Courtney Lawes has been announced as the first ever recipient of the ICON Award at this year’s Northamptonshire Business Excellence Awards (NBEAs).
The former England captain and long-serving Northampton Saints forward was guest of honour at the prestigious awards ceremony, hosted by celebrity comedian Rob Beckett, which was attended by hundreds of guests from across the Northamptonshire business community.
Courtney, who recently announced his retirement from international duty, was presented with the esteemed NBEA Northamptonshire ICON Award, a tribute to commemorate and honour his remarkable, inspirational journey both on and off the pitch.
The newly launched ICON Award has been established to recognise individuals or organisations who have achieved outstanding success in their field and embody excellence. The award also reflects the admiration and pride that the region feels for one of its own.
On receiving the Northamptonshire ICON Award Courtney Lawes commented: “I’m very proud to be presented with the ICON Award at this year’s NBEAs, and would like to thank the Northamptonshire business community for their recognition.
“Ever since my debut for Saints, and then when I started playing for England as well, I have tried to represent Northampton and the entire county to the best of my ability.
“It was definitely the right time for me to retire from international rugby following the recent World Cup. I am looking forward to spending more time at home here in Northampton with my family and friends – without whom I never would have been able to achieve what I have done – but I’m certainly not hanging my boots up yet, and I’m excited about what lies ahead playing more club rugby for Saints.”
Since making his debut for England in 2009, earning 105 caps for his country (the fifth-most caps of any male player), Courtney Lawes has played in four Rugby World Cups, won three Six Nations titles, and twice toured with the British & Irish Lions to New Zealand (2017) and South Africa (2019).
His prolific playing success will see him continue to play at club level for Northampton Saints, where he made his debut in 2007. During his 264 appearances for Saints so far, he has helped the club to win the Premiership, Challenge Cup and Anglo-Welsh Cup trophies.
Ben Thomas, Managing Director of awards organisers All Things Business, said: “This inaugural ICON Award celebrates Courtney’s exceptional tenure with Northampton Saints and his impactful career with England Rugby, highlighting his unwavering dedication, formidable leadership, and the inspirational role he has played for teammates and fans alike.
“As he hangs up his international boots, this accolade is not just a symbol of his sporting excellence, a beacon of his entire legacy, it also recognises his significant contributions to our community. Courtney’s illustrious career with the England International team and Northampton Saints is a testament to his exceptional talent, hard work and contribution to the sport, his country and our region.
“In presenting this ICON Award to Courtney, the Northamptonshire Business Excellence Awards is not only acknowledging his individual achievements, it is also highlighting the intrinsic values of sportsmanship, dedication and community impact that resonate with the business ethos of excellence and leadership.”
The NBEAs were staged at the Northampton County Cricket Ground on Thursday, November 9th which saw a total of 15 prestigious business awards announced and presented to winners on the night.