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Arts & Culture

Region’s stars honoured at North East Football Writers’ Association Awards

The region’s top footballing talent was celebrated at a star-studded ceremony.

The North East Football Writers’ Association Awards championed the individuals and teams – from Premier League to grassroots level – that have lit up the soccer scene over the last 12 months.

The night’s top accolade went to Newcastle United midfielder Bruno Guimarães, who was named player of the year.

 

  • Newcastle United’s Bruno Guimarães, second left, celebrates his North East Football Writers’ Association award

 

The Brazilian, watched by a packed audience featuring Magpies’ manager Eddie Howe and the club’s record goal scorer Alan Shearer, spoke of his delight at the honour, and drew cheers when proclaiming the team’s recent League Cup run would be the first of many following last year’s Saudi-led takeover.

Sunderland AFC goalkeeper Anthony Patterson was crowned young player of the year, with Durham Women FC and Northern Ireland international Sarah Robson picking up the women’s player of the year accolade for a second successive season.

 

  • Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe was among the guests at the North East Football Writers’ Association Awards 

 

Former Sunderland and Manchester City midfielder Jill Scott [pictured, top of page] was named Sir Bobby Robson Personality of the Year, in recognition of a 12-month period headlined by Euro 2022 success with England and subsequent victory on ITV’s ‘I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here…!’

 

  • Sunderland AFC goalkeeper Anthony Patterson receives the young player of the year trophy from the team’s manager Tony Mowbray

 

Elsewhere, former Middlesbrough FC manager Lennie Lawrence, who steered the club into the inaugural Premier League in the early 1990s and is now a non-executive director at Hartlepool United, received the John Fotheringham Award, which recognises outstanding service to the region’s football scene.

 

  • Durham Women FC and Northern Ireland international Sarah Robson picks up the women’s player of the year accolade from North East Football Writers’ Association chair Colin Young

 

A further award in the same category went to veteran journalist Doug Weatherall.

Having been previously postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Doug was finally able to pick up his trophy and give audience members – who watched archive footage of his verbal jousts with Brian Clough and Lawrie McMenemy – a taste of his tremendous passion for the region’s game.

Derek Wright, who served as Newcastle United’s head physiotherapist for nearly 40 years, was honoured with the Bob Cass Award, which celebrates outstanding contribution to the North East game.

 

  • Former Newcastle United head physiotherapist Derek Wright, right, chats to compere Ian Dennis

 

And special recognition honours went to non-league teams Gateshead FC and Marske United for their successes in winning the National League North and gaining promotion to the Northern Premier League and reaching the final qualifying round of the FA Cup, respectively.

 

  • Former Middlesbrough FC manager Lennie Lawrence received the John Fotheringham Award

 

The event was compered by Ian Dennis, BBC Radio Five Live commentator and senior football reporter, and organised and led by Colin Young, North East Football Writers’ Association chair.