-Toronto Wolfpack shortlist for the Championship Player of the Year prize, with Jon Wilkin completing the nominees.